Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)

Selection

The Programme seeks to select trainees who have the capacity to complete a highly demanding professional doctorate level training programme. In line with following an evidence based approach, Exeter selects on the basis of the Competency Model which was developed following a job analysis of the trainee clinical psychology role (Baron & O’Reilly, 2012). The model specifies ten competencies that underpin successful trainee clinical psychologists. These are: intellectual ability and academic rigour, communication skills, self-awareness and openness to learning, personal maturity, warmth and empathy, resilience, organisation, autonomy and initiative, motivation and application and contextual awareness. The programme recognises that its processes form part of a national programme and therefore uses the Job Description and Person Specification (.pdf) that is made available to all applicants.  

Our hope is that an Exeter trainee will maintain and advance the standards of the profession while providing excellent service to clients, carers and colleagues within the NHS and other health and social care settings. We therefore want to attract and select trainees who have the required competencies, as well as being able to demonstrate that their values and behaviours align with the values of the NHS Constitution (http://hee.nhs.uk/about/nhs-constitution/).

Equal Opportunities

The benefits of diversity within profession are well understood, and the Programme is committed to proactively enhancing diversity both within the training community and the wider profession. We welcome applicants from diverse cultural and personal contexts, mature applicants with extensive life experience, and applicants with disabilities. Applicants will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, age, disability, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, religion or belief. The selection procedures are designed to be fair, and informed by current thinking on broadening access, thereby enabling the Exeter programme to select the strongest candidates.

Candidates with disabilities are welcome to contact us to discuss the programme's capacity to meet their training needs. Please contact the Programme Administrator or the University AccessAbility department for further details.

Entry requirements

Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC)

Applicants must have Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS) when they apply to the programme and a BPS recognised undergraduate honours degree at 2:1 level. Only those candidates who have GBC will be considered. If you are an Open University graduate and are awaiting confirmation of your GBC status at the time of application, please contact the Programme Administrator to discuss this further.

Applicants who obtained a 2:2 honours degree in a BPS recognised undergraduate degree might be eligible to apply but would need additional minimum postgraduate (Masters level that has a clear research component) qualifications to demonstrate academic competence for a Doctoral level programme.  

Degree qualifications awarded outside the UK are assessed for eligibility for GBC by the BPS. Usually GBC is conferred when an individual has completed an undergraduate degree in Psychology, or a postgraduate degree which includes a substantive period of study in Psychology. If your qualifications are from outside the UK, you must apply for membership of the BPS and they will check your qualifications as part of the application process.

Clinical Experience

All applicants require a minimum of one year of clinical experience of working with people with psychological needs, which ideally would be supervised by a clinical psychologist. Paid work as a psychology assistant (AP) or IAPT therapist/ wellbeing practitioner are particularly valuable, however, voluntary work as an AP, Healthcare Assistant, or Support Worker also provide valuable experience.  (Short part-time volunteer work or short placements during a first degree are normally insufficient on their own.) Experience can be gained in any type of environment, whether within the NHS or other health or social care settings.  The purpose of experience is to help applicants develop the competencies needed for training such as resilience to working with psychological distress, a commitment to reflective practice and to gain a realistic sense of the clients with whom clinical psychologists work, and of the profession and its working practices.

Candidates whose experience is restricted to an academic research setting should ensure that they gain some familiarity with clinical populations and settings. Substantive voluntary posts may also be relevant, particularly when these are in statutory settings.

Driving licence

As the programme covers a wide and rural geographical area all applicants must possess a full valid driving licence at application (subject to reasonable adjustments for disability).  All applicants are required to submit their full driving licence one week before interview date. If applicants cannot submit their driving licence documents they will not be eligible for interview. All candidates must undertake to meet the travel requirements of the programme.

References

All applicants must have one academic referee and one clinical experience referee. Academic referees should be a suitably qualified professional, be able to comment on an applicant's academic ability, and preferably have direct experience of the applicant's academic work or research experience. The clinical experience referee should be able to demonstrate the applicant's suitability for training as a clinical psychologist.  Ideally this reference would be from a clinical psychologist and recent. Please note that it is not usually acceptable to have both references provided by academics of both by clinicians. If you intend to have both references provided by academics of clinicians, you will be expected to justify this in your application form (in the referee section).

The Programme encourages applicants to carefully consider their referees as to their suitability to provide the information requested in the Clearing House reference forms.

Please note that a number of healthcare organisations have a policy of providing standardised references for all employees and will not provide personal references. We do not accept these references and would not be able to consider applications where these are received.

Residence Requirements

At Exeter the commissioning body (Health Education England) has residence requirements that all applicants need to meet to be considered. We require applicants to meet residence requirements based on the NHS Bursary Scheme (see pages 9-17 of the "Financial Help for the Healthcare Students 2016/2017 booklet for details of the residence criteria).

English Language Ability

The English language ability requirement for entry to the programme is a score of at least 7.0 on IELTS (Health & Care Professions Council Standard of Proficiency 1b.3). If English is not your first language, and your degree was not taught and examined in English, we require you to provide evidence that you meet the HCPC standard.

Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

There is no provision in the Exeter degree regulations for Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning. The Programme is full-time for 3 years and attendance at all programme components is mandatory over that time, including the induction period. The length of the Programme cannot be reduced through the accreditation of prior learning or experience: all trainees are required to complete the full programme of training in order to qualify.

Selection Procedure

Commendation from BPS accreditation visit, 2015:

"The Lived Experience Group is an integral part of the training provision and is very creative and innovative in its approaches, particularly with regard to trainee selection. The group clearly enhances the programme and trainee experience in a meaningful way."

Selection processes and criteria are under continuing review and, whilst the information below is correct at the time of submission, the most up-to-date information will be available on the Clearing House website.

The Programme seeks to select trainees who have the capacity to complete a highly demanding professional doctorate level training programme. In line with this and an evidence-based approach, candidates for the programme are selected based on the Competency Model, a model developed following a job analysis of the trainee clinical psychology role (Baron & O'Reilly, 2012). The model specifies ten competencies that underpin successful trainee clinical psychologists. These are: intellectual ability and academic rigour; communication skills; self-awareness and openness to learning; personal maturity; warmth and empathy; resilience; organisation; autonomy and initiative; motivation and application; and contextual awareness. Please also see the Trainee Clinical Psychologist Person Specification Job Description and Person Specification (.pdf).

Our hope is that an Exeter trainee will maintain and advance the standards of the Profession while providing excellent service to clients, carers and colleagues within the NHS and other health and social care settings. We therefore want to attract and selct trainees who have the required competencies , as well as being able to demonstrate that their values and behaviours align with the values of the NHS Constitution.

Selection Process

Exeter expects to recruit for 11 training places in 2018, with Exeter University as the main academic base and locality (placement) bases in Somerset and Devon.

As we are keen to have selection procedures that are informed by current thinking on inequalities, we have active involvement in the selection process from people who have experience of services as well as team members and clinical psychologist, all of whom help ensure that we run a fair process and select the strongest candidates.

At Exeter we value equality and inclusivity, and encourage applicants from those with diverse experiences and backgrounds. A recent review of our selection processes highlighted how much weight was placed on education attainment and employment / voluntary experiences. We are aware that not all individauