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Division of Occupational Psychology

The Division of Occupational Psychology exists to promote the professional interests of occupational psychologists and to support the development of psychology both as a profession and as a body of knowledge and skills.

For any queries about the DOP please contact the Member Networks team at [email protected]


Foundation and formation

1919 Was originally founded in 1919 as one of the first three sections of the society.
1927 Its membership had risen to 49 members, although this fell slightly to 44 in 1928.
1956 The membership suggested that the title of the section be changed from Industrial to Occupation and, under the society's new Articles and By-Laws, the Industrial Section was rechristened as the Occupational Psychology Section in 1958.
1971 The BPS Council elected 131 founder members to the Division of Occupational Psychology, with the DOP officially coming into being on the 2nd of July, at which point it ran alongside the previously established Occupational Psychology Section.
1974 It was agreed that the DOP should be primarily concerned with professional matters, and the Occupational Section with scientific matters.
2001 The Division was reconstituted to include members of the former Occupational psychology section, and now covers both the professional and scientific aspects of occupational psychology.

The First DOP Committee consisted of:

Chair  Professor Sylvia Shimmin (deceased)  
Honorary Secretary  Gilbert Jessup 

Dr Alec Martin

Dr Edgar Anstey (deceased) 

Dr R. B. Buzzard (deceased)

Mr Donald Wallis (deceased)

Mr D. C. Duncan (deceased)

Mrs S. M. Downs (deceased)

Professor Hywel Murrell (deceased)

Sources:  BPS Annual reports.

How the division has evolved

    1978  Annual conference papers - Editorial Note

    Civil Service Selection Board

    Fifty Years of Occupational Psychology in Britain

    Significant contributions to occupational psychology

    This section highlights significant contributions made to the Division of Occupation Psychology over the years by several of its most prominent members:

    Dr Edgar Anstey

    Jim Dukes

    Professor Clive Fletcher

    Professor Hywell Murrell

    Professor Victor Dulewicz  


    Dr Céline Rojon conducted interviews with individuals who were instrumental in the foundation of the Division of Occupational Psychology; were influential in its early history; and have made significant contributions to the field of occupational psychology.

    These interviews, no longer than 40 minutes each, have now been made available online to the public at the following link:

    The interviewees

    • Dr Pat Lindley
    • Professor Dave Bartram
    • Professor Gerry Randell
    • Professor Ivan Robertson
    • Professor Peter Warr

    Each gave generously of their time to allow us to benefit from their knowledge and experiences.

    The videos should therefore provide a great way to learn about how these esteemed occupational psychologists entered the field, their reflections upon their work, and their insights into the future of occupational psychology.

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