UCL Doctorate In Clinical Psychology


trainee job description




Job Title:

Trainee Clinical Psychologist


Grade A Clinical Psychologist

Spine points 17-20


6% of salary (optional)

Terms & Conditions of Service

In accordance with the Trust Handbook for psychology staff and General Trust Handbook

Accountable to:

Director of Clinical Psychology Training, University College London

Responsible to:

Clinical placement supervisors for clinical work undertaken on placement


University College London, although the postholder will also be required to work in clinical placements in a number of NHS Trusts in North East, North Central and North West London


1. To undertake a structured programme of learning including personal study, academic work, research, placement learning and assessment leading to the award of the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

2. To undertake specialised psychological assessments, treatments and other types of clinical intervention with individual clients, carers, families and groups of clients; staff training; research and development activity.

3. To work independently on a day-to-day basis. This work will be supervised and reviewed at regular intervals, in accordance with British Psychological Society guidelines; supervision will usually be offered by a qualified clinical psychologist (although other qualified healthcare professionals may also contribute).

Key dimensions of post

1. To work as part of a multi-disciplinary community team or in specialized clinical settings involving largely uni-professional practice; experience of a broad range of clinical and organizational settings is expected.

2. To carry out complex psychological assessments sensitively and independently with a broad range of client groups including individual psychometric testing sessions.

3. To formulate the nature, causes and maintaining factors of highly distressing psychological difficulties and presentations informed by a broad range of potentially conflicting clinical, theoretical and conceptual models, the empirical, experimental and clinical literature base and the results of assessment. To communicate such formulations professionally, sensitively and diplomatically, frequently in an emotive atmosphere, to clients, relatives, carers and other healthcare professionals relevant to the case.

4. To plan and implement bespoke, formulation-driven psychological interventions, or programmes empathically, sensitively and independently, with a broad range of client groups, carers (including relatives), families, and groups of clients, and to evaluate the impact of such interventions.

5. To plan and deliver group sessions for clients or their carers.

6. To provide advice and support for carers and other professionals.

7. To network and consult with relevant external agencies such as social services, independent and voluntary sector, to facilitate and enable intervention at multiple levels.

8. To plan and provide formal and informal training to other psychologists, other professionals, and carers, including the presentation of complex and sometimes contentious psychological and research material.

9. To carry out formal and informal research and development activities designed to inform service development as major features of the work, culminating in the award of a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. To disseminate research findings from own Doctorate, including journal publication and conference presentation.

10. To place special emphasis on personal and professional development activity such as weekly clinical supervision, shadowing, joint working, personal study and reflection. To work independently on a day-to-day basis, with work managed and goals agreed and reviewed at intervals.

11. To attend formal teaching and training sessions provided by the University and to complete assessment and evaluation procedures as required by the University programme.

12. To bring to bear a greater level of knowledge, training and experience on clinical activity than the assistant psychologist.

13. To travel to placements across a large geographical area and visiting a range of settings on placement, including home visits - ability to drive is desirable.

14. Most face to face clinical work is sedentary.

Communication and working relationships

Trainees will develop working relationships with their programme director and their university tutor(s), who generally remain constant throughout their training. These relationships encompass all facets of their training. In addition trainees will develop circumscribed supervisory relationships with a number of service-based clinical supervisors and possibly also research supervisors who each hold responsibility for supervision of specific aspects of their clinical and/or research work.

Most challenging part of the job

Throughout their clinical psychology training trainees will need to develop accurate self-awareness about their current knowledge and skills and use this information to determine their own learning needs. The generic nature of training is such that trainees will address these issues in multiple organizational and professional contexts and in respect of several client groups.


3.1 Clinical:

1. To undertake structured interviews, psychological assessments (including complex psychometric tests) and observations of individuals and groups.

2. To assist in the development of psychological formulations of clinical problems and the development and delivery of care plans, which include psychological treatment and/or management of clients' problems.

