Clinical Psychology Placements

Clinical Psychology trainees are usually on placement on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with academic days being Thursdays and Fridays. Practice learning is coordinated with the academic programme into three year-long stages of training.

First year 

In the first year, there is a focus in teaching on the working-age adult phase of the life cycle and associated psychological problems, individual-based approaches to psychological therapy and working in teams and groups. In parallel, placements are in adult services and reflect the wide range of generic and specialist services in the NHS for adults with mental health problems, including psychological therapies services, community mental health teams, assertive outreach teams, early intervention teams, eating disorders units and acute services. During the year, it is common for the co-ordinating supervisor of the placement to link up with other supervisors to provide variety of experience and opportunity for competency development for the trainee.Trainees also have a unique opportunity during the first year to take part in our successful placement advising scheme where they meet regularly with a local service user or carer in a learning and mentoring relationship. The scheme enables trainees to meet with local service users and carers outside of clinical setting.    

A service evaluation project (the Quality Improvement Project or QIP) is conducted on this placement (but may be in any specialism), and there is also an Assessment of Clinical Skills (ACS) submission.  For this, a recording of some of the trainee’s clinical work with an adult service user is presented, and the competencies involved are discussed and assessed in a viva during the first year.  

Second year

In the second year, trainees' placements are organised in services for children, young people and families, and for people with disabilities (learning disabilities and other long term disabilities that impact significantly on people's lives and well-being), usually taking the form of two six-month placements. Teaching covers these client groups and also focuses on systemic approaches to working with service users, their families and carers, multidisciplinary and inter-agency teams. Two Professional Practice Reports, PPRs, one about a piece of psychological work with children and their families, and the other about work with people with disabilities, are required as assessed submissions.

Third year

In the third year, trainees move on to placements in older people's services and to do a supplementary placement designed primarily to meet any outstanding training needs or consolidation of competencies, but also as far as possible, to meet particular interests. 

Supplementary placements may be with any client group. For instance, they can include placements with looked after children, specialist paediatric services, forensic or neuropsychology services, or involve more advanced training in a particular therapeutic modality. Third year placements may be organised as either two discrete placements or be woven together concurrently across the year. Once again, the focus of placements is mirrored in the academic syllabus, including organisational and leadership competencies. Placements may be complemented by the special options (e.g. systemic practice with children, neuropsychology) that trainees select in their third year.  One PPR, from either a supplementary or older people's placement is submitted during the final year, along with a Supplementary Report, which provides an analytic account of a psychologist’s role in the organisational and policy context of the other placement. The Supplementary Report is due to be replaced by a Community Engagement Project Report for trainees starting in 2018.

Further information

A full and detailed description of all aspects of placements, including assessment and supporting documentation, is given in the Practice Learning Handbook which can be found on the Resources page. 

The following websites give information about the main Trusts contributing to the Salomons Doctoral Programme in Clinical Psychology:

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Last edited: 19/08/2021 10:42:00