1 Selection Policy 2014: Introduction University of Surrey PsychD Clinical Psychology Programme The Surrey PsychD Programme in Clinical Psychology is aware of the importance of recruiting and selecting high calibre trainees who will maintain and advance the standards of the Profession as well as providing an excellent service to clients, carers and colleagues within the NHS and other voluntary, statutory and private sector organisations providing health and social related care. This policy document outlines the principles on which the selection process is based, the way the process is organized and carried out, and how it is monitored, evaluated, and improved. Principles underpinning the Programme s selection policy The Programme has a firm commitment to equality of opportunity in terms of accessing clinical training. The selection process is designed to minimize unfair advantage where possible, and to allow truly able candidates to be recognized, whatever their background. The Programme appreciates the advantages to the profession of having a diverse make-up, and is committed to maintaining and enhancing the diversity of the profession proactively. To maximise the Programme s ability to recruit from diverse populations the selection committee and Board of Studies/the training committee equally value candidates who have had the opportunity of working in either NHS or other health related sectors, undertaken an assistant clinical psychology post or a research assistant post or who have gained experiences in other careers and are looking for a change in career pathway. The commitment to diversity includes encouraging those who have used mental as well physical health services to apply to the Programme. The Programme works in partnership with all its stakeholders. It is committed to ensuring that the selection processes and procedures are informed by regional stakeholders, including qualified clinical psychologists, NHS trusts employing clinical psychologists, commissioners of training, service users and carers, current trainee clinical psychologists, and assistant psychologist groups through consultation and feedback. The Programme has effective links with the Division of Clinical Psychology and other Faculties, Local Education and Training Boards, Health Education England (Kent Surrey and Sussex Health Education England & London), Special Interest groups and human resources departments within Trainees Employing Trust, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and the University to ensure that the programme is cognisant of relevant issues. The Programme operates a policy of openness and transparency in relation to its selection policy and procedures, with Regional and Employing Trust representation on the selection committee.
2 The Programme recognizes that clinical psychologists are trained within a cohort of fellow trainees: learning and development occurs through interaction and the sharing of different experiences, skills, and points of view. This means that as well as a candidate s individual merits, their likely contribution to the cohort as a whole should also be considered. The job description and person specifications are widely available (Appendix 1). The Programme meets the Standards of Education and Training required by the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) which is the regulatory body that approves postgraduate courses in clinical psychology. Successful completion of the programme provides eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC as a clinical psychologist. It is a legal requirement that anyone who wishes to practice as a clinical psychologist in the UK is on the HCPC Register. Therefore, upon successful completion of the training course, all trainees need to apply to the HCPC for registration. A registration fee is payable to the HCPC by the applicant (see for current information on fees). The Programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) allowing successful trainees to develop the competencies required by the BPS to be eligible for Chartered membership. Organizational Framework The selection committee is a subgroup of the Board of Studies. The admission tutors chair the Committee and report to the Board of Studies. The entire selection process is overseen by the admissions tutors and the selection committee. The membership of the selection committee includes representatives from the course team, the Service User and Carer Advisory Group and regional clinical psychologists and liaises with the Employing Trust. It is the responsibility of the selection committee to take account of new service and human resource directives annually. To this end formal conversations are held with the Human Resources department of Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Following these discussions any proposals about new selection criteria or processes are put forward to the Board of Studies/Training committee. Annual Timeline A selection committee meeting will be held immediately after the interviews in March to draw up a list of candidates to be offered places and a reserve list. Feedback from those involved in interviewing will be presented and discussed. The committee then meets in the early summer to obtain feedback about the selection procedures for that year and to generate proposals to improve or enhance procedures in the future. The committee meets again in September to review selection procedures and make recommendations for the following year. Selection Criteria The 2014 selection criteria are summarized in Appendix 2.
