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Trainees and training, Work and occupational

Workforce and training updates - July 2021

Read all the latest news from our Workforce and Training Lead.

12 July 2021


We are aware that a significant number of members have experienced difficulties registering with the HCPC. There appear to be a variety of reasons for this including the HCPC's decision not to send reminders by post but by email, which meant that members who had changed their email address since last registering (and not told HCPC) not receiving reminders. This particularly affected members in Scotland where there had been a change in the email addresses of all NHS staff. The problems did not end there and many experienced various problems with the HCPC system which made reregistering rather difficult. This delay caused some issues with employers that required addressing locally. We will be writing to HCPC to point out our concerns and to ask what is being done to address the issues. For those experiencing difficulties here is some information from their website.

Unrelatedly the BPS Practice Board has established an HCPC Working Group to address the issues that have arisen over the years about the working of HCPC for practitioner psychologists. The BPS used to have regular meetings with HCPC and the intention is to re-establish this contact. The group is chaired by Katherine Carpenter (newly elected BPS President) and has Tony Lavender as the clinical psychology member. We have already identified a number of the issues, including misuse and evasion of titles, the approval processes for international colleagues, the relationship between BPS and HCPC accreditation processes and Fitness to Practice Standards and processes. If any members have issues they would like to raise, could they send them to Tony Lavender and if members are "HCPC partners" we would be grateful if you could let us know. ([email protected])

Job Planning

The Workforce and Training sub committee is about to set up a working group looking at the issue of job planning for clinical psychologists. This has become on of the ways that so called 'indirect work' (i.e. non face to face contacts) can be properly integrated and recognised into the work of clinical psychologists. If any members would be interested in joining the group or has papers/documents that are relevant could you let Tony Lavender know.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Practitioner

NHSE has approved and HEE will start to commission a new role in mental health, the Mental Health Practitioner. The role is intended to support the delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan in England. The role will have two functions a generic team worker able to plan and coordinate care with patients as part of the MDT in a trauma informed way and the delivery of specific psychologically informed wellbeing interventions (these aren't NICE guidance interventions but practice informed evidence interventions). This will allow the rapid deployment of a new supply route. These will be Band 4 in training and Band 5 on completion and align well to PWPs, CWPs and EMHPs. Training will be at a graduate or postgraduate certificate level and open to graduates and non-graduates. Many are likely to be from psychology, but the roles are open to a wider group.

Clinical Psychology Training Commissions (2021)

In Scotland the 25% increase in commissioned places has been consolidated in the base line numbers and across the 2 courses the new entry will have risen to 80. In N Ireland a further increase in 3 places has been agreed so that the 2021 first year entry will be 21. In Wales the picture is slightly more complicated in that there was an increase of 2 commissions last year (rolled over to this year) and a further increase of 1 in South Wales and 1 rolled over from last year plus another 1 in North Wales. HEIW have indicated there will be a year on year 10% increase, but this has yet to be signed off. In England the entry for 2019 was 511, for 2020 it was 688 and for 2021 the total commissions available was 914 although it looks like approximately 900 will be taken. This seems a very good uptake given the rapidness of the expansion. Across all the Nations course staff and staff in services are working hard to ensure the successful delivery of the much needed expansion in training numbers. Thanks to all.

National Assessors

Eric Karas (Chief National Assessor) has been leading the relaunch and revitalising of the National Assessor Scheme. Regular meetings of the Lead Speciality Assessors have been taking place and a new operational system for Trusts to secure National Assessors via BPS staff been established. As part of the relaunch an advert was placed on the BPS website and it is still open for applications from senior clinical psychologists to become National Assessors.

Please if you are such a person, or know of others who may be interested, apply or encourage them to reply. Find out more about how to apply to the National Assessors Scheme.