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Practitioner Forum: An Update from the Professional Practice Committee

Will Shepherd

Greeting! My name is Will Shepherd and I have the pleasure of serving as the chair of the Professional Practice Committee (PPC). In January of 2016, James Outtz asked me to serve in this role. I was honored to be asked by Jim for whom I have great respect. He was a great I-O psychologist who cared deeply about SIOP. The PPC Chair also serves as a liaison between the committee and other committee chairs, as well as the SIOP Executive Board (EB), which includes Professional Practice Officer Rob Silzer. I appreciate the support and partnership of Rob, who is also a former PPC Chair and who has great passion for the practice of I-O psychology.


Mark Poteet served as the PPC Chair for the previous 3 years. As Mark helped orient me to the role, I was amazed (and a little overwhelmed) at the sheer amount of work he and the rest of the committee had done. Mark has been a great advisor. I am also so grateful for the amazing committee of dedicated volunteers who give of themselves and their time to serve SIOP.


In this article, I want to provide an update on the committee, our goals, and recent accomplishments. Key highlights include:

  • We are having a party! We are having the first SIOP Professional Practice networking reception on Thursday of the Annual Conference from 6-7 pm
  • We are having a new consortium! We are having our first Early Career Practitioner Consortium (ECPC) on the Wednesday of the Annual Conference
  • We have a new interactive I-O career path page! Regardless of where you are in your career journey, this is a great resource for career planning
  • We are starting a newsletter! We are starting a new Professional Practice Update email newsletter in 2017


SIOP Professional Practice Committee Overview

The mission of the SIOP Professional Practice Committee (PPC) is to “strive to further build and advocate SIOP’s brand as the premier authority on workplace psychology and to enhance the practice of workplace psychology by SIOP’s members and strategic partners.”  The PPC is broken down into multiple subcommittees, each working on a different project. PPC members will often work on multiple subcommittees. The entire committee currently meets once per month to provide updates on each project. 


The Professional Practice Committee (PPC) currently has 23 members: Steven Ashworth, Ted Axton, Eric Bookmyer, Laura Byars, Samantha Chau, Vincent Conte, David Dubin, Soner Dumani, Anna Erickson, Meredith Ferro, Natalie Goode, Jerilyn Hayward, Lizzette Lima, Matthew Minton, Mark Morris, Cole Napper, Lesley Perkins, Walter Porr, Joshua Quist, Donna Roland, William Shepherd, J. Craig Wallace, and Lynda Zugec.


The four primary goals of the committee are:

  1. Develop resources for practitioners: including webinars and white papers, some in partnership with other organizations (e.g., SHRM)
  2. Provide practitioner career support: including the I-O practitioner needs survey; Speed and Group Mentoring programs; support of projects related to I-O careers, business acumen, and salary benchmarking; and the new SIOP conference consortia for early-career practitioners
  3. Scientist–practitioner support: provide access to research journals through the EBSCO services; highlight scientist–practitioner work though the TIP “Bridge" series
  4. Committee communication and development: communicate the work of the committee to the practitioner community and beyond; maintain and expand committee bench strength


I would like to highlight some of the committee’s work in each of four areas.


Goal: Develop Resources for Practitioners

To support our goal of developing resources for practitioners, the committee has focused on developing webinars and white papers that will be of interest and value to practitioners.


FREE Practitioner Mini Webinar Series

Did you know there is a collection of short, research-based webinars on the website at: The most recent one is on HR Analytics by Jeremy Kasle. Other topics include: Effective Feedback; Best Practices in Employee Engagement; Demystifying Success[I-O]n Planning; Selling I-O: Top Tips for Having More Influence and Impact as a Practitioner; The ROLE Model: Evaluating the Impact of Leadership Development Programs; Telling Your Story to the C-Suite; and Learning Agility. Thanks to Ben Porr for his leadership in the creation of the webinar series. This summer Ben also helped transfer the video content to YouTube to make it even more accessible for SIOP members.


SHRM-SIOP White Paper Series

Did you know the SIOP Professional Practice Committee, with great leadership by David Dubin, has collaborated with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to produce a series of evidence-based white papers?  The series can be found at In a great example of collaboration between the two organizations, the white papers are also posted to the SHRM website. In a true win–win, the white paper series benefits SIOP members, but it also raises the visibility of our I-O profession to SHRM’s membership, which includes over a quarter of a million members in over 150 countries. I thank Alexander Alonso, our SIOP Executive Board Communications officer and also SHRM senior vice president of Knowledge Development, and his team for their leadership in bridging the two organizations.


