Publication Date

Spring 2021

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Elizabeth Shoenfelt (Director), Dr. Reagan Brown, and Dr. Katrina Burch

Degree Program

Department of Psychological Sciences

Degree Type

Master of Science


A survey of 212 individuals who recertified or certified as a Certified Mental Performance Consultant® (CMPC) provided information on the perceived benefits of and barriers to the credential. Primary reasons for recertification and certification were the perceived credibility and expertise implied by the credential, with some indicating the certification to be central to their practice. Similarly, the primary value of the CMPC® certification cited by respondents was an indication of meeting professional standards; being listed on the CMPC® registry also was valued. In addition to perceived credibility, being perceived as ethical was highly ranked as a benefit of certification. Supporting and developing the field of sport psychology were cited as important reasons for recertifying. That is, the CMPC® certification was pursued by sport psychology professionals to help further legitimize and promote the field in the eyes of others and to help strengthen the identity of sport psychology. A promising finding was the sizeable number of respondents who indicated the need for this certification as a job requirement, perhaps implying that the aspiration of the CMPC® credential becoming a widely held standard is being achieved. New certificants rated the benefits of certification higher than did recertificants, suggesting potential optimism of newer certificants as to the value of the CMPC® certification.

Respondents identified the biggest barriers to certification as certification requirements (CEUs, mentoring, required coursework) and the certification exam. The financial cost of becoming certified was the third most frequently cited barrier, followed by the lack of exam preparation materials and time commitment. COVID-19 posed some unique barriers such as access to exam testing sites and opportunities to earn CEUs. Perceptions of the benefits and barriers to certification for the recertificants and certificants assessed in the current study were similar to the perceptions of those who chose not to recertify (Shoenfelt & Bramschreiber, 2020). In sum, the CMPC® credential is largely regarded by respondents as denoting a standard of competence, expertise, and furthering the discipline of sport psychology toward an overarching professional identity.


Clinical Psychology | Industrial and Organizational Psychology | Other Psychology