Competence and Experience Frameworks

Supervised clinical placements account for over half of the three years in training. In line with the British Psychological Society’s (BPS; 2014) requirements for clinical psychology training (Standards for Doctoral Programmes in Clinical Psychology) and the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC Standards of Education and Training Guidance  - see reading list), we have a core competence model of training. Throughout the three years, three main areas are assessed: competence, experience and reflection.

Competence: Core competencies in clinical psychology are those areas of activity that are considered by the BPS and our regulatory body, the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC), to be central to our identity and role in the public services.

“Competence” is defined as the ability to perform the activities of an occupation to the standards expected in employment.  In the NHS National Plan and workforce planning this translates into “fit for purpose” and “fitness to practise” (HCPC Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics, Guidance on Conduct and Ethics for Students, Standards of Proficiency, Practitioner Psychologists).

By the end of each placement year, trainees are expected to demonstrate they have met learning outcomes and they are progressing satisfactorily towards the competency level expected of a newly qualified clinical psychologist in that area of practice.

The required professional (BPS) competencies on the DClinPsy are:

Revised core competencies 2014

  • Generalisable metacompetencies = GMC
  • Psychological assessment = PA
  • Psychological formulation = PF
  • Psychological intervention = PI
  • Evaluation = E
  • Research = R
  • Personal and professional skills and values = PPSV
  • Communicating and teaching = CT
  • Organisational and systemic influence and leadership = OSIL

Experience: Trainees are expected to develop their competence through a balanced range of experiences across settings and client groups. The BPS and HCPC specify the range of experience required in clinical psychology training:

Exposure to clients, carers and families with a range of presenting problems, resources and abilities across the life span, based in a range of service delivery systems or settings, working at a number of different levels (direct, indirect, and within multi-disciplinary teams) and using and integrating more than one psychological approach.

Reflection: Trainees are expected to engage in critical reflection on self and context as they develop their professional, practitioner, scientist/researcher and personal identities as clinical psychologists. Trainees are expected to draw upon this experience for supervision, appraisals and academic assessments.