Placement Details

The clinical director, clinical tutors, heads of service and placement coordinators jointly plan placements. Liaison or placement coordinators are NHS clinical psychologists who take on their role in relation to the programmes in clinical psychology across most trusts in the Southwest. Some trusts do not have a named coordinator, and in these cases heads of service generally take on aspects of this role. The role of the coordinator is to act as a communicator between their trust and the programmes. 

Each trainee is allocated to a geographical area and a trust following selection. This trust becomes the hosted trust for this trainee. Placements cannot always be guaranteed in host trust.

Priorities for matching trainees with available placements would take disability as high priority.  Reasonable adjustments to locality or host trust area will be made for an individual and would take priority over preferred choice of another trainee for that placement.

Placement Sequence

Supervised clinical experience is gained through three placements, each nearly one year in duration. The placement sequence is planned so that trainees can develop their core competencies within a life span, developmental and cultural contextual framework in which they can understand psychological well-being and distress.

Attendance at placements is mandatory. If a trainee misses more than ten days of a placement the clinical tutor will form an action plan around this absence and the appraiser will be involved in this. An absenteeism form should be completed for any day of absence from placement. Trainees are required to explain their learning status to service users. This entails seeking consent for writing up any placement work for academic purposes. This should be undertaken at the beginning of any clinical work with service users, carers or staff teams.

Year One placement involves work with children/ young people and their families and with people with learning disabilities, with an emphasis on community and systemic orientations.

Year Two placement involves work in services with adults through the lifespan (working age and later life).

In both year one and two, trainees will have one or two supervisors, who may come from a number of different specialisms. Placements may be structured as two consecutive six month placement, or two year-long placements that run in parallel.  

Year Three is a consolidation and specialisation, preparation for practice year in which trainees will gain more in-depth experience of applying and integrating psychological approaches, fill in any gaps and consolidate their acquisition of core competencies and experiences as they prepare for their first qualified post. This is also a year for further specialisation (such as CBT, family therapy and others)

Year One: Children and Young People/Learning Disabilities

Theory-practice introductory placement days: 2 days in October.
Placement start and end dates:  November - September
Submission dates: May and September

Placement audit forms:   May and September

Year Two: Adults through the life span (working age and later life)

Theory-practice introductory placement days: 2 Days is October
Placement start and end dates:   November – September
Submission dates: June and September

Placement audit forms:  June and September

Year Three: Consolidation, specialisation and preparation for qualified practice

Placement start and end dates: October - September
Year 3 submission. July (recommended 40 minimum placement days at this time)

Placement audit forms: July

Placement Planning

Placements in Year 1 and 2

The clinical director and clinical tutors will arrange placements in year one and two. Trainees will be informed of their placements in August.

Placements in Year 3

Planning for Year 3 takes place during the Year 2 of the trainee.

  • March – Clinical tutor thinks with trainee about Year 3 and discussions with appraiser begin. Trainee can approach supervisors informally about one or two possible placements bearing in mind that future Year 1 and 2 placements must take priority.
  • April/May – Appraisal leads to identification of learning gaps and suggestions of most appropriate supervisors.
  • May – August – Supervisors are agreed via programme team, liaison tutors and clinical tutors
  • August – Final confirmation of supervisor for Year 3.