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Division of Forensic Psychology

The Division of Forensic Psychology promotes the professional interests of forensic psychologists and aims to contribute to the ongoing development of psychology as a profession and as a body of knowledge and skills.

Who we are

The Division of Forensic Psychology is the largest network of Forensic Psychologists in the UK, collectively representing the profession and associated professionals within the field. 

  • We aim to be responsive in supporting and advising members around professional practice issues
  • We are the professional voice for forensic psychology 
  • We promote forensic psychology in policy development 
  • We provide continuing professional development opportunities for members
  • We publish research and documents on key issues of relevance to our stakeholders

What is Forensic Psychology?

Forensic Psychology is the application of psychology within the legal system to create safer communities and to assist people to find pathways away from criminal behaviour.

Forensic Psychologists work across many settings including, HM Prison and Probation Service, Hospitals, secure children’s homes, police forces, Courts and Universities.

In practice this means Forensic Psychologists assess, formulate and intervene in those engaging in harmful behaviours, provide advice and expertise to other professionals, and develop and facilitate training and knowledge in forensic settings, all with the ultimate goal of contributing to the development of a safer society.

Division of Forensic Psychology

Find out more

Further reading about the Division of Forensic Psychology

Chair's message

Honorary Professor Dr Geraldine Akerman

I feel very honoured to be elected to the Chair of the executive committee of the Division of Forensic Psychology (DFP) and help take forward the vision for this vital profession.

I support the promotion of Forensic Psychology Nationally and Internationally with the intention of raising the profile of the work. Also, the application of forensic psychology into a full range of settings in line with the skills and competence. 

I have been a Forensic Psychologist for many years and enjoy the wide variety of the roles it offers as a practitioner, researcher and lecturer.  I have been a member of the executive committee for many years in varied roles. Each has taught me a great deal. The annual conference, CPD events and publication, Forensic Update provide the opportunity to showcase our work. We are raising to the challenge of the current Covid-19 pandemic and continued to work through the use of digital technology. 

As I take on the role of Chair there are a number of challenges ahead. These include:

  • Making our division more diverse and inclusive and to aid in this an Expression of Interest have been sought for a person to join the committee to drive this forward
  • Increased input from all those we work with in our various settings
  • Discussion on the subject of prescribing rights for Psychologists, which as we already know has the potential to be divisive  
  • Highlighting the impact of Covid-19 on issues such as increased rates of Interpersonal Violence, stalking and so forth 
  • Assessment, Diagnosis and Formulation, where there may also be some potential for disagreement 
  • Assistant Psychologists and Recruitment by Competence 
  • Forging the relationship with the HCPC.   

The committee exists for the membership and so all suggestions and views are welcome. Every member can participate in the work of the DFP. Please keep in touch and contact with ideas and responding to shaping the work of this. 

Honorary Professor Dr Geraldine Akerman AFBPS, Chartered and Registered Forensic Psychologist, Europsych, C.Sci. 

Strategic plan

The DFP committee have identified five core strategic aims for the next three years

This is not about writing another plan, but it is about consolidating our achievements over the past several years and trying to place the Division (and our members) in a position to meet current and future challenges and opportunities.  To this end, the current strategic plan seeks to focus on: communication with members and external stakeholders; engaging with our members to support mutual learning; developing skills amongst our membership in order to enhance practice and service delivery; collaborating and engaging with our stakeholders to inform policy and practice; and disseminating knowledge pertaining to forensic psychology amongst members and wider forensic psychology community.  

DFP Strategic Priorities

The strategic plan should be owned by all members of the Division and as Chair, I invite you to link in with the Committee to share ideas or to support some of the board’s projects and initiatives.  Likewise, I ask you to become active participants, using the opportunities that you have in your own professional lives to help support and further these strategic aims whether this be by showcasing your work at conferences, publishing articles, informing government, organisations or policy, or sharing good practice from your own field relating to service delivery.  

Together we can further the field of forensic psychology and champion the discipline in the UK and internationally and hopefully this update to the Divisional strategic plan provides the impetus for this.

