Membership Standards Board: Annual Review 2011

The Membership Standards Board (MSB) met three times and considered many proposals and policies in relation to membership standards. These included broadening the range of specialist registers, development of relationships with non-UK psychology bodies and extending accreditation through partnership to non-UK institutions. 

We also established a National Awarding Committee through which the Society will award the new European qualification in psychology, EuroPsy. This will be available early in 2012 and we are now looking to incorporate more specialist European qualifications such as the European Advanced Certificates in both Work and Organisational Psychology and Psychotherapy.

Mark Forshaw has been appointed as the new Chair and will take over the role when I become President of the Society from June 2012.

Accreditation through partnership

The new accreditation through partnership model for engagement with universities and students has now run for a full academic year. Focussing on quality enhancement, the new model encourages collaboration and on making the experience of psychology students, trainees, staff and employers as positive as possible. Feedback suggests that this new approach has been welcomed.

Five undergraduate and 30 postgraduate visits to psychology programmes were undertaken during the year. 

Awards and qualifications

Following HPC approval of our Qualification in Counselling Psychology and Qualification in Forensic Psychology in 2010, during 2011 the Society achieved HPC approval for the following qualifications; Sport and Exercise Psychology, Scottish Educational Psychology and Health Psychology. We are indebted to our colleagues on the Qualifications Standards Committee (QSC) and the many members involved in supporting our qualifications through the Qualification Boards.

With a focus on continuous improvement QSC has been working to improve the experience for Candidates, Supervisors and Assessors. This has included enhancements to induction, training, guidance and online support.

BPS Learning Centre

The Learning Centre provides support for our members to meet their professional development and learning needs. The 2011 programme has been our most successful with over 2,000 people attended a Learning Centre event. Over 2,250 people also undertook our online autism awareness course and there has been an increase in the number of providers registering with the CPD Approval Scheme.

The Learning Centre has also been working with the HPC to develop and publish example CPD profiles to support our members with the forthcoming CPD audit process.

Committee on Test Standards and the Psychological Testing Centre

The Committee on Test Standards (CTS) has been working towards the development of standards covering all contexts for testing (Work, Education and Health).

Standards have been completed for all of the above contexts which cover three competence levels defined by the European Federation of Psychology Associations (EFPA) and our application for approval of existing BPS test user qualifications has been granted. 

In September 2011 a new modular qualification system for all Educational and Occupational Testing qualifications and an additional qualification at Level One in Educational testing was launched. The previous Register of Competence in Psychological Testing is now known as the Register of Qualifications in Test Use and has moved online into the public domain at www.psychtesting.org.uk

A working party comprising CTS and Division of Forensic Psychology members has been developing test standards in forensic contexts and consultations took place on this during 2011.

The CTS has continued to engage in developments taking place internationally (through ISO and the International Test Commission ITC), to ensure that our test user qualification procedures will be internationally recognised.

Membership and registration

Overall membership increased and Society membership is now at its highest ever level, testament to the value of our membership offering.

We anticipated a decline in Student membership as a result of changes to our Statutes which no longer allow non-accredited students to join as Student members. However, during the year we expanded our range of subscriber memberships to provide opportunities for non-accredited students and others interested in psychology to join the Society. There are now three levels of subscriber membership; Affiliate, Subscriber and e-Subscriber. Subscriber memberships are proving popular and extend our reach to non-psychologists.

In response to the changing needs of our members, new registers for coaching psychologists and those providing services through the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) initiative were launched. 

CRB checks are now available for those working in Scotland and Chartered Members receive a welcome pack on joining to enhance their membership experience.

I would like to thank my colleagues on the MSB, the constituent policy development boards and the Directorate staff for their hard work. 

Dr P. Banister, Chair

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