3. To determine appropriate psychological intervention, taking into account a range of potentially conflicting clinical information and dynamics.

4. To carry out psychological and psychometric tests, accurately and to develop interview and observation skills, to assess needs and eligibility for services.

5. To design, implement and modify as appropriate, bespoke psychological interventions with clients, carers, families, and groups.

6. To communicate confidential and personal information concerning ability level and psychological needs, obtained through assessments and interventions, to referring agents and to the client themselves, who may have limited understanding and difficulties with acceptance, and where appropriate to relatives and carers.

7. To provide advice and clinically based supervision to carers about care and management of clients' problems.

8. To assist in the coordination and running of therapeutic groups.

9. To provide emotional support for clients, their carers and families.

10. To keep appropriate records of work and inform referrers and relevant others through letters or reports.

11. To work as a member of a multidisciplinary team.

12. To follow a person-focused and evidence based approach.

13. To work in partnership with service users

14. To work in accordance with National NHS and placement providers' policies and regulations, as well as those of relevant professional bodies.

15. To work in a variety of settings including the client's own home, in-patient, residential and day centre facilities.

16. To work in a highly emotive atmosphere, frequently encountering highly distressing problems and circumstances and must maintain a high degree of professionalism at all times.

17. To work in situations where there are barriers to acceptance and possible exposure to aggression.

18. To receive regular clinical supervision in accordance with BPS guidelines and criteria and university procedures.

3.2 Clinical supervision, teaching and training

1. In conjunction with supervisor and University Tutor, to plan and prioritise own workload, research, and individual and group sessions.

2. May plan and deliver formal training sessions on psychological aspects of health care to mixed groups of relatives, care staff and other professional staff.

3. May provide practical training and supervision to care staff with respect to planned interventions.

4. May assist with providing specialist training to other psychologists, trainees and assistants as appropriate.

5. May be required to demonstrate own duties to other graduate psychologists.

3.3 Research and development

1. To plan, monitor and evaluate own work, using clinical outcomes assessments, small-scale research methodology and statistical procedures.

2. To plan and undertake formal Doctoral research, as agreed with the University programme staff.

3. To manage expenditure from a small research budget.

4. To develop an advanced knowledge base and practical skill in the design, implementation and statistical analysis of a wide variety of types of research, which could include quantitative and qualitative, single case, small N and group comparison studies.

5. To plan and undertake clinical audits or service evaluations, using appropriate methodology and statistical procedures as appropriate, as agreed with the clinical supervisor(s).

6. May plan and undertake practice-based research using or developing validated questionnaires.

7. To enhance own knowledge of clinical psychology, specific client groups and types of psychological difficulty through reading, literature searches and personal study.

8. To comply with the requirements of research governance and evidence-based practice.

3.4 Information

1. To maintain appropriate records of own work, in electronic and hard copy, in line with NHS and Social Care policies and professional guidelines.

2. To maintain relevant administrative systems of own work, electronic and hard copy, in line with relevant guidelines.

3. To submit statistical information, activity and quality data of own work as required by the University programme, regional, national bodies or NHS.

4. To word process material relevant to the Doctoral programme (such as essays, case studies, service- oriented research projects, clinical audits and the doctoral thesis), using suitable word processing and spreadsheet software.

5. To use information technology as appropriate, within direct clinical work, research and treatment interventions.

6. To undertake clerical functions requiring some familiarity with applied psychology, including literature searches, developing and maintaining training packs, information leaflets, inputting data and other tasks necessary for the efficient running of the service and/or training needs.

7. To undertake computerized literature searches using major clinical databases such as PsychInfo, Medline and Cochrane, to inform routine clinical work and as preparation for the design of major doctoral research and smaller scale placement-based projects.

8. To develop competence in advanced statistical software (such as SPSS) for the analysis of clinical research and research data.

3.5 Other

1. To follow the advice and policies of the placement provider, including knowledge, awareness of, and compliance with the legal framework relevant to the placement and client group.

