Frequently Asked Questions:
Internship Training Directors - Preparing for the Match

Updated September 8, 2018


PREPARING FOR THE MATCH

  1. Which internship programs are eligible to participate in the Match?
  2. How do I register for the APPIC Match?
  3. Which students are eligible to participate in the APPIC Match and attend an APPIC-member internship program?
  4. My site has several different types of training experiences. How can the Match help me fill each of those experiences with appropriate applicants?
  5. What is the "Interview Notification Date" in my APPIC Directory Online listing, and how should I go about setting that date?
  6. What considerations should I use in establishing my application deadline date for Phase I of the Match?
  7. What if my site has certain eligibility requirements for applicants (e.g., drug testing, crimiinal background check) that are conducted after the Match is completed?
  8. What if my site implements changes to the training program, positions offered, application requirements, etc. fairly late in the process? How do I communicate those changes to potential applicants?

PREPARING FOR THE MATCH


1. Which internship programs are eligible to participate in the Match?

All APPIC member internship programs are required to participate in the Match. Non-APPIC member programs may participate for a limited period of time under specific policies adopted by the APPIC Board.

Participating programs may not withhold any positions from either phase of the APPIC Match in order to fill those positions via other methods (e.g., other organizations' Match processes or direct offers to applicants). Participating programs may not offer any positions to applicants outside of the APPIC Match until both Phases of the APPIC Match are completed.

2. How do I register for the APPIC Match?

APPIC member internship programs will automatically be e-mailed a registration packet by mid-August. Non-APPIC member programs must contact National Matching Services directly at (800) 461-6322 or [email protected] to request registration materials.

The cost of the Match for APPIC member programs is collected as a special assessment along with annual APPIC dues. Non-APPIC member programs are charged a different fee that is collected as part of the Match registration process.

3. Which students are eligible to participate in the APPIC Match and attend an APPIC-member internship program?

Information on applicant eligibility for the 2019 APPIC Match may be found here.

4. My site has several different types of training experiences. How can the Match help me fill each of those experiences with appropriate applicants?

Sites with multiple forms of training (e.g., rotations, tracks, training sites/locations, full- and part-time positions, etc.) have two primary options when registering for the APPIC Match:

  1. The site designates a separate "program" in the Match for each form of training. So, for example, a site that had three rotations would register three separate "programs" in the Match. This approach allows applicants to rank order each rotation separately.

  2. The site registers for the Match with only one program. In this approach, students are not able to specify their rotation preferences in the Match, and the site typically submits multiple Rank Order Lists to determine which students fill which rotations.

This choice is made at the time you register for the Match (although it can be changed later, if needed).

While either way is permissible, we generally recommend that sites that offer more than one form of training should register a separate "program" in the Match for each form of training (option 1 listed above). There is no extra fee for doing so, and this approach provides some very important advantages:

  1. The Match will place each of your matched applicants directly into one of your training tracks. You won't need to spend time after the Match assigning your matched interns to tracks.

  2. You will submit a separate Rank Order List for each track, which allows you to rank the most desirable applicants for each track.

  3. You no longer run the risk of having too many matched interns interested in one track and not enough matched interns interested in another track. Instead, you specify how many students can be placed in each track.

  4. Applicants will be able to rank each of your tracks separately, which enables them to specify their preferences more accurately for the Match. This may make your site more attractive to applicants, because it removes the uncertainty about which training track they will be assigned to if they match to your site. APPIC often hears from applicants who are hesitant to rank a site with multiple training tracks if they don’t have the ability to rank each track separately.

Some sites with multiple training tracks attempt to accomplish these objectives by submitting multiple Rank Order Lists for a single program. While this may address to some extent the first three points listed above, it does not address the fourth point. If applicants should have the ability to express their preferences by ranking each of your training tracks separately, this can only be accomplished by listing each track as a separate program in the Match.

Your registration materials and the Rank Order List instructions will provide more complete information about these options. More information is also available on the NMS web site.

5. What is the "Interview Notification Date" in my APPIC Directory Online listing, and how should I go about setting that date?