3 The Selection Process: Recruitment of potential candidates to the programme One of the roles of the admissions tutor(s) is the proactive process of informing and marketing the programme and the profession. This process is ongoing, and includes publicizing the training course and answering queries from potential applicants. This is the area in which the programme can potentially do most in terms of enhancing the diversity of applicants, as well as in helping level the playing field for applicants who may be disadvantaged by coming from less traditional backgrounds. The Programme like all other UK Courses advertises within the Clearing House Handbook and the Trainees provide entries to the Alternative Handbook to Clinical Psychology Training Courses. The Programme also advertises within the School of Psychology prospectus. Part one of selection procedure The first part of the selection process is inviting candidates who fulfil the initial eligibility criteria to sit a written test. Detailed information about these criteria is given in Appendix 2. Application forms are scrutinised by members of the course team and all candidates who hold a first or upper second class degree in Psychology with Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society and have at least nine months (full-time equivalent) of relevant experience are invited to sit a test at the University. All applicants whose first language is not English and whose university qualifications were not taught and examined in English must send evidence of their ability to communicate in the English language, to the Clearing House, with their application. To be eligible to apply to the Surrey University programme, the minimum International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score required is 7.0. The selection written test assesses academic ability, including critical thinking and written skills. Applicants with disabilities are given appropriate support to sit the test. Extra time is given to those with dyslexia. Following the test, candidates are ranked according to their scores on the written test. A short-listing meeting is held and the application forms of the top scoring 108 applicants are scrutinised again to ensure that they fulfil the minimum criteria. In the event that written test scores are tied then candidates are ranked. The criteria used for ranking are degree classification, publication record and post graduate qualification level. The top 108 candidates are offered an interview, with a further number placed on the reserve list for interviews. If a candidate drops out prior to interview, the next highest ranking candidate on the reserve list is offered their place. Part two of selection procedure The second part of the selection process is the interviewing of candidates (and by interviewing, this document refers to the entirety of the selection process that occurs when candidates attend the university for part two of the process). Candidates invited
4 for interview are asked to attend the university for a second time and are informed of what the interview process will entail by letter. This part of the procedure includes interviews assessing clinical, professional, and personal learning capacity and suitability for training. Applicants are expected to be able to demonstrate values commensurate with the NHS constitution and identified as essential for helping professionals in the NHS (the 6Cs ). The Programme interviews 108 candidates for each intake. Each interview panel consists of NHS Psychologists and Programme Team members. Service users and carers are also involved in the selection process. The interview process itself is not laid down in detail in this document, as it may change from year to year. Documentation detailing the current interview process is made available to interviewers beforehand and training is provided to all involved in interviewing. All new interviewers are paired with experienced members of the selection team. If new procedures are adopted training is put in place to ensure that all the interviewers are familiar and confident with the processes. In addition, if appropriate, new or inexperienced interviewers may be offered specific training. Transparency The programme is keen that the process is as open and transparent as possible, where that does not compromise the ability to run a valid process and differentiate between candidates on the basis of ability. To this end, candidates are given information on what the selection process will be like from a practical point of view, as well as information on the criteria that the interviewers will be using to make their decisions. The offer of training places The current number of training places available each year is 28 although this is subject to change each year. These numbers of candidates are offered a place, with a further group of candidates being placed on a reserve list. The length of this list will vary in length and depend on the performance of the candidates. Should a candidate who has been offered a place turn it down, the next highest ranked person on the reserve list is offered a place. Candidates on the reserve list are kept informed of this process by the Programmes Administrator. Monitoring, evaluation, and development In order to ensure that the selection process fulfils the requirements of the programme and its stakeholders, it is important that the process as a whole is monitored and evaluated. It is the responsibility of the admissions tutors to oversee this process, by ensuring that adequate data are collected, stored, and analysed. Issues to be monitored include the reliability and validity of the process, and how well the process meets the goal of enhancing diversity. Data from the clearing house is used to establish that applicants are continuing to be given equal opportunities. The monitoring includes the
5 written test and interviewing processes, and the information-giving, recruiting, and training processes.
6 Appendix 1 Job Description Post Title: Trainee Clinical Psychologist Service Hours: Responsible to: Location: Job Purpose: The post holder will be expected to work flexibly in line with the normal hours of operation required by the training programme and host placement Trusts. Nominated member of staff from the training programme and assigned placement supervisor(s). University programme location will be the normal place of work. Placement locations will vary during the course of the training programme. To undertake a Programme of professional training leading to a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology by means of the successful completion of the designated clinical placements and clinical, research and academic assignments Principal Duties: CLINICAL 1. To undertake clinical placements throughout the regions as advised by the Course Directors and Tutors, and in accordance with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) and British Psychological Society (BPS) requirements. 2. To travel to placements across the area covered by South West London, Surrey and West Sussex and arrive in time to undertake a full day of placement duties. 3. To complete all clinical assignments and tasks as indicated in the Programme and Assessment Regulations Handbook to the required standard. 4. To complete a log book of experience gained on placement. 5. To attend clinical supervision meetings with their allocated supervisor whilst on placement.
