Division of Neuropsychology
The Division of Neuropsychology supports its members with training and advice, and keeps them apprised of ongoing news and developments within the field.
In recent years neuropsychology has been one of the most exciting areas of science.
Advances in technology have revealed many of the secrets of structure-function relationships in the living brain, their development across the lifespan and the impact of disease, injury and degeneration.
These rapid advances have opened up many new research and clinical possibilities and so staying informed and up-to-date has never been so important.
Our membership has a powerful voice in raising the profile of neuropsychology, developing standards and advancing the discipline.
One of the primary purposes of the Division of Neuropsychology (DoN) is to champion the work of our members and the contribution psychology can make to society through lots of different channels, particularly through our regular conferences and events.
Download the latest issue of The Neuropsychologist
Resources and publications
The periodical is published twice per year and serves as a forum for keeping members abreast of developments in the profession. Each issue includes a selection of articles on applied topics in clinical neuropsychology alongside reviews of conferences and books, member interviews, and updates on developments in the profession.
Overview of systems
The aim of this document is to describe commissioning concepts structures and systems and to make this knowledge accessible and useful for clinical psychologists at all levels, including trainees.
Service specific guidance
Written for commissioners, this document looks at the role of Clinical Neuropsychologists.
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This document reports the development of a competency framework for the UK profession of Clinical Neuropsychology.
Download the Competency Framework for the UK Clinical Neuropsychology Profession (May 2012)
This report describes findings and the Division of Neuropsychology (DoN) Executive Committee response to Consultation on the implementation of the competency framework for training the future UK clinical neuropsychology profession.
- Download the Management of patients with neurological medically unexplained symptoms within clinical services in NHS Scotland: The role of neuropsychology
This paper describes the role of clinical neuropsychology services in the specialist assessment and management of patients with medically unexplained neurological symptoms.
Developing Pathways in the UK for the assessment of cognitive and behaviour change in people with MND
Cognitive and behavioural changes occur in approximately 50% of patients with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) which can manifest as deficits in executive and language functions and poor social cognition. Up to 15% also suffer from a frontotemporal dementia (see for review (Goldstein and Abrahams 2013). These deficits can impact caregiver burden, adherence to life-prolonging interventions and care planning.
NICE Guidelines on the Management of MND
The new NICE guidelines on MND (NICE 2016) state that
1.3 “At diagnosis and if there is a concern about cognition and behaviour, explore any cognitive or behaviour changes with the person and their family members and/or carers as appropriate. If needed refer the person for a formal assessment”.
The guidelines continue to state 1.3.2“The multidisciplinary team should assess, manage and review the following areas… Cognition and Behaviour”
And most importantly: 1.5.5“The multidisciplinary team should have established relationships with, and prompt access to the following: Clinical psychology and neuropsychology”
Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioural ALS Screen
People with MND have a range of physical disabilities which can make it difficult for them to undergo standard clinical neuropsychological assessment. In response to this Professor Sharon Abrahams and Thomas Bak from the University of Edinburgh have developed the Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioural ALS screen (ECAS), a multi-domain brief assessment, which is designed for people with motor dysfunction and has been validated against extensive neuropsychological assessment (Abrahams, Newton et al. 2014, Niven 2015). The ECAS provides a brief assessment of executive functions, fluency, language functions, memory and visuospatial functions and can be undertaken in written or spoken form, making it suitable for physical disability. In addition it provides an informant behaviour interview based on the latest diagnostic criteria for behavioural variant FTD.
Within Scotland, routine assessment of MND patients using the ECAS has been implemented through a dual pathway method. The first pathway involves direct referral from the MND team (consultant neurologist) to local clinical neuropsychology services who undertake an ECAS as part of their assessment. Where at all possible these patients are given priority status as long waiting lists are often inappropriate for this rapid neurodegenerative condition. The second pathway (which is applicable for those people with MND who do not or cannot access neuropsychology services) is for a member of the multidisciplinary team (usually the MND nurse specialist) to undertake an ECAS, with supervision on interpretation and possible intervention from local clinical neuropsychology services. As such the clinical neuropsychologist provides regular supervision of MND health specialists and indirect input into the multidisciplinary team with less time committed.
MNDA: Developing Pathways in the UK for assessment of cognitive and behaviour change in people with MND
The Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) are funding a project led by Professor Sharon Abrahams at the University of Edinburgh to develop pathways to a UK national assessment programme for the identification of changes in cognition and behaviour in people living with MND. Part of this process is to encourage the development of local links between MND Teams and local clinical neuropsychological services.