According to the APPIC Match Policies, each site that participates in Phase I of the APPIC Match and that conducts on-site or telephone interviews is required to notify each applicant who submits a complete application to the site as to whether or not that applicant will receive an interview. Furthermore, each site is required to inform applicants in advance regarding the date (the "Interview Notification Date") by which such notification will occur. For APPIC members, this notification date must be specified in the site's Directory Online listing; for non-members, it must be included in the site's public information.

APPIC recommends that sites use December 15 as the interview notification date; however, each site is free to set whatever date it chooses. Sites are obligated via the Match Policies to notify applicants by the date that they have specified, and applicants must receive the notification by that date. Most Training Directors use e-mail rather than regular mail for this purpose.

Sites that conduct open houses to which all applicants are invited and conduct no other interviews are exempt from the above interview notification requirement (this process should be clearly stated in the APPIC Directory Online and/or sites' publicity materials).

For Phase II of the Match, no interview notification is required.

6. What considerations should I use in establishing my application deadline date for Phase I of the Match?

Other than APPIC's request that you set an application deadline date no earlier than November 1, determining the date is up to you. Of course, you should choose an application deadline that will provide you ample time to review applications and notify applicants of their interview status no later than your site's Interview Notification Date.

Currently, the most common deadline used by sites is sometime during the second week of November. Second most common is the first week of November, while the third most common is the first week of December.

Some common errors to avoid: (1) Forgetting to update your application deadline in all places where it occurs (e.g., APPIC Directory Online, your web site or brochure), (2) Not planning ahead and giving yourself enough time to review applications prior to your site's interview notification date, and (3) Using the same deadline date each year without looking at the calendar to ensure that it doesn't fall on a weekend (unless you want it on a weekend). Once you have established your application deadline, we encourage you not to move it earlier unless absolutely necessary, as some applicants will not be aware of the change and will continue to rely on your previously-published deadline.

For on-site interviews, you should allow ample time between your interview notification date and the dates of your interviews so that students can secure the lowest possible air fares. In addition, please be mindful of conducting interviews close to the December holidays, given that air fares can be extraordinarily expensive during that time.

7. What if my site has certain eligibility requirements for applicants (e.g., drug testing, criminal background check) that are conducted after the Match is completed?

As noted in the APPIC Match Policies, it is permissible for a site to have certain eligibility requirements in order for a matched applicant to be accepted into the program. However, these eligibility requirements must be clearly specified in advance. Specifically, APPIC Match Policy #7b states, "Appointments of applicants to internship positions may be contingent upon the applicants satisfying certain eligibility requirements. Such eligibility requirements must be clearly specified in the internship programs' written materials and provided to applicants in advance of the deadline for submitting rankings for the APPIC Match."

This policy requires the advance disclosure of your site's eligibility requirements so that students can understand these requirements and make informed decisions about whether or not to apply to or rank your site. Most importantly, it minimizes the possibility of your program being matched to an intern who is ineligible for hire -- something that would be devastating for that student and would leave you with an unfilled position that could be very difficult to fill. Thus, if your site has such pre-employment requirements, please ensure that your public materials (web site, brochure, APPIC Directory Online listing, etc.) are as clear and detailed as possible. Specifically:

  • Please be clear about your eligibility requirements and, as much as possible, what constitutes a "pass" and a "fail." For example, it is generally not enough to simply say that you conduct a "background check," since that doesn't tell the applicant what past behavior is and is not acceptable (e.g., will a misdemeanor constitute a pass or a fail?). Similarly, saying that you conduct "drug testing" doesn't clearly specify what your expectations are of the applicant in terms of their drug use (e.g., is marijuana use acceptable? if so, under what circumstances?). The goal here is to be as disclosive as possible in order to minimize the possibility that an ineligible student will apply (or, worse, get matched) to your site.

  • To achieve what we are asking in the previous paragraph, it is essential that you work closely with your Human Resources department in order to craft wording that is clear and covers all of your institutions' policies and eligibility requirements for employees. We have seen a number of situations where HR determines that the student has failed a requirement that wasn't disclosed in advance, often because the Training Director wasn't aware of the requirement or how it would be administered, interpreted, or enforced.