2. To be familiar with and abide by confidentiality and information handling and storage guidelines of the placement provider and university.

3. To participate in regular developmental reviews with the Programme Director or his/her representative, identifying CPD needs, agreeing objectives, identifying training needs and formulating a personal plan.

4. To cooperate in the use of rooms, books, tests and other equipment needed to carry out duties.

5. To attend and participate in administrative and service planning meetings. as determined by the clinical supervisor(s).

6. To undertake any other duties as requested by the Programme Director, such as participation in trainee and staff selection procedures, or service on programme and national committees.

7. To participate in evaluation and monitoring of the University programme and associated placements as required by the health service commissioners, the university, the QAA and the BPS.

8. To practice and conduct self in accordance with the BPS and University codes of conduct.


All information concerning patients/clients and staff must be treated as strictly confidential at all times.


It is the aim of the Trust to ensure that no job applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of sex, race, colour, religion, marital status, sexuality, age or disability and is not placed at a disadvantage by conditions or requirements which cannot be shown to be justifiable. To this end the Trust has an Equal Opportunities Policy and it is for each employee to contribute to its success.


Employees must be aware of the responsibilities placed on them under the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974), and to ensure that agreed safety procedures are carried out to maintain a safe environment for employees, patients and visitors.


There is a no smoking policy in operation in the Trust. In accordance with this policy smoking is positively discouraged and is only permitted in certain designated areas.


If you have contact with computerised data systems you are required to obtain, process and/or use information held on a computer or word processor in a fair and lawful way. To hold data only for the specific registered purpose and not to use or disclose it in any way incompatible with such purpose. To disclose data only to authorised persons or organisations as instructed.


All staff who contribute to patients' health records are expected to be familiar with, and adhere to, the Trust's Standards of Records Keeping Policy. Staff should be aware that patients' records throughout the Trust will be subject to regular audit.

All staff who have access to patients' records have a responsibility to ensure that these are maintained efficiently and that confidentiality is protected in line with the Trust's Confidentiality of Health Records Policy.

All staff have an obligation to ensure that health records are maintained efficiently and that confidentiality is protected. Staff are also subject to this obligation both on an implied basis and also on the basis that, on accepting their job description, they agree to maintain both patient / client and staff confidentiality.

In addition, all health professionals are advised to compile records on the assumption that they are accessible to patients in line with the Data Protection Act.


All staff must ensure that waste produced within the Trust is disposed of in such ways that control risk to health, or safety of staff and the public alike in accordance with relevant legislation and procedures contained within the policy.


JC 19/10/04


Job title: - Trainee Clinical Psychologist

All candidates will be considered on their ability to meet the requirements of this person specification.

E = Essential criterion for the role, D = Desirable criterion for the role.



Prior Academic Qualifications

· First degree in Psychology, or an equivalent qualification, which confers eligibility for Graduate Membership for Registration (GBR) with the British Psychological Society

· Evidence from undergraduate and any postgraduate study of a capacity to undertake study at a Doctoral level, as indicated by a good upper-second degree or its equivalent, or by postgraduate study in a field related to Clinical Psychology



Prior Experience

· Experience of paid or voluntary work in a clinical, community or clinical-academic setting exposing the person to client groups and service settings directly relevant to clinical psychology. This experience can be gained in a range of contexts; including NHS or University settings, the voluntary sector or organisations affiliated to the NHS. It follows that a variety of pre-training roles would be relevant, including (but not restricted to) Assistant Psychologist, Research Assistant, Graduate Primary Care Worker, Nursing Assistant, and Healthcare Assistant.

· Sufficient relevant clinical/ clinical-research experience to familiarise the person with working practices in NHS/ UK statutory service-settings.