Throughout 2017, across the UK, the MNDA and Professor Abrahams will be delivering Advanced Masterclasses in ‘Using the Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioural ALS Screen (ECAS) to assess change in Motor Neurone Disease’. This training programme is accredited by the European Network to Cure ALS and is aimed at health professionals working in MND teams.
At these meetings trained health professionals will be encouraged to make contact with their local clinical neuropsychology services to develop local care pathways.
- Abrahams, S., J. Newton, E. Niven, J. Foley and T. H. Bak (2014). "Screening for cognition and behaviour changes in ALS." Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration 15(1-2): 9-14.
- Goldstein, L. H. and S. Abrahams (2013). "Changes in cognition and behaviour in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Nature of impairment and implications for assessment." The Lancet Neurology 12(4): 368-380.
- NICE (2016). "National Institute for Health and Care Excellence."
- Niven, E., Newton, J., Foley, J., Colville, S., Swingler, R., Chandran, S., Bak, T.H. & Abrahams S. (2015). "Validation of the Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioural Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis SCreen (ECAS): A cognitive tool for motor disorders." Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener 16(3-4): 172-179.
A Briefing to further understand the nature of neuropsychology services in other areas of the country in the absence of official data.
The evidence presented in the briefing refers to the current arrangements of neuropsychology services located within neuroscience centres many of which have different regional contexts. The Division of Neuropsychology has not taken a position on appropriate staffing levels or how services should be funded in general. As a result care should be taken in presenting or sharing the data to external audiences.
Where information from the report is presented or shared it should be referenced as internal Division of Neuropsychology mapping as the report has not been approved by the BPS Professional Practice Board or externally published.'
Population data for regional neuroscience centres was sourced from individual trusts websites and associated publications.
Mapping of Neuropsychology Services within Neuroscience Centres
The Division of Neuropsychology (DoN) Policy Unit works to build the profile of neuropsychology in public policy and to highlight the role it plays in care for patients with neurological conditions.
The House of Commons debated Acquired Brain Injury, on the 18 June 2018 for an hour, considering a ranges of issues, including: the incredible toll on families and carers of caring for someone with ABI; the potentially devastating impact of even a mild TBI; the need for a joined up approach for children with ABI from Health, Social Care and Education in care planning; the significant financial cost savings to health, social care and the justice system when neuropsychological rehabilitation is provided; and the potential vulnerability of ABI sufferers to offending and, if unrecognised and untreated, re-offending.
Both the Society’s Policy team and the DoN’s own Policy Unit have worked hard – on behalf of BPS and DoN members but also on behalf of all your patients with neurological conditions - to make connections with MPs and to really raise awareness of the widespread impact of this issue. And the debate was notable for the very real understanding shown by the speakers about the consequences of, not just TBI, but of AB,I across the life span. Some MPs spoke movingly and with amazing candour about their own personal family experiences of ABI. This must be the first time ‘neuropsychology’ has been mentioned in Hansard.
Steve Brine, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care opened the debate with an excellent encapsulation of the definition and prevalence of ABI.
As part of the debate, Clinical Psychologist, and now Member of Parliament for East Kilbride SNP, Dr Lisa Cameron, spoke specifically and knowledgeably about the cognitive and psychological effects of brain injury, and the importance of timely access to Neuropsychology as a key part of rehabilitation, saying“Access to Neuropsychology is a key part of rehabilitation”.
Chris Bryant, Member of Parliament for Rhondda Lab, said, “Acquired brain injury is an invisible epidemic in this country”.
Expert panels for the REF 2021 exercise are made up of senior academics, international members, and research users. Psychological research falls under the remit of the Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience Sub-Panel. Members of the BPS Research Board have expressed some concerns that the composition of the new REF 2021 panel does not reflect the diversity of research models used in psychological research, in particular concerns have been raised that the new panel may not have sufficient expertise to evaluate the value of qualitative research.
The BPS has written to the chair of REF Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience Sub-Panel to express these concerns and has received assurances with respect to the value of all research methodologies. The REF panel welcomes submissions from ALL areas and methodologies in psychology and ALL submissions will be treated equally and fairly.
Research excellence framework documents
These are locked for DoN members only
International Classification of Health Interventions (ICHI) is the new classification system developed by the World Health Organisation, which compliments the existing International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF).
