In focus
BPS updates

DCP In Focus: September 2023

Welcome to the September issue of DCP In Focus.

04 September 2023

The summer holidays are over and working life is probably settling into its usual rhythm. Autumn brings conferences and I hope you will check out the events listed below.

There are also some very topical webinars on learning from African psychology and working with trans people. 

If you feel confused about all the new roles in the psychological professions then the webinar with the Faculty for Psychosis and Complex Mental Health should be of help. It is free to all DCP members.

Please also consider supporting our mentorship programme, which is part of our commitment to supporting the professional development of our members.

The new leadership development pilot is also a fantastic opportunity for those wanting to progress to more senior roles.

- Julia Faulconbridge


DCP mentorship programme

The DCP mentorship programme supports clinical psychologists to engage in a formal relationship over an agreed timescale with a colleague outside of their immediate management/supervisory structures to discuss their professional development, including leadership and service development issues, as well as career, personal development and learning.

The independence of the mentor, outside of the mentee’s organisation, specifically addresses the need for a space to discuss management of work politics and career aspirations with colleagues not directly involved in managing and appraising them.

Evidence suggests that the DCP mentoring programme has helped mentees to develop professional confidence, leadership and service development skills.

Could you be a mentor?

Could you use your knowledge and skills to support the professional development of colleagues?  If so, the DCP mentorship programme is looking for more mentors. We would like to recruit mentors from a diverse range of backgrounds, experience and clinical practice. Providing mentoring typically requires a minimum commitment of around an hour a month over six to eight months and can also be of benefit to mentors too. You must be fully-qualified and a member of the DCP to take part in this programme.

Find out more about the DCP mentorship programme

New videos on clinical psychologists in learning disability services

The Faculty for People with Intellectual Disabilities (FPID) is very concerned about the current recruitment crisis for clinical psychologists in learning disability services.

We know that many specialist learning disability services are struggling to recruit clinical psychologists at various levels of seniority.

As such, services are often under-staffed and under-resourced. This results in gaps to services and delays in accessing services for people with learning disabilities and adds to the health inequalities experienced by this population.

We are passionate about changing this and have been working to find ways to highlight the wonderful work that can be done by psychologists in learning disability services and the positive impact this can have on service users and carers.

We are also highlighting why addressing this issue is essential to prevent further discrimination and health inequalities to people with learning disabilities as they have a right to access services as anyone else can.

As part of this work, we have created a set of videos to highlight the kinds of work that is done in LD psychology services, the impact this can have on service users and to share our positivity about the work we do.

The videos are primarily aimed at those who are considering becoming a clinical psychologist, or those already in training to be a clinical psychologist, to promote the LD speciality as a fantastic place to work. Please share the videos far and wide!

Leadership development pilot launching soon

It has been a number of years since the DCP sponsored a leadership development programme exclusively for clinical psychologists.

However, given the wide and complex impact of the pandemic on the psychological workforce, and the current challenges within our services, one could argue the changing work of clinical and professional leadership.

Our work has highlighted some key areas where leadership development needs strengthening, including accessible pathways of development for leaders in the profession alongside facilitative structures for engaging with diversity, influence, and advocacy for the profession.

A leadership development programme for an initial pilot cohort of 20 is to begin in February 2024. It is aimed at equipping participants with the leadership skills to take up lead roles effectively in a changing and complex environment.

This programme will offer a blend of conceptual, experiential, and reflective learning, which will enable participants to explore and develop their leadership capability with lasting impact.

The curriculum includes a range of relevant models and approaches of leadership and importantly will explore how they can be utilised on the ground.

We will have more information on the programme in future newsletters.

Complete your EDI data

The DCP would like to encourage its members to complete their equality and diversity data via the online portal. We need this data to establish trends in representation within the division and to compare it to HCPC data, as well as census 2023.

We are hoping to use this data to establish key areas of priority and to develop our EDI strategy further for 2024 and beyond.

