The future of continuing education and lifelong learning in sport psychology professionals: a Delphi study

Alessandro Quartiroli, Chris Wagstaff, M. Herms, C. Kemmel

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One of the fundamental competencies for psychologists is to practice according to the ethical standards and principles of their profession. Two ways of achieving these standards include engaging in continuing education (CE) and lifelong learning (LL). Sport psychology professionals (SPPs) have frequently noted the importance of engaging in CE and LL to improving one’s professional practice, yet no research currently exists specifically examining these concepts in the sport psychology literature. A panel of 16 expert SPPs were invited to participate in a 3-phase Delphi study. This multinational panel of experts was selected based on their involvement in committees charged by sport psychology organizations with developing and implementing CE for their membership. The Delphi approach was used to better understand SPPs’ views on: the optimal delivery, assessment, and impact of CE and LL, as well as the SPP’s beliefs regarding the “half-life” of knowledge within the sport psychology field. The SPPs in the Delphi mainly worked in academic (65%) or applied (37.5%) settings with an average professional experience of 14 years. While the experts considered CE and LL to be important, they reported limited of engagement and investment in either activity. Moreover, the SPPs predicted an increase in e-learning methods of delivery and anticipated a growing impact of CE and LL in supporting professionals. Finally, the participants predicted a reduction in the “half-life” of sport, but not performance, psychology knowledge over the next 10 years. Such predictions highlight the salience of professional organizations promoting engagement with CE and LL.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
Early online date1 Sept 2020
Publication statusEarly online - 1 Sept 2020


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