The interventions contained in the ICHI are closely based upon the ICF, which includes for example, a large section on mental functions and associated limitations. The ICHI codes the assessment and intervention (rehabilitation) of these mental functions, therefore it is of great relevance to neuropsychology.
This classification system will have many and wide ranging applications in the research, planning and organisation of health services.
One possible use for example, is by NHS coding. This is the system by which clinical services in the UK are monitored, planned and paid for. This is another reason why neuropsychologists should pay attention to the ICHI, to ensure that our activity is appropriately captured.
Through 2016 and 2017 the DoN has contributed to the development of the ICHI. Through 2018 the first phase of beta testing has been completd, which will be followed by a second phase of beta testing up to September 2019.
Other Relevant Resources
- British Neuropsychiatry Association
- British Neuropsychological Society (BNS)
- Child Brain Injury Trust
- Edinburgh Neuroscience
- Human Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Edinburgh
- International Brain Injury Association (IBIA)
- MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit
- National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
- The Children's Trust for children with brain injury
- Young Epilepsy
Careful consideration on a case-by-case basis must be given as to whether use of tele-neuropsychology is necessary and will address the current need of the patient/client.
Guidance for those planning tele-neuropsychological assessment and rehabilitation/treatment is provided but should be interpreted in the context of local guidance from employers and other host organisations.
Published studies indicate that remote administration of some neuropsychological tests can produce reliable and valid results, though the evidence base is limited.
The assessment of young children, adults with learning disabilities, and many older adults will require specific further consideration.
DoN Interest Groups
Below is a growing directory of regional and special interest groups and forums related to neuropsychology.
Please note: inclusion on this page does not necessarily imply affiliation with, or the endorsement of, the BPS Division of Neuropsychology.
Regional Groups - Lead
Berkshire - Dr Trevor Powell
East Anglia - Dr Kate Psaila
Glasgow - Professor Jonathan Evans
Hertfordshire - Dr Jill Hazan
Neuropsychology in Older People Network - NOPN - Dr Sarah McCrimmon
Northampton - Dr Keith Jenkins
North East - Dr Jenna Moffitt
North Wales - Dr Helena Blackwell
North West - Dr Gavin Newby
Northern Ireland - Dr Helena Blackwell
Southampton - Dr Jane McNeil
South Somerset - Dr Miriam Prins
South Thames - Dr Cliodhna Carroll
South Wales - Dr Claire Willson
South Wales Child - Dr Michelle Smalley
South West - Dr Phil Yates
Trent - Dr Patrick Vesey
West Midlands - Dr Amanda Mobley
The DoN Faculty for Paediatric Neuropsychology also has a number of special interest groups.
- View the Paediatric Faculty interest groups
The society offers the Qualification in Clinical Neuropsychology (QiCN) which confers eligibility for entry onto the Society's Specialist Register of Clinical Neuropsychologists.
If you want to work as a Clinical Neuropsychologist this qualification establishes a standard of practice that will help you demonstrate essential skills and underpin knowledge required of a professional in this field.
The Specialist Register of Clinical Neuropsychologists is the gold standard for registration for clinicians practising in neuropsychology and provides a quality mark for their expertise, as well as assurance that the skills and experience of an individual have been validated and are of the appropriate standard.
To join the register clinicians must undergo additional specialist post-doctoral training in brain injury and neurological illness and gain substantial experience in applied neuropsychological assessment and treatment.
To remain on the SRCN registrants are required to maintain an active supervision and CPD plan to ensure their knowledge and skills remain up to date.
The SRCN allows the general public, patients and other professionals to identify those individuals who are recognised as Clinical Neuropsychologists by the UK’s professional body of psychologists.
It is considered important that such a register is accessible to the public as such professionals are not currently required to register with the Health and Care Professions Council as Clinical Neuropsychologists.
Ingram Wright and Rupert Noad discuss developments in neuropsychology training in the UK including new routes for counselling psychologists to access training in neuropsychology.
This is the first in a series of 4 brief lunchtime 'taster' sessions on clinical neuropsychology for psychologists working as assistants, trainees or band 7s in neuropsychology settings, discussing some of the issues that come up.
Session 1: Some of the pitfalls of statistical versus clinical significance in the interpretation of psychometric data
One of the questions that assistants and trainees most often ask is, ‘How on earth does one make sense of all these test results?’ This session is to orient you to what your supervisor is doing and to some of the problems and bear traps involved in interpretation, together with a few suggestions about how to get better at seeing the wood for the trees.