DRUG TESTING: Some internship programs perform drug testing prior to and/or during the internship year. One of the most misunderstood issues in this area is with regard to the recreational and medical use of marijuana (cannabis). Some students assume that having a prescription for marijuana, or being matched to an internship program that is located in a jurisdiction that allows the recreational use of marijuana, means that their use of marijuana will be acceptable to the internship program. However, some internship programs prohibit the use of marijuana in ALL circumstances, and will refuse to hire a student who tests positive for marijuana regardless of medical need, the presence of a prescription, or its legal status.

Thus, please ensure that your public materials are as clear as possible in terms of any drug testing that is performed and the expectations for employees and interns as far as drug use is concerned. In particular, please be aware that the medical use of marijuana has become increasingly common among the general population, and thus clearly articulating your policies regarding the medical and recreational use of marijuana would be helpful to applicants.

8. What if my site implements changes to the training program, positions offered, application requirements, etc. fairly late in the process? How do I communicate those changes to potential applicants?

APPIC provides APPIC-member Training Directors with the ability to announce late-breaking changes to their programs that occur in the Fall. Beginning in mid-September, APPIC-Member Training Directors may submit announcements about major program changes to APPIC; these announcements will then be combined into a single e-mail message to be distributed via MATCH-NEWS. APPIC distributes those announcements as needed (every 1-2 weeks) through the end of December.

Please note that these announcements are restricted to MAJOR, LATE-BREAKING CHANGES ONLY to your internship program (e.g., receiving APA/CPA accreditation or APPIC membership for the first time, adding or removing a major rotation, discovering a major error or omission in your Directory listing or program materials, implementing a major change in the stipend, closing of a program, changing an application due date). In most cases, this will be information that you feel will significantly affect applicants' decisions to apply to your internship program or that is related to the application process at your site (rather than changes that you could easily communicate to applicants in other ways, such as during interviews). Changes to your program that occur after your application deadline has passed should generally be communicated directly to your applicant pool (e.g., via e-mail, during interviews) rather than via the late-breaking news service.

Since most internship programs experience some changes each year, we are restricting this service to major changes that will most impact students' decisions to apply to programs. Changes that would typically NOT qualify for this service include a change in Training Director or other personnel (unless such a change significantly impacts your program), a minor change in stipend (e.g., less than 10%), re-accreditation by APA/CPA, or renewal of an existing APPIC membership.

IMPORTANT NOTES: (1) Please do not move your published application deadline to an earlier date at this point unless absolutely necessary, as some applicants are not yet subscribed to MATCH-NEWS and will continue to rely on your previously-published deadline. Moving an application deadline to an earlier date almost inevitably results in problems for both the Training Director and those applicants who didn’t know about the change. It is fine to announce that you are moving an application deadline to a later date. (2) Non-accredited programs should ensure that announcements conform to APPIC’s Policy on Public Statements about Accreditation and APPIC Membership.

If you wish to make use of this service, please first review the above guidelines. If your announcement meets these guidelines, e-mail the following information to Dr. Greg Keilin at [email protected]:

  1. Your 4-digit APPIC Member Number (please note that you must be an APPIC member to use this service during Phase I of the Match).
  2. Name of your site.
  3. Location of site (i.e., city and state).
  4. Name and contact information (e-mail and/or phone number) for the Training Director.
  5. A brief (hopefully one paragraph) description of the major change to your program.

PLEASE NOTE: Changes to any information required for the Match must be submitted to NMS in the online NMS Match System which is accessible from the Match web site at natmatch.com/psychint. Required information for the Match includes site name, Training Director name, e-mail address, mailing address, telephone number, fax number, Match participation status, number or descriptions of programs/tracks, number of positions offered in each program/track, and APA or CPA accreditation status. If you have questions about updating your information, consult the NMS Match System user guide at natmatch.com/psychint/programs/guide.html or contact National Matching Services at [email protected] or (800) 461-6322.