Occupational psychology awards

Some of Britain’s leading occupational psychologists were honoured last night by the British Psychological Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology. The Division’s awards ceremony was held at the British Medical Association building in London.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was won by John Toplis. Mr Toplis has enjoyed a long and varied career spanning the public sector, education and consultancy. He was the founding director of the occupational psychology unit at Barking College of Technology (now the University of East London). Later, he became head of psychology services and then head of consultancy services in the training and development group at Royal Mail. He is also a former chair of the Division of Occupational Psychology itself.

The Academic Contribution to Practice Award went to Professor Adrian Furnham from University College London. Professor Furnham has lectured widely and has held scholarships and visiting professorships at many universities. He has written over 700 scientific papers and 57 books and is on the editorial boards of a number of journals. He is a past president of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society.

The Practitioner of the Year Award went to Laura Empey from the National Policing Improvement Agency, who has been helping to recruit the special constables needed for the 2012 Olympics in London. She has developed implemented and evaluated a new system that has replaced the 43 different ones that were used by local police forces.

The runner up in this category was Vicki Archer from the Work Psychology Group for her work with the Department of Health developing a new selection method for junior doctors.

The guest speaker at the event was Professor Geoffrey Beattie from the University of Manchester. He said: "The research and career achievements honoured at this evening’s event show that occupational psychology is continuing to grow both as an academic discipline and a profession. The work of Laura Empey and Vicki Archer, for instance, shows how widely its insights are now applied."