· Evidence that this experience (as above) engenders realistic expectations of the demands and nature of Clinical Psychology training

· Evidence that this experience (as above) has developed an awareness of the contexts in which Clinical Psychology services are usually delivered

· Evidence that this experience includes building and sustaining relationships with service users in relevant organisational contexts

· Evidence of learning from supervision of clinical practice

· Evidence of a capacity to undertake research at a postgraduate level










· Specialist knowledge of clinical psychology acquired through relevant prior experience, undergraduate teaching and/or clinically supervised practice, and the potential to build upon and extend such knowledge through training.


· Effective communication skills, both orally and in written format.**

· Evidence of potential to communicate complex, technical and clinically sensitive information to individuals with whom clinical psychologists usually work. This includes both psychologists and fellow professionals, as well as individual clients and their relatives/ carers.

· Evidence of potential to tailor communication in a manner which is congruent with the needs of the recipient, including the needs of clients with a range of emotional difficulties, or who have difficulty in communicating or understanding

· Evidence of potential to exercise both appropriate assertion and diplomacy according to the particular situation, with professional colleagues, carers, relatives, and clients with a range of challenging emotional difficulties (including hostility.

· Evidence of potential for good presentation and teaching skills suited to both formal and informal settings **

Analytical/ capacity for formulation:

· Evidence of potential to formulate and articulate sound judgements based on analysis and interpretation of a range of complex information in clinical work, drawing both on clinical observation and on relevant theoretical models.


· Evidence of organisational potential which enables planning of own workload in relation both to clinical work (e.g. organise appointments with staff and clients, plan client sessions), as well as academic work (e.g. teaching and research activities).

· Evidence of a potential for flexibility in planning: specifically a capacity to monitor, evaluate and adjust plans accordingly over time.


· Capacity to frequently sit in constrained positions for client assessments, group and individual therapy and counselling sessions and clinical supervision.**

Information Technology:

· Familiarity with computer use which may include word processing, spreadsheets, database programmes, publisher and PowerPoint.


A foundation of undergraduate-level knowledge of research design and methodology

Knowledge of basic statistical procedures employed within the field of psychology (including multivariate data analysis)















· Evidence of ability to form empathic relations with a wide range of clients in a variety of settings

· Evidence of an ability to form good and respectful professional working relationships with a wide range of professional colleagues

· Evidence of a capacity to reflect constructively on all aspects of own performance (academic, clinical and professional)

· Evidence of a capacity to reflect realistically on their own strengths and weaknesses

· Evidence of receptiveness to academic feedback and clinical supervision, and to apply ideas and knowledge gained from this feedback to current and novel contexts

· Capacity for frequent extended periods of intense concentration in a range of clinical contexts (e.g. individual/ group therapy, clinical assessments/ interviews, clinical supervision) which require active participation which takes account of dynamic processes, and where planning of appropriate responses to these dynamic processes is required

· Potential to work effectively under pressure, including working directly with staff and clients who may be highly distressed, analyse data where there may be frequent interruptions, prioritise work, operate a waiting list, meet short deadlines and an unpredictable work pattern which requires regular revision of plans.

· Ability to function well in the context of unexpected or uncertain outcome, or in the absence of guidelines or in novel situations, and to contain anxiety and distress on behalf of others, including other staff within the organisation.

· Ability, with appropriate support, to undertake psychological assessment, and therapy in an emotionally demanding environment, with frequent exposure to highly distressing or highly emotional circumstances, including situations where sexual abuse, family violence and breakdown, mental illness or terminal ill health, may be the focus of psychological intervention.

· Evidence of potential ability to work as a lone worker in circumstances where there may be exposure to severe distress, verbal or physical aggression.

· Evidence of potential ability to work effectively whilst exposed to unpleasant working conditions including frequent exposure to verbal aggression and occasional exposure to physical aggression.













· Ability and willingness to travel across the training region **

· Current driving licence and car/ motorcycle owner



** After any reasonable adjustments to compensate for disability, including adjustments required to comply with the DDA.


Job title: - Trainee Clinical Psychologist

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