The DFP Strategic Plan

In an ever-changing world it is imperative that as a Division we keep abreast of developments in our profession, ensuring that we are able to respond to the needs of the communities and stakeholders that we serve.

DFP Strategic Plan

This download can only be accessed by DFP members

Devolved nations DFP pages

Publications

Forensic Update

Forensic Update aims to communicate current information on professional and practice matters to practitioners and researchers, and to act as a forum for discussion and debate. 

Download

Issues in Forensic Psychology

The aim of the series is to promote and publish the work of forensic psychologists and other associated forensic professionals through the production of a high-standard review publication, in order to provide critical debate on current issues.

Download

What is Forensic Psychology?

Forensic Psychology is the application of psychology within the legal system to create safer communities and to assist people to find pathways away from criminal behaviour.

Forensic Psychologists work across many settings including, HM Prison and Probation Service, Hospitals, secure children’s homes, police forces, Courts and Universities. In practice this means Forensic Psychologists assess, formulate and intervene in those engaging in harmful behaviours to lead to safer societies. They communicate psychological knowledge and advice to other professionals.

They develop and facilitate training for other professionals in forensic settings. They contribute to the international evidence base for forensic psychology.

Qualification in Forensic Psychology

The Qualification in Forensic Psychology (Stage 2) is the independent route to training as a forensic psychologist.

It is a doctoral level qualification designed to enable you to train flexibly, within a structured and supportive framework.

Forensic Psychology Trainees Member Discussion Email List

To be on the DFP Trainees Member Discussion Email List you need to become an in-training member of this Division as this is a member benefit.Here trainees can post queries, share ideas and offer support to others.

To join the list please contact [email protected] quoting ‘DFP Trainees Member Discussion Email List’ and your membership number in the subject line.

DFP member spotlight: six questions with Rachael Wheatley

Name: Dr Rachael Wheatley

Job title: Cluster psychology lead (HMPPS); Registered Forensic Psychologist; BPS chartered psychologist 

How did you get into this career? 

I attended a Job Simulation Assessment Centre around two decades ago, having completed my MSc in Forensic & Legal Psychology.

What do you love about it? 

I love learning about myself and about people. I believe that in different circumstances people would probably not choose to offend to achieve their goals. I don’t believe most people enjoy committing offences and are probably often conflicted and therefore not achieving genuine life happiness. I love helping people discover the elements that have led to their offending and explore ways they can live by their values and find happiness in their lives in other ways. 

What are you looking forward to in your career? 

I'm looking forward to improving our way of working as forensic psychologists with those who stalk, to hopefully impact upon their ability to cease and desist. 

What do you think the DPF's areas of development could be?

We could develop further with the DFP. I would like to see more active engagement with policy makers and government, particularly in relation to influencing stalking related risk management and especially treatment approaches.

The Division of Forensic Psychology annual awards celebrate excellence in Forensic Psychology practice and research, recognising success and sharing innovations and best practice in the field. 

To ensure that we celebrate the work and successes of our members we have this revised and extended the range of awards and updated the nomination process.

The DFP Committee hope that these changes will provide a renewed energy and focus in our awards while providing some continuation of the awards we have run for many years.

The winners of these awards will be announced in advance of the DFP Conference in June and the winners of each category will be invited to an awards presentation ceremony which will take place on Day one of the conference.

  • Please note these awards are free to enter.

Excellence in Forensic Psychology Practice

The Excellence in Forensic Psychology Practice Award replaces the Senior Practitioner Award. We welcome nominations from or on behalf of Forensic Psychologists who have demonstrated excellence in practice.

Entry criteria 

Nominations can be made either by or on behalf of a psychologist who conducts Forensic Psychology practice.

  • The nominee must be a Full Member of the Division of Forensic Psychology (DFP)
  • The nominator can be anyone.

Assessment criteria

We will be assessing the extent to which the nominee has demonstrated excellence in Forensic Psychology Practice against the following areas:

  • Evidence base: Quality of gathered information (theoretical / methodological basis / stakeholders / practitioners / organisational data).
  • Impact: The extent to which their work has had an impact on individuals, organisations and stakeholders (for example contribution to learning).
  • Visibility: The extent to which their work illustrates the value of Forensic Psychology.