7 6. To become familiar and comply with the policies and procedures of the Trust or department providing the placement. ACADEMIC 1. To attend all lectures, workshops and other training events arranged by the Programme. 2. To complete all academic assignments and tasks as indicated in the Course Handbook and Programme Regulations book to the required standard. RESEARCH 1. To attend all lectures and other training events arranged by the Programme. 2. To complete all research assignments and tasks as indicated in the Programme and Assessment Regulations Handbook. 3. To disseminate the results of research within the NHS. HEALTH AND SAFETY/CLINICAL RISK 1. To maintain awareness of health and safety issues and clinical risk and ensure that any matters of concern are reported appropriately. 2. To be aware of the active duty of care owed to clients and the need to respond appropriately to evidence of abuse. 3. To be aware of the active duty of care owed to clients in terms of one s own fitness to practice and take appropriate and timely steps to ensure this at all times. OTHER RESPONSIBILITIES 1. To work within the professional practice guidelines, codes of conduct and ethics for clinical psychologists published by the HCPC and BPS. 2. To promote equal opportunities and to comply with the requirements of legislation and the Trust s and Universities policies and procedures. 3. To participate in the training review and appraisal process. 4. To participate in the fortnightly reflective practitioner and/or case discussion group. 5. To carry out other duties as may be agreed with the Programme Director and team.
8 GENERAL TRUST REQUIREMENTS (ADAPTED TO PROGRAMME PROCEDURES) 1. To fully participate in the Trust s performance review and personal development planning process as delegated to the HEI s on an annual basis. 2. Undertake training as necessary in line with the development of the post and as agreed with line manager as part of the personal development planning process. 3. To achieve and demonstrate agreed standards of personal and professional development within agreed timescales. 4. To contribute positively to the effectiveness and efficiency of the teams in which he/she works. 5. To undertake any other duties at the request of the line manager which are commensurate with the role, including project work, internal job rotation and absence cover. 6. To contribute to a healthy and safe working environment by adhering to health and safety regulations and Trust policies.
9 Person Specification: Trainee Clinical Psychologist Surrey University PsychD Clinical Psychology Training Programme Academic Background Essential: First degree in psychology or equivalent that confers graduate basis for chartered membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society. Either a first or upper second class degree; or, a lower second class degree as well as either a completed Masters by Research degree with average attainment of 65%, or as well as a completed PhD. Ability to undertake postgraduate study to a practitioner doctoral level. High level of proficiency in English to International English Language Testing System (IELTS) level 7 or above. Desirable: Some evidence of successful postgraduate study or publication. Research Competence Essential: Research training and experience at undergraduate level. Interest in research and an ability to undertake advanced research training and practice. Desirable: Active participation in clinically relevant applied research projects. Research training and experience at a postgraduate level. Clinical Experience Essential: At least nine months whole time equivalent experience of work in areas of direct relevance to Clinical Psychology practice and the NHS or experience of conducting clinical research. Experience of building and sustaining relationships with service users in relevant organisational contexts. Desirable: Supervised clinical practice or specific clinical skills training. Experience of work with a range of client groups.
10 Service Awareness Essential: Aware of current NHS context of Clinical Psychology Services. Committed to working in NHS funded services post-qualification. Recognition of service users, carers and public as stakeholders in the NHS. Desirable: Demonstrated ability to work in an inter-professional context. Demonstrated ability to work within a team. Demonstrated interest in areas of NHS priority. An appreciation of the need for clinical governance to ensure best clinical practice. Personal Qualities Essential: Ability to form empathic relationships with others in diverse populations and settings. Ability to work and contribute effectively in a group. High level of personal integrity. Ability to identify and employ mechanisms of clinical governance and self management to support and maintain clinical practice in the face of regular exposure to highly emotive material and challenging behaviour. Ability to work under pressure and manage stress, and to deliver all clinical, academic and research work and assignments within the stipulated timeframes of the training course. Ability to constructively reflect upon their own strengths and learning needs. Realistic appraisal of demands of training and professional practice. Desirable: Curiosity and strong motivation to learn. Leadership potential. Practical Circumstances Essential: Ability and willingness to travel across the area covered by South West London, Surrey and West Sussex within a reasonable timescale and arrive in time to undertake a full day of placement duties, subject to statement in Job Description regarding base. Holds a current, valid UK driving licence and has access to a car for work purposes unless an exemption is held under the DDA.
