2.0. Aims and objectives

This chapter describes the research module elements of the DClinPsy. The codes used in this chapter are from the British Psychological Society Accreditation through partnership guidance for clinical psychology programmes (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

The research skills module aims to develop trainees’:

  1. Ability to formulate, design, carry out, critically evaluate, and disseminate the results of research that is relevant to the concerns of clients, service users, providers and commissioners of health services, including the broader public (GMC, PA, PF, PI, E, R, PPSV, CT, OSIL)
  2. Awareness of important stakeholders in clinical psychology research and promote the collaborative involvement of these stakeholders in the research process (e.g., providers, purchasers and service users, research councils, professional training organisations, interested clinical psychology colleagues) (GMC, PA, PF, PI, E, R, CT, PPSV)
  3. Adoption of clinical research as part of their professional work in their training and their post-qualification careers (GMC, PA, PF, PI, E,R, PPSV, CT, OSIL)

Clinical psychologists are positioned within a rapidly changing health services profession. Our goal is to equip clinical psychologists with the skills to shape and manage health problems at an individual and systemic level. Research skills are a critical component of this training. A reflective, scientist-practitioner approach provides psychologists with a basis for understanding psychological processes and clinical outcomes. These skills are also used to advise and assist colleagues in allied professions who have not had research training. The expected outcome is that trainees will continue to be “research active” after completion of the programme either in producing research in their future careers, facilitating research, or applying research to inform their practice. For trainees who choose a career in teaching and training, competence in evaluating and applying current research is a significant asset in keeping abreast of developments in their area of specialisation.  

Our research training is based on the MRC’s Complex Interventions Framework, a model of intervention development and evaluation. This framework serves as a comprehensive model of research development, evaluation and dissemination (Phase I: development, Phase II: piloting, Phase III: evaluation, Phase IV: dissemination). Research training focuses on psychological approaches to the framework, including using theory, and incorporating systemic and process/mechanism level variables.

We are committed to supporting lifelong scholarly activity and academic development during the programme.  All trainees are encouraged to build upon their existing skills by completing and publishing research, reviews, and critiques within the context of the clinical training programme. We strongly support and encourage this. The research module has been developed in consultation with other members of the training team, relevant stakeholders (e.g., research supervisors and field collaborators, trainees, service users, local Heads of Service) and research tutors on other clinical psychology programmes to ensure its relevance to clinical psychology practice. The purpose of this section of the handbook is to describe the components of the research module.