This is the second in a series of 4 brief lunchtime 'taster' sessions on clinical neuropsychology for psychologists working as assistants, trainees or band 7s in neuropsychology settings, discussing some of the issues that come up.
Session 2: What is ‘complex behavioural formulation’ in clinical neuropsychology?
Building on the first chat, this session looks in more detail at how the test data are used by clinical neuropsychologists alongside other sources of data to forge an answer to the original hypothesis or referral question.
This is the third in a series of 4 brief lunchtime 'taster' sessions on clinical neuropsychology for psychologists working as assistants, trainees or band 7s in neuropsychology settings, discussing some of the issues that come up.
Session 3: Don’t forget your clinical skills!
Clinical neuropsychologists and clinical psychologists working in neuropsychology are all continuing to use their foundational core clinical skills. This session follows on from behavioural formulation with some reflections on the importance of blending clinical and neuropsychological skills, using some case vignettes.
This is the fourth in a series of 4 brief lunchtime 'taster' sessions on clinical neuropsychology for psychologists working as assistants, trainees or band 7s in neuropsychology settings, discussing some of the issues that come up.
Session 4: Some of the common pathologies we see in clinical neuropsychology and ways of working with them
Neuropsychology involves not only cognitive assessment in its various forms; neuropsychological rehabilitation and support; but also working therapeutically with people with neurological conditions.
This last session touches on therapy and looks at some of the key issues in working with people with epilepsy, subarachnoid haemorrhage and brain tumours.
Awards & funding
- Achievements may be recognised at a national or international level including: innovative service provision in clinical neuropsychology or outstanding research into neuropsychology.
- Candidates must be within five years of completion of their QiCN training or within five years of completion of a PhD in neuropsychology with post-doctoral research experience
- For members at the early stage of their career as a neuropsychologist who have made a significant contribution in relation to development of clinical neuropsychology in the UK
- Open to Full Members of the Division of Neuropsychology (DoN)
- Any DoN member may nominate a candidate
- Nominations should detail why the candidate merits the award, a brief synopsis of their career, and the names of two potential referees who are not from the same organisation.
- Submissions should be no more than two sides of A4 and should include the details of two referees.
Promotes and encourages the contribution of pre-QiCN clinical neuropsychology work and research to developments in clinical neuropsychology practice e.g. obtaining a distinction on a DoN accredited degree programme; advancing knowledge in the form of a published article, chapter, or outstanding research thesis; proposing and implementing an innovation of practice; using neuropsychological models to benefit a particular group or the public in general.
- Any DoN member may nominate a candidate
- Nominees should have started the work for which they are nominated whilst they were a pre-QiCN level or within first two years of qualification when the outcome of the work has been realised.
Nominations should include a statement from a senior member of the profession or a letter from the Course Director/Tutor, the candidate’s CV and an abstract or summary about the piece of work/project that demonstrates meeting the criteria for this award.
Submissions should be no more than two sides of A4 and should include the details of two referees.
The purpose of the Neuropsychology International Fellowship scheme (managed and promoted in conjunction with The British Neuropsychological Society) is to help to promote and support neuropsychology in countries where such resources are limited or are in the early stages of development.
The International Neuropsychological Society has an International Liaison Committee, with its own Newsletter, website and Charles Matthews Support Fund.
Other societies, such as the Association of British Neurologists, have schemes to help support their disciplines in developing countries, while organisations such as the British Council and the Tropical Health Education Trust have schemes to promote links with developing countries.
In addition a number of British universities have a presence or close links with developing countries, and some western universities offer distance learning schemes that can be taken by students who reside overseas.
A number of recent reports from the Department of Health have emphasised both the moral responsibilities of western countries to support health care in less developed parts of the world, and also the direct and indirect benefits that accrue from overseas links for health service activities, clinical teaching and clinical research in the UK.
Many NHS trusts have schemes that include projects or partnerships with developing countries. In an inter-dependent, increasingly globalised world, what happens in one country may have some impact on a distant country, and so it is in the long-term interests of UK citizens to ensure that there is well-being in other parts of the world.
More specifically, neuropsychologists need to develop culturally-sensitive and culturally-fair neuropsychological tests, since the populations of many western countries are becoming increasingly heterogeneous. Clinical scientists in western countries who wish to carry out research in topics such as AIDS, tropical infections, blindness, effects of foetal nutrition, etc. may find that it is beneficial to have collaboration with a developing country in terms of recruitment of participants.
