Background: Politicians, societies, stakeholders, health care systems, patients, their relatives, their employers, and the general population need to know what they can expect from clinical psychologists. Even more, for our self-definition as a professional group, we should share a common understanding of the competence profile that characterises our qualifications. This understanding of the competence profile of clinical psychology leads directly to the content that should be taught in university curricula and postgraduate trainings for clinical psychology. The following discussion paper attempts to offer a general European framework for defining the competence profile of clinical psychologists.
Method: A group of European specialists developed this discussion paper under the umbrella of the European Association of Clinical Psychology and Psychological Treatment (EACLIPT). Representatives with different treatment orientations, of basic science and clinical applications, and from East to Western European countries, were part of the group.
Results: We present a list of competences that should be acquired during regular studies of psychology with a clinical specialisation. Additionally, further competences should be acquired either during studying, or during postgraduate trainings.
Conclusion: Clinical psychologists are experts in mental and behavioural disorders, their underlying psychological, social and neurobiological processes, corresponding assessments/diagnostic tools, and evidence-based psychological treatments. While we provide a list with all competences of clinical psychologists, we do not consider this proposal as a final list of criteria, but rather as a living discussion paper that could be updated regularly. Therefore, we invite our colleagues to contribute to this discussion, and to submit comments via email to the corresponding author.