Each criteria will be rated on a scale from 1-7 and a minimum of 12 points must be achieved in order to receive the award.

If no submissions of sufficient merit are received, no award will be made.

Guidance for nominations

You will need the following information:

Nominee information

(Q1*) Nominee name

(Q2*) Nominee BPS number

(Q3*) Nominee institution

Nominator information

(Q4*) Nominator name

(Q5*) Nominator institution

(Q6*) Nominator contact email address

You will also be asked to provide information in relation to the following questions:

(Q7*) Please provide a summary of the nominee’s work (max 300 words)

(Q8*) Please provide details of how they have developed the evidence for their approach (including theoretical or research basis, methodology, ethics) and how this demonstrates excellence in practice (max 300 words)

(Q9*) Please provide details of how they delivered the project (including overcoming challenges, innovative practice) (max 300 words)

(Q10*) Please outline the impact on the work (for example benefits for clients, end users, contribution to individual and organisational learning etc.) and how this has been evaluated (max 300 words)

How to apply

Judging process

Awards will be judged by a panel of Forensic Psychologists from the Division of Forensic Psychology Committee. 

The Awards

The winner will:

  1. Be asked to give an acceptance speech at the 2022 DFP conference. 
  2. Receive a certificate
  3. Receive an award

Expenses (maximum £150) and the one day conference admission will be covered.

Excellence in Forensic Psychology Research

The Excellence in Forensic Psychology Research Award replaces our previous Senior Academic Award. We would like to welcome nominations for exceptional research which has had a significant impact in the field of Forensic Psychology, for example further research, practice and policy.

Please note that those within five years of their Doctorate Level research should consider the Excellence in Forensic Psychology Practice/Research (Early Career) Award.

Entry criteria

Nominations can be made either by or on behalf of an academic psychologist who conduct Forensic Psychology research.

  • The nominee must be a Full Member of the Division of Forensic Psychology (DFP)         
  • The nominator can be anyone.

Assessment criteria

We would like to welcome nominations for exceptional research which has had a significant impact in various ways, for example further research, practice and policy.

  • Competence: The extent to which this person's work has demonstrated excellence in practice/ research methodology.
  • Impact: The extent to which their practice/ research has had an impact on individuals, organisations, policy or stakeholders.
  • Science: The extent to which this person has produced robust, quality forensic practice or research. 
  • Visibility: The extent to which their practice illustrates the value of Forensic Psychology or the extent to which their research has been disseminated to those within the field and outside of this (for example publishing record, conference or public presentations). 

Each will be rated on a scale from 1-7 and a minimum of 16 points must be achieved in order to receive the award.

If no submissions of sufficient merit are received, no award will be made.

Guidance for nominations

You will need the following information

Nominee information

(Q1*) Nominee name

(Q2*) Nominee BPS number

(Q3*) Nominee institution

Nominator information

(Q4*) Nominator name

(Q5*) Nominator institution

(Q6*) Nominator contact email address

You will also be asked to provide information in relation to the following questions:

(Q7*) Please provide an overview of the research undertaken (including scope, topics etc.) (max 300 words)

(Q8*) Please provide details to demonstrate excellence in the research (including ethical implications and how competence was ensured in the research) (max 300 words)

(Q9*) Please provide details of the impact of the research and how this has been established (max 300 words)

(Q10*) Please provide details of how the research was disseminated both within Forensic Psychology and beyond (max 300 words)

How to apply

Judging process

Awards will be judged by a panel of Forensic Psychologists from the Division of Forensic Psychology Committee. 

Nominations will close at midnight on Friday 15 April 2022

The Awards

The winner will:

  1. Be asked to give an acceptance speech at the 2021 DFP conference. 
  2. Receive a certificate
  3. Receive an award

Expenses (maximum £150) and the one day conference admission will be covered.

Excellence in Forensic Psychology Practice or Research - Early Career

The Excellence in Forensic Psychology Practice or Research (Early Career) Award replaces Junior Award of the DFP.  It celebrates the work of those who have qualified more recently. We welcome nominations from or on behalf of Forensic Psychologists who have demonstrated excellence in practice early within their career.