Outline of Scheme
The scheme aims to support, in a variety of ways, neuropsychology in developing countries. Thus, it may provide for travel and accommodation costs for a neuropsychologist from a developing country to come and spend some time in Neuropsychology Departments in the UK, attend meetings, etc.
Although preference would be given to scholars visiting from overseas, the scheme may also support senior neuropsychologists in the UK who, for example, wish to provide a workshop in a developing country.
It may support teleconferences, for teaching or consultation purposes, between the UK and a developing country. It may also support a collaborative research project between the UK and a developing country, the outcome of which might have some tangible benefit to the developing country.
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- Download the procedure and guideline for applicants (member only)
- Find out more about Neuropsychology International Fellowship
Neuropsychology International Fellowship Scheme
Download the procedure and guideline for applicants
This download can only be accessed by DoN members
Chair: Ingram Wright
Past (Vice) Chair: Katherine Carpenter
Honorary Treasurer: Simon Prangnell
Honorary Secretary: Nicola Scott
Chair of Membership Services Unit: Cheryl Newton
Chair of Policy Unit: Najma Khan-Bourne
Chair of Professional Standards Unit: Rupert Noad
- Ndidi Boakye
- Jessica Fish
Early Career Representative: Cliodhna Carrol
DoN Policy Officer: Vacant
International Advisor: Huw Williams
Northern Ireland Representative: Frederick (Colin) Wilson
Research Board Representative: Sallie Baxendale
DoN Scotland: Jean McFarlane
DoN Faculty: Sophie Thomas
PsyPAG Representative: Vacant
Wales Representative: Kathryn Bond
Chair of MSU: Cheryl Newton
Secretary of MSU: Emma Matthews
Treasurer of MSU: Donald Brechin
Chief Editor, The Neuropsychologist: Jessica Fish
Communications Officer: Jessica Fish
CPD Team: Annmarie Burns
CPD Co-ordinator: Andrew James
Informatics Lead: Robert Stephens
British Neuropsychological Society (BNS) Representative: Robin Morris
Faculty of Paediatric Neuropsychology Representative: Sophie Thomas
Faculty of Psychologists working with Older People (DCP FPOP) Representative: Vacant
PsyPAG Representative: Stephanie Blanco
Chair of PoU: Najma Khan-Bourne
Deputy Chair: Huw Williams
Outgoing Chair: Jason Price
Honorary Secretary and Project Management Lead: Amanda Mobley
- Ndidi Boakye
- Kimberley Fletcher
- Fergus Gracey
- Mark Griffiths
- Jenna Moffitt
DoN Scotland Link Representative: Sue Copstick
Northern Ireland Link Representative: Frederick (Colin) Wilson
Paediatric Representative: Sally Robinson
Chair of PSU: Rupert Noad
Secretary of PSU: Perry Moore
Chair of Clinical Neuropsychology Qualifications Board (CNQB): Frederick (Colin) Wilson
Chair of Committee on Clinical Training in Neuropsychology (CTCN): Rupert Noad
Committee on Test Standards: Vacant
Course Directors of Clinical Neuropsychology Programmes
- Faraneh Vargha-Khadem
- Jon Evans
- Martin Bunnage
- Jerry Burgess
Workforce Planning Lead: Simon Gerhand
Expert Witness Advisory Group Representative: Faraneh Vargha Khadem
Training Representative: Cerian Jackson
Paediatric Representative: Isabel Garrood
The first point of contact for any queries regarding the work of the DoN or its committees should be via our communications officer at [email protected].
If there is a specific committee or committee member that you wish to contact, please identify this in your email.
Membership of the Division of Neuropsychology is only open to members of the British Psychological Society.
If you are not already a member you can join the DoN at the same time as applying for membership of the society.
There are two grades of divisional membership:
Full Divisional membership - £36
For fully qualified psychologists who are eligible for Chartered Status.
General Divisional membership - £24
For members who are not currently eligible for the above grades, to join as a General Member.
Benefits of belonging
Becoming a member of the DoN can be an active experience, where you can contribute to publications, committees and consultations. Alternatively, you may simply wish to enjoy the support of likeminded people through the rich web of personal and professional contacts awaiting you.
We promote our identity and share a sense of community with colleagues who have a commitment to neuropsychology.
Our membership has a powerful voice in raising the profile of psychology, developing standards and advancing the discipline.
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