11 Appendix 2 Selection Criteria for the University of Surrey PsychD Clinical Psychology Programme Owing to the funding arrangements for this course, applications can only be considered from Home students. The University classifies students as home or overseas for fees purposes, based on the Education (Fees and Awards) Regulations Academic standards All candidates must be eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Society by the time they start the course. For candidates applying in the final year of an undergraduate course they must expect to be eligible by the time they will have completed their course. Candidates must have excellent written and verbal communication skills. All candidates whose first language is not English and whose university qualifications were not taught and examined in English must have achieved a minimum International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7.0. All candidates should have a first or upper second (2:1) class undergraduate degree. An upper second class degree or better is essential for candidates who have an undergraduate degree only. This requirement also applies to candidates who hold a conversion qualification in psychology who have an undergraduate degree in another subject. If an applicant s undergraduate degree mark falls below an upper second then achievement at 65% or over in a Master s level qualification by Research is required or a completed PhD. Experience Applicants may either be graduates or those who are in their final year of an undergraduate psychology degree. In all cases, applicants must have at least nine months full-time (or equivalent if part-time) relevant experience at the point of application. Applicants are not expected to have extensive previous experience in a range of settings. What is important is that applicants can demonstrate that their relevant experience has allowed them to apply psychological principles in practice. Applicants must also show that their experience has allowed them to gain a realistic sense of what working as an applied psychologist in clinical or health settings means. Applications on the basis of clinical or health-related research experience will only be considered if this research experience involved direct contact with clinically-relevant groups involving the application of direct methods of assessment or testing (e.g. psychometric tests, diagnostic interviews, biological samples, experimental designs, semi-structured interviews). Applicants may have attained their experience in either a paid or voluntary capacity. Mature applicants or those with experience outside of traditional healthcare settings are strongly encouraged to apply if their experience is
12 relevant. It is important that experience is sustained and that some of it is recent (i.e. gained within the past three years). The course is committed to offering equal opportunities in accessing clinical psychology training, and does not discriminate on the basis of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. The course is keen to encourage applicants of all backgrounds and from a variety of career pathways, so all experience is carefully evaluated. The candidate should demonstrate that they can reflect on their experiences with evidence of psychological thinking, and can show that the experiences they have had have led to the development of skills that would be valuable as a trainee clinical psychologist. Research All candidates should show an awareness of the importance of research and its integration within and relevance to clinical practice. The applicant is required, as a minimum, to have conducted some research even if this is limited to undergraduate work. Clinically related research experience is highly valued. Evidence of research publications adds to the strength of the application. Candidates should be able to show an awareness of the importance of a theoretical or scientific basis to clinical practice, and how theory and practice are linked. Interpersonal skills Candidates should be able to demonstrate a high level of interpersonal skills. Dress, manner, and behaviour need to be professional. Candidates should be able to communicate effectively, listen well, present ideas clearly and concisely, and engage in robust debate. Candidates need to have a good awareness of professional and personal boundaries, and an awareness of their own strengths and weaknesses. Candidates should be able to demonstrate the values of care, compassion, courage, communication, competence and commitment. Pre-employment checks All applicants offered a training place following the selection process must undergo a number of pre-employment checks before any offer of a place can be confirmed. The checks are conducted by the employing Trust. If these checks are not satisfactory then any offer of a place would be withdrawn. Given all trainees will be working within the NHS with vulnerable adults and children these checks are compulsory. The checks are as follows: Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Check Criminal records checks are made through the Criminal Records Bureau. An Enhanced CRB check will disclose any criminal convictions and police cautions, reprimands or warnings, whenever they occurred. Organisations that make CRB checks must comply with the CRB code of practice which means that any information obtained via a CRB check is used fairly and kept securely (see
13 for more information). The CRB fee is paid by the employing Trust. Occupational Health Check All potential NHS employees must have a health check prior to commencing employment. The health check is conducted by Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and includes references from the applicant s most recent employer (including details of sick leave), a health questionnaire, an interview with an occupational health nursing advisor and, where necessary, an appointment with an occupational health physician. All checks take into account the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). In addition, the employing Trust will wish to take up further employment references other than those sent to the Clearing House as part of the application. Should applicants obtain a training place then they are required, throughout the duration of the training programme, to inform the programme director of any significant changes to health status or if they are subject to criminal conviction.