The purpose of the Special Group for Independent Practitioners is to support the needs of independent practitioners to combine competently and ethically their psychological practice with the necessity to develop and maintain a business.
The demands of independent psychology practice are essentially different from those of psychologists working in paid employment, posing specific challenges with respect to the maintenance of professional standards of competence and ethics.
Due to these unique challenges, independent practitioners have much to offer in terms of experience and perspective.
Many have developed innovative, effective working practices that deserve to be celebrated and can provide valuable learning points for psychologists in both statutory and independent fields.
SGIP Priorities for 2020
The SGIP Committee agreed to action the following priorities over the course of 2020:
- to clarify and publicise the benefits of SGIP membership and the £10 annual membership fee
- to disseminate the benefits of SGIP membership and representation at Branches and Divisions (and provide short updates of this on the website)
- to provide clear information and text on obtaining “Informed Consent”
- to provide clear information on optimal ways to convey an Independent psychologists’ terms and conditions
- to provide summary information on SGIP representations on IP’s behalf and the outcome
We aim to concentrate goals and activities around the following themes:
- Integrating the various areas of applied psychology: The group aims to span the various areas of applied psychology and a diverse mix of business models. The main goal is to draw together all areas of psychological practice and expertise in the independent field as a resource for members. One of our first exercises will be to survey our members to understand their particular needs and wishes.
- Maintaining best practice with respect to the legal position of independent practitioners: Not only do independent practitioners have to address the legal issues connected with their business arrangements, but many other legal aspects of the applied psychologist’s professional position also change when practising independently. The Special Group will advise and inform regarding a range of obligations and considerations for independent practitioners. Specific issues such as those currently impacting on court work will be highlighted and publicised.
- Promoting best practice: We envisage establishing a working group to review the existing BPS Guidelines for Independent Practice (2010) and providing a representative for the PPB (Professional Practice Board)
- Providing guidance and discussion around ethics and professional boundaries: Since independent practitioners often have to balance their own need of maintaining their business against the needs of their clients, their position is essentially different from that of employed psychologists. The special group aims to pay specific attention to the ethics of this balance.
- Provision of a forum for networking, discussion and research: the group shall undertake to establish a discussion forum within the BPS members hub area and in addition organise at least one CPD event per year with a specific independent practice theme. Events will be tailored to the needs of the membership and to appropriate experience levels (from absolute beginner – or even just interested – to long-term expert).
Bring together and liaise with Networks
- CPD Events
- Email list
Developing and maintaining a business
- Members + SGIP + Public
- Ethical practice
- Members + SGIP = clients made more explicit
Future – Workforce Developments
- Client involvement
- Cottage industry
- Group practices (Variety of psychologists)
- More international in reach
- Multidisciplinary contracted organisations
- CPD/Networking event
Providing a service
- Networks of collaborations
- NHS / Public Sector IP’s /
- Not IP’s now?
- Single practitioners /small GP’s / Large GP’s
Supporting needs of Independent Practitioners
- Serve our members keeping them up to date