In just the last 2 years, the partnership has resulted in eight white papers, including:

  • Evidence-Based Strategies to Improve Workplace Decisions: Small Steps, Big Effects
  • Conducting Background Checks for Employee Selection
  • Optimizing Perceived Organizational Support to Enhance Employee Engagement
  • Strategies for Engaging and Retaining Mature Workers
  • Implementing Effective Cyber Security Training for End Users of Computer Networks
  • Coaching for Professional Development
  • New Talent Strategy: Attract, Process, Educate, Empower, Engage, and Retain the Best
  • Competency Modeling Documentation
  • Social Science Strategies for Managing Diversity: Industrial and Organizational Opportunities to Enhance 


To learn more SHRM–SIOP Science of HR Series, please contact: Ashley Miller ( or David Dubin ( Note: in addition to the SHRM–SIOP white paper series, there is also another white paper series produced by the International Affairs, Scientific Affairs, and Visibility committees that provides great resources at


Goal: Provide Practitioner Career Support

To support our goal of providing practitioner career support, one of our initiatives is to develop SIOP's first Early Career Practitioner Consortium (ECPC). Another significant achievement is the release of a new I-O career portal.


NEW Early Career Practitioner Consortium (ECPC)!

The ECPC is a one-day career development experience for I-O professionals who work in non-academic settings. Designed and produced by SIOP's Professional Practice Committee in coordination with the Consortia Committee, the content focuses on the career needs and aspirations of practitioners with up to 5 years of post degree (PhD or terminal master’s) work experience.  The EPCP will provide three career development experiences in a one-day program on the Wednesday prior to the annual SIOP Conference:

  1. I-O professionals sharing their research and personal experience related to the most prevalent and emerging career trajectories for practitioners with I-O training
  2. A self-assessment of participant competencies (hard and soft skills) that match the requirements of these career options
  3. Ongoing mentoring from practitioners who represent a diverse group of I-O professionals now engaged in both current and cutting edge practice.


Who should attend? Any I-O practitioner with up to 5 years of professional experience who is interested in learning more about their potential and future in an I-O career.


New I-O Career Path Pages

We are excited about a new web portal with a wealth of information about career paths for I-O psychologists which can be found at The site is for current or prospective I-O psychologists to explore career options in the field. It includes information about knowledge, skills, abilities, and experiences needed to succeed in different career tracks. Josh Quist has been the leader on this project. We would also like to thank SIOP’s Web Content Specialist Jim Rebar for the many hours he has spent working on the project.


Goal: Scientist–Practitioner Support


NEW The Bridge: Connecting Science and Practice Series in TIP

To support our goal of providing visibility and resources to scientist–practitioners, a new TIP series called “The Bridge: Connecting Science and Practice” was implemented that features examples of such work. The series is off to a great start under the leadership of column editors Lynda Zugec, Craig Wallace, and Mark Poteet. In fact, they were featured in the TIP Editor's Column as having the 5th most popular article in TIP. The first three articles are:


Please feel free to contact the column editors with any organizations or individuals that you feel may be good to highlight in a future Bridge article.


Goal: Committee Communication and Development

To support our goal of communicating the work of the committee to practitioners, the committee has worked on a new networking reception at the annual conference and a new Professional Practice Update newsletter.


NEW Practitioner Network Reception!

We are having a party! We know that there are many receptions during the SIOP conference, but we would ask you to consider attending the first ever Practitioner Network Reception on Thursday, April 27th in the Southern Hemisphere IV ballroom in the main SIOP Conference hotel (Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels).


This reception will provide practitioners, new and old to the SIOP conference, a unique opportunity to network.  You will have an opportunity to have a cocktail and appetizers while re-energizing your network and learning about the many resources that the SIOP community can provide to all practitioners, and at the same time reconnecting with colleagues and building new business relationships.  I would like to extend my thanks to Jerilyn Hayward and Donna Roland for organizing a great event and to Dave Nershi at the SIOP Administrative Office for sponsoring the program.


Professional Practice Update

The SIOP Executive Board approved a new Professional Practice Update email directed at SIOP Practitioners. Each Professional Practice Update newsletter will have an area of focus (e.g., the next Annual SIOP Conference or LEC Conference, the nomination period for SIOP Fellowship and other awards) and feature links to website and other content that would be of interest to practitioners. Ben Porr, Meredith Ferro, and Eric Bookmyer are working on the inaugural January issue. Thanks to them for their leadership and efforts on this great new channel to communicate with SIOP members!



As you can see, there are a lot of dedicated, talented SIOP practitioners who are working hard on behalf of the entire SIOP organization with a special focus on their fellow practitioners. Please thank them. Next time, I’ll provide an update on speed and group mentoring, the I-O careers study, and our collaboration with the EEOC.

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