The DCP is committed to eliminating all forms of discrimination and requests your support to help us establish accurate data which will enable us to take our EDI work forward.

If you would like to know more, please contact Sidrah Muntaha, EDI lead, by email. Sidrah also explained on Twitter why filling in this information is so important.

The Health and Care Professions Council has also recently published key EDI information for practitioner psychologists.

Could you join the Practice Board?

The BPS is seeking a clinical psychologist to join its Practice Board.

The board members act as a responsive source of expertise, discuss current issues in psychological practice and engage in regular horizon scanning to proactively identify gaps in practice knowledge.

We are seeking members currently in practice who, in addition to being a conduit between the member networks and the board, have a wider strategic interest in the development of the profession.

Find out more about the Practice Board and how to apply here,

Nominate for one of the DCP awards

Our 2023 awards are open for nominations until 1 October.

The M.B. Shapiro Award is a late career award for psychologists who have achieved eminence in the profession, while the May Davidson Award recognises clinical psychologists who have made a significant contribution to the profession during the first ten years of their career.

Our Pre-Qualification Award promotes and encourages the contribution of pre-doctoral clinical work, while the Trainee Research Excellence Work and the Trainee Excellence in Practice Award both recognise the work of our fantastic trainees.

More details on all of the awards and instructions on how to nominate are available on our website.


Consultation on the expected standards for the recruitment and employment of assistant psychologists

The BPS is looking for input and feedback on the consultation for our newly-developed guidance on the expected standards for the recruitment and employment of assistant psychologists.

A task and finish group consisting of expert and assistant psychologists collaborated to produce this comprehensive guidance.

The guidance aims to assist anyone employing or considering employing assistant psychologists by providing practical information. It covers areas such as appropriate responsibilities, tasks, development, supervision, job planning, workload management and more.

Our goal is to ensure that organisations and individuals can create a supportive and effective work environment for their assistant psychologists.

Please provide your feedback and comments using this consultation response form - the consultation is open until 12 September.

Consultation on improving the experiences of people with ME/CFS

The Department for Health and Social Care has launched a consultation on improving the experiences of people with ME/CFS: interim delivery plan.

The consultation asks for views on specific chapters and actions on:

  • research
  • attitudes and education
  • living with ME/CFS
  • language used in relation to ME/CFS

The responses to this consultation will be used to help the DHSC to understand:

  • how well the plan identifies and addresses the issues most important to the ME/CFS community, and
  • where further action may be required

The BPS is intending to respond to this consultation, and we would welcome the views of our members to support us in doing so.

To share your views on any aspect of the consultation, please use either the response form, or send your response in the body of an email, to Hannah Randle.

The deadline for all responses is 9am on Monday 18 September.

Upcoming events

The DCP West Midlands Branch is hosting an event on working with trans people from 10am - 12pm on 6 September.

A BPS webinar on 14 September looks at 'applying learnings from African psychology to supervision'.

The Faculty for the Psychology of Older People is hosting its annual conference online across 19 and 20 September, with the Welsh Geographical Groups this year's organiser.

Our Faculty of Psychosis and Complex Mental Health is holding an 'in conversation with...' event with Adrian Whittington on 19 September.

The DCP South West Branch is hosting a joint online event with the BPS South West Branch on homeless and climate harms on 26 September. The branch will also be hosting a live watchalong of the webinar followed by an in-person facilitated discussion at The Box in Plymouth.

The DCP Scotland Branch is hosting an event on building therapist wellbeing and reducing stress and burnout on 6 October.

Our Faculty for Children, Young People and their Families is hosting its annual conference on 9 October, this year titled 'Hear me, don't blame me'.

A DCP event on 13 October will showcase the excellent work undertaken by clinical psychology trainees as part of their DClinPsy thesis.

Our Leadership and Management Faculty is hosting an in-person NHS workforce wellbeing summit in London on 30 November.

Read more on these topics