Please note that those with more than five years of Doctorate Level research should consider the Excellence in Forensic Psychology Practice/Research Award.

Entry criteria

Nominations can be made either by or on behalf of a Forensic Psychologist who has engaged in Forensic Psychology Practice or conduct Forensic Psychology research.

  • The nominee must be a Full Member of the Division of Forensic Psychology (DFP)
  • The nominator can be anyone.

Assessment criteria

We will be assessing the extent to which the nominee has demonstrated excellence in Forensic Psychology Practice or Research against the areas outlined below. As an early career award, it will be evaluated in this context.

  • Competence: The extent to which this person's work has demonstrated excellence in practice/ research methodology.
  • Impact: The extent to which their practice/ research has had an impact on individuals, organisations, policy or stakeholders.
  • Science: The extent to which this person has produced robust, quality forensic practice or research. 
  • Visibility: The extent to which their practice illustrates the value of Forensic Psychology or the extent to which their research has been disseminated to those within the field and outside of this (for example publishing record, conference or public presentations). 

Each will be rated on a scale from 1-7 and a minimum of 16 points must be achieved in order to receive the award.

If no submissions of sufficient merit are received, no award will be made.

Guidance for nominations

You will need the following information

Type of nomination

(Q1*)Is this a practice or research nomination?

Nominee information

(Q2*)Nominee name

(Q3*)Nominee BPS number

(Q4*)Nominee institution

Nominator information 

(Q5*)Nominator name

(Q6*)Nominator institution

(Q7*)Nominator contact email address

You will also be asked to provide information in relation to the following 

(Q8*)Please provide a summary of the nominee’s practice/ research (max 300 words)

(Q9*)Please provide details of how they have developed the evidence for their approach (including theoretical or research basis, methodology, ethics) and how this demonstrates excellence in practice/ research (max 300 words)

(Q10*)Please outline the impact on the work (for example benefits for clients, end users, contribution to individual and organisational learning etc.) and how this has been evaluated (max 300 words)

How to apply

Judging process

Awards will be judged by a panel of Forensic Psychologists from the Division of Forensic Psychology Committee. 

Nominations will close at midnight on Friday 15 April 2022

The Awards

The presentation ceremony will be held on the opening day of Division of Forensic Psychology Annual Conference at the Divisional Awards Ceremony. The winner will:

  1. Receive a certificate
  2. Receive an award

Expenses (maximum £150) and the one day conference admission will be covered.

Lifetime Contribution to Forensic Psychology

The Lifetime Contribution to Forensic Psychology Award replaces the Lifetime Achievement Award. We welcome nominations on behalf of Forensic Psychologists and academic psychologists who conduct Forensic Psychology research and who have made an outstanding and sustained contribution professionally. This might be through work which has had a significant impact on the public, in developing our understanding of psychology in work contexts or a substantial contribution to the Division.

Entry criteria

Nominations can be made either by or on behalf of DFP members. Where self-nominations are made, we require a supporting nominator.

  • The nominee must
  1. be a Full Member of Division of Forensic Psychology (DFP)
  2. have achieved an advanced stage in their career and may have retired
  • have TWO nominators who can be anyone.

Assessment criteria

We will be assessing the extent to which the nominee has made an outstanding and sustained contribution professionally. They may have demonstrated leadership in professional Society roles or within an academic or practice setting. Their impact may have been within the profession or across society and in government.

The following are examples of contexts in which you may have made a substantial contribution. These are not intended to be exhaustive or restrictive.

  1. broadening participation in Forensic Psychology
  2. contributed to a change in government policy
  3. contributed to a societal change
  4. contributed to raising standards
  5. raising the profile of Forensic Psychology
  6. significant and substantial contribution to the understanding of an area of Forensic psychology research/practice.
  7. significant contribution to the BPS in a leadership role (e.g. trustee or committee leadership)
  8. significant contribution to the DFP in a leadership role

Nominees will be assessed against the following criteria

  • Competence: The extent to which this person's work ensured that new and existing members of the profession have the required skill sets to function effectively in their roles/ensured standards of practice of those using Forensic Psychology methods.
  • Employability: The extent to which this person has promoted opportunities for the employment of Forensic psychologists within diverse organisations.
  • Influence: The extent to which this person has impacted guidance and insight for policy makers, organisations, individuals, and stakeholders when making policy decisions that is informed by Forensic psychology.
  • Science: The extent to which this person has advanced knowledge or practice?
  • Visibility: The extent to which this person has increased the visibility of Forensic Psychology and raised public awareness of its contribution to society.

Each will be rated on a scale from 1-7 and a minimum of 20 points must be achieved in order to receive the award.

If no submissions of sufficient merit are received, no award will be made.

Guidance for nominations

You will need the following information:

Nominee information

(Q1*)Nominee name

(Q2*)Nominee BPS number

(Q3*)Please provide details on how the nominee/lead has achieved an advanced stage in their career or details if the nominee\lead has retired from such role (max 300 words)

Nominator 1 & 2 information

(Q4*)Nominator name

(Q5*)Nominator institution

(Q6*)Nominator contact email address

You will also be asked to provide information in relation to the following questions:

(Q7*)Please provide an overview of the contexts in which the nominee has made an outstanding contribution (max 300 words)

(Q8*)Please provide details of what was done/achieved to make an outstanding contribution (max 300 words)

(Q9*)Please provide an explanation of the impact of the work (max 300 words)

How to apply

Judging process

Awards will be judged by a panel of Forensic Psychologists from the Division of Forensic Psychology Committee. 

Nominations will close at midnight on Friday 15 April 2022

The Awards

The winner will:

  1. Be asked to give an acceptance speech at the 2021 DFP conference. 
  2. Receive a certificate
  3. Receive an award

Expenses (maximum £150) and the one day conference admission will be covered.

Student Prize for Excellence in Forensic Psychology

The Student Prize for Excellence in Forensic Psychology recognises postgraduate and doctoral level projects that have made a valuable contribution and / or potential real world impact to the field of Forensic Psychology.

Entry criteria

Nominations can be made either by or on behalf of an individual engaging in research as part of their postgraduate level study.  

  • The nominee must
  1. Be a member of Division of Forensic Psychology (DFP) and 
  2. Be on a BPS accredited course
  3. Be registered at a UK institution on a postgraduate course related to Forensic Psychology (including a Stage 2 accredited course) or have graduated within the last year
  • The nominator can be anyone.

Assessment criteria

  • Competence: The extent to which this person’s work has demonstrated excellence in research methodology (for example using innovative techniques).
  • Influence: The extent to which this person’s research has contributed to knowledge, practice or policy.
  • Science: The extent to which this person has produced quality research (for example gaining quality samples, addressing real world problems etc.).
  • Visibility: The extent to which this person’s research has demonstrated the value of Forensic Psychology?

Each will be rated on a scale from 1-7 and a minimum of 16 points must be achieved in order to receive the award.

If no submissions of sufficient merit are received, no award will be made.

Guidance for nominations

You will need the following information

Nominee information

(Q1*)Nominee name

(Q2*)Nominee institution

(Q3*)Nominee BPS number

(Q4*)Nominee course title

(Q5*)Please select one,

  1. Currently a postgraduate student on an accredited course of study
  2. Currently undertaking a Stage 2 qualification
  3. Graduated

(Q6*)When did the nominee graduate?

Nominator information 

(Q7*)Nominator name

(Q8*)Nominator institution

(Q9*)Nominator contact email address

You will also be asked to provide information in relation to the following questions:

(Q10*)Project Supervisor name

(Q11*)Project Supervisor position / title

(Q12*)Project Supervisor academic institution

(Q13*)Project Supervisor email address

(Q14*)Please provide details of:

  1. Name of project
  2. Date project was completed
  3. Institution where research was conducted

(Q15*)Please upload the project information (max 2,000 words).  Project information should cover the following areas:

  • An overview of the project conducted
  • An overview of the results found and the implications of these
  • How the nominee dealt with ethical issues in their project
  • The contribution provided to the field of Forensic psychology / potential real-world impact
  • The methodology adopted and the rationale underpinning this decision 
  • The theory underlining your project

How to apply

Judging process

Awards will be judged by a panel of Forensic Psychologists from the Division of Forensic Psychology Committee. 

Nominations will close at midnight on Friday 15 April 2022

The Awards

The presentation ceremony will be held on the opening day of Division of Forensic Psychology Annual Conference at the Divisional Awards Ceremony. The winner will:

  1. Be invited to submit a poster presentation at the DFP conference this year
  2. Receive a certificate
  3. Receive an award

Expenses (maximum £150) and the one day conference admission will be covered.

 

 

Previous award winners

2021

DFP Excellence in Forensic Psychology Practice or Research - Early Career Award 2020

Caitlin Brown 

DFP Excellence in Forensic Psychology Practice Award  

Kerensa Hocking

DFP Excellence in Forensic Psychology Practice Award  

Siobhan Keating

2020

Lifetime Achievement Award 

Adrian Needs  Linda Blud

Excellence in Forensic Psychology – Research

Rebecca Milne

2014-2019

Award for Distinguished Contributions to Academic Knowledge in Forensic Psychology

2015: Graham Towl

Student Prize for Excellence in Forensic Psychology 

2019: Veronica Warn

Excellence in Forensic Psychology Practice or Research - Early Career Award

2019: Tamsin Higgs

Excellence in Forensic Psychology Practice Award

2019: Claire Bainbridge

Lifetime Contribution to Forensic Psychology

2019: Theresa Gannon

Excellence in Forensic Psychology Research Award

2019: Kevin Browne

Award for Distinguished Contributions to Professional Practice in Forensic Psychology

2018: Geraldine Akerman

2017: Ruby Bell

2016: Dawn Fisher

2015: Roisin Hall

2014: Jacqueline Bates-Gaston

Junior Award in Forensic Psychology for work of outstanding quality and innovation

2018: Louise Carter

2017: Helen Thomas

2016: Juliane Kloess

2015: Jennifer Bamford

2014: Jamie Walton

The DFP Committee

Chair - Nicola Bowes

Nic is a forensic psychologist and has experience of working clinically with people who have committed serious offences.  Her specialism and research interests focus on criminal violence and in the prevention of, treatment of and management of violence.   Nic’s research was accepted within the Research Excellence Framework (REF), 2014 and the most recent REF of 2021. This means that at least 50% of her work was assessed as and judged to be either ‘Internationally Excellent’ or ‘World Leading’ and none of her work was rated as less than ‘Internationally Recognised’.  

Nic has experience of directing clinical trials, in challenging environments (e.g. [prison settings) and undertaking some health economic outcomes (e.g. Bowes et al. 2014).  She works extensively with external partners to ensure her research is applied and has the potential to impact on both policy and practice.  She has undertaken more than 14 Knowledge Transfer projects which have provided several research (e.g. Bowes et al. 2012; McCarthy et al. 2011) and enterprise funding. Nic has successfully applied for various European funding applications, including a Horizon 2020 funded project which aimed to support young people and reduce the incidence of domestic violence in teenage relationships (www.lights4violence.eu). 

Nic has over 20 years experience of clinical experience, working with adults and young people who have committed serious violent offences.  Many of the people Nic works with have experienced multiple Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and been exposed to traumatic events and these experiences are often functionally linked with their use of violence and aggression. As a result, people may present with a range of mental health difficulties, mental disorder, misuse substances, commit crimes and find it difficult to engage with services designed to support them.  Nic has extensive experience of working to overcome barriers to engagement and undertaken research in difficult environments in order to guide practitioners to work with those who most need the support of forensic psychology services.

Chair Elect - vacant

Past Chair - Geraldine Akerman

Geraldine is a Chartered and HCPC Registered Forensic Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. She has worked for the prison service since 1999 assessing risk and providing treatment to men convicted of violent and sexual offences and with complex needs and she currently works as the Therapy Manager on the Enhanced Assessment Unit at HMP Grendon. She has been a Trustee for the Safer Living Foundation since July 2017.

Geraldine was awarded a PhD by the University of Birmingham in 2015. She was appointed an Honorary Professor at Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2018 and is a visiting Lecturer at the University of Birmingham and Cardiff Metropolitan University. 

