Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in Practice

The Award for Distinguished Contributions is aimed at psychologists who have made an outstanding contribution to psychology in practice.

It is open to any current practitioner in any area of professional applied psychology and is not restricted to members of the Society.

It is anticipated that the nominee will be employed or self-employed for the majority of their time as a professional psychologist engaged in the delivery of a service to the public.

The award will not be given to psychologists whose main area of work is within an academic department. It is intended to a be a mid-career award, given as a timely acknowledgement of the achievements of professional applied psychologists who are currently engaged in making an unusually significant contribution to professional practice within the UK.

Nominations should take the form of a narrative (1000 words maximum) highlighting the candidate’s achievements and the grounds for proposal. This should be supplemented by a curriculum vitae, the names and addresses of three potential referees, which should include at least one work colleague of the candidate who may be an employer and not necessarily a psychologist. If appropriate, relevant supporting documentary evidence (e.g. an account reported in the media of a professional unit for which the candidate is responsible) may be included.

Whereas the formal criteria for the award are limited to any `distinguished contribution to professional psychology’, it is intended that this criterion will be interpreted broadly and might include any of the following:

  • an innovative contribution to the development of what has proved to be an effective therapeutic technique
  • a major contribution towards developing a psychological service that has become a model for the delivery of professional services which others have followed
  • developing and implementing a selection system in a major organisation that increased the validity, utility and fairness of selection and was held up as a model for other organisations to adopt
  • leadership of an initiative which has resulted in policy relating to services such as education, employee selection, decisions on parole, or care of the elderly becoming based on sound psychological principles
  • a pioneering and sustained contribution to the development of a local psychological service which has for instance saved disadvantaged children from a life of crime in a specific local area or provided a model for best practice in dealing with the victims of violence

The Professional Practice Board  will appoint an Award Committee to select the recipients of the award to include the Chair of the Board and a nominee of each Member Network represented on the Board. The committee will consider all submissions on the basis of:

  • originality
  • implications for the candidate’s field of professional practice
  • implications for the welfare of the general public
  • the personal contribution of the candidate within their field of expertise
  • the degree of difficulty overcome in achieving development within their field of expertise
  • overall evidence of achievement

The Award Committee will have the opportunity each year to select one particularly distinguished example of such contributions where an individual psychologist can be shown to have played an outstanding role. As in the case of national honours, many equally worthy candidates will have to be bypassed in any one year but, over a period of time the Award Committee will attempt to select recipients as representatives of outstanding practice across the range of areas in which psychological knowledge is applied in professional practice.

The Society is committed to the achievement of equality of opportunity as an employer and in its dealings with members. It is also committed to ensuring equality of opportunity in academic and professional training and to users of psychological services. We aim to ensure that no job applicant or employee of the Society, member or user of psychological services receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of, for example, gender, colour, ethnic origin, nationality, religion, disability or age or is disadvantaged by terms or requirements which cannot be shown to be justified.

The award will confer life membership of the Society and a commemorative certificate will be presented to the recipient at the Annual Conference of the Society. The recipient will also deliver an address at the Society's Annual Conference.

This award is currently under review and it is anticipated it will reopen in 2016. 

For further details, contact Policy Advice Administrative Assistant.

Find out about previous award winners.

Other Society awards