UCL Doctorate In Clinical Psychology


Professional Autonomy and Accountability

Both the BPS and HPC have published guidance on ethical and professional behaviour (these are included in the Training Handbook). Competence in this area means:

  • being familiar with these documents
  • being able to draw on knowledge of these documents in order to identify and manage potential ethical/professional dilemmas

In brief the required competences are:

An ability to draw on knowledge of national and local codes of practice which apply to all staff involved in the delivery of healthcare
An ability to draw on knowledge of codes of practice which apply to psychologists specifically (e.g. HPC standards of proficiency, DCP guidelines).
An ability to take responsibility for maintaining awareness of legislation relevant to areas of professional practice in which psychologists are engaged (e.g. the Mental Health Act, Mental Capacity Act, Human Rights Act, Data Protection Act)

An ability to draw on knowledge of relevant codes of professional and ethical conduct and practice in order:

  • to apply the general principles embodied in these codes to each piece of work being undertaken
  • to uphold the rights, dignity, and autonomy of service users (including their role in the diagnostic and therapeutic process and in maintaining health and wellbeing)
Knowledge and understanding of  the ethical and legal issues involved in any form of dual relationship and the impact these may have on clients

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