Geraldine was presented with the Senior Practitioner Award by the Division of Forensic Psychology 2018 for distinguished contribution to Forensic Psychology.

Honorary Treasurer - Jacqueline Bates-Gaston

Biographical information TBA.

Honorary Secretary - Palwinder Athwal-Kooner

Biographical information to follow.

Co-Conference Lead - Madeline Smyth

Biographical information to follow.

Conference Lead - Laura Jacobs

Laura is a Practitioner Psychologist (Chartered and HCPC Registered) with 15 years’ experience working with a variety of individuals and teams.

Laura's clinical experience includes HMPPS, NHS mental health, and community settings with male and female clients, including adults, young people and infants. Her current role is based within a community team considering the importance of attachment between mothers and infants. Laura also has a role within private practice and court settings, along with sitting as an independent psychologist member of the Parole Board. She is also studying her PhD at Nottingham Trent University, and a co-founder of the 'Let’s Talk Forensic Psychology' YouTube Channel. In 2019, she awarded a Butler Trust Award for her work in psychology.

Laura's areas of specialist interest are trauma informed approaches, attachment based models, risk and protective assessments, therapeutic communities, qualitative research, and complex personalities.

Committee Member - Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith is a BPS chartered and HCPC registered Forensic Psychologist at the University of Lincoln, undertaking teaching, research and professional practice consultancy.

She has provided Forensic Psychology services across HMPPS, NHS, University and independent organisations as well as private practice for 25 years. Areas of forensic practice include risk assessment, intervention, supervision and consultancy.

She has expertise in working with individuals in the criminal justice, health and social care sector experiencing trauma and related personality or mental health difficulties. Her special interest is the training and development of professional competencies for forensic, health and social care staff including provision of supervision and reflective practice and promotion of resilience and professional boundaries.

She is currently the CPD lead on the BPS Division of Forensic Psychology Committee.

Committee Member - Jonathan Derbyshire

Biographical information to follow.

Committee Member - Kate Geraghty

Kate is a HCPC registered forensic psychologist, BPS chartered psychologist, and Associate Fellow of the BPS.

Kate has experience working in prisons, the community and secure hospitals with both perpetrators and victims of crime. Her areas of expertise include the assessment and rehabilitation of people who offend and working with complex trauma.

She currently works in a YOI prison with young adult men with emerging personality difficulties and complex needs linked to their offending. Kate also undertakes risk assessments to inform parole board proceedings.

She is a visiting lecturer at the University of Birmingham and Coventry University.  Kate is passionate about raising the profile of the profession and how forensic psychology can inform public policy. 

Committee Member - Rachael Wheatley

Rachael has been a Chartered and Registered Forensic Psychologist since 2004, with 20 years’ experience working with a variety of forensic client groups residing in and out of custody. 

Rachael is currently employed by HMPPS and located in the Midlands. 

Rachael's areas of specialist interest are risk assessment, developing and delivering interventions for individual who commit stalking offences, providing risk management advice and consultancy regarding stalking offences.

Co-Opted Committee Member - Traci Tracy

Biographical information to follow.

Co-Opted Committee Member - Paul Griffiths

Biographical information to follow. 

Co-Opted Committee Member - Louise Coates

Biographical information to follow.

Committee Member - Louise Bowers

Biographical information to follow. 

Co-Opted Committee Member - Sally-Ann Tilt

Sally is currently employed by HMPPS and located in the Midlands region. 

She has been a Chartered and Forensic Psychologist since 2001 and have over 21 years of experience working in forensic settings. Work settings include prisons, developing programmes for juveniles and adults, and training forensic practitioners in the UK and USA.  

Sally's areas of specialist interest are rehabilitative custodial environments, fire-setting and forensic risk assessment. 

Policy Lead - Catherine Flowers

Biographical information to follow.

DFP Northern Ireland Chair - Sarah Ruston and Carolyn Mitchell

Biographical information to follow.

DFP Scotland Chair - Michelle Gilluley

Biographical information to follow.

DFP Wales Chair - Cery Miles

Biographical information to follow.

DCP Forensic Faculty Representative - Alethea Adair-Stantiall

Biographical information to follow.

Forensic Update Co-Editor - Martin Fisher

Martin has been a Regional Lead Psychologist for HMPPS since 1999 and has worked in HMPS since 1988 across all population types as well as in HQ roles. He is the Research Lead Psychologist for HMPPS Psychology. 

Martin is currently on the BPS Ethics Committee and an Assessor for the Qualification in Forensic Psychology. In addition, for the Psychological Testing Committee he is Vice Chair for the Committee on Testing Standards, a Forensic Testing Verifier and also a member of the Diploma in Psychometric Testing Working Party.

Martin is Honorary Consultant and Forensic Psychologist within Southern Health Foundation Trust and a Honorary Lecturer in Forensic Psychology at Portsmouth University. Further he is Co-Chair of Prospect Trade Union representing Psychology and affiliated specialists employed by HMPPS.

Martin's areas of specialist interest are practitioner ethics and boundary management, psychometric testing, research design, violent and sexual offenders, transgender offenders, consulting in forensic practice; applying forensic practice in clinical settings.

Forensic Update Co-Editor - Rachel Worthington

Biographical information to follow.

In-Training Representative - Emily Jones

Emily is a Forensic Psychologist in Training at HMP Grendon on one of the main Therapeutic Community (TC) wings.  Emily graduated from the University of Exeter in 2012 with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and went on to complete a Masters in Forensic Psychology at the University of Portsmouth in 2013.

Emily has worked in the prison service for 6 years and is currently working to implement a Trauma Management group on the TC at HMP Grendon and has a specific interest in the ‘strengths based approach’.

Consultations Lead - Nicola Bowes

Nic is a forensic psychologist and has experience of working clinically with people who have committed serious offences.  Her specialism and research interests focus on criminal violence and in the prevention of, treatment of and management of violence.   Nic’s research was accepted within the Research Excellence Framework (REF), 2014 and the most recent REF of 2021. This means that at least 50% of her work was assessed as and judged to be either ‘Internationally Excellent’ or ‘World Leading’ and none of her work was rated as less than ‘Internationally Recognised’.  

Nic has experience of directing clinical trials, in challenging environments (e.g. [prison settings) and undertaking some health economic outcomes (e.g. Bowes et al. 2014).  She works extensively with external partners to ensure her research is applied and has the potential to impact on both policy and practice.  She has undertaken more than 14 Knowledge Transfer projects which have provided several research (e.g. Bowes et al. 2012; McCarthy et al. 2011) and enterprise funding. Nic has successfully applied for various European funding applications, including a Horizon 2020 funded project which aimed to support young people and reduce the incidence of domestic violence in teenage relationships (www.lights4violence.eu). 

Nic has over 20 years experience of clinical experience, working with adults and young people who have committed serious violent offences.  Many of the people Nic works with have experienced multiple Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and been exposed to traumatic events and these experiences are often functionally linked with their use of violence and aggression. As a result, people may present with a range of mental health difficulties, mental disorder, misuse substances, commit crimes and find it difficult to engage with services designed to support them.  Nic has extensive experience of working to overcome barriers to engagement and undertaken research in difficult environments in order to guide practitioners to work with those who most need the support of forensic psychology services. 

PsyPAG Representative - Ana DaSilva

Biographical information to follow.

University Link - Polly Turner

Biographical information to follow.

Diversity Representatives - Sophie Ellis and Martine Ratcliffe

Biographical information to follow.

 

 

Getting Involved with the DFP Committee

The Division of Forensic Psychology relies on a wide range of people getting involved, and the work of the Division is largely achieved through the dedication of unpaid volunteers.

Our volunteers come from a wide range of different backgrounds, whether they be practitioners or academics, or full members or in-training members, and together form an open and inclusive community. 

If you are interested in joining the Committee, you can apply by submitting a Statement of Interest, found on our Members Online Resource area:

Get in touch

The first point of contact for any queries regarding the work of the Division of Forensic Psychology should be the Member Network Services Team.

The Member Network Services team provides support to all our Member Networks.

Forensic Update

For potential submissions or book reviews please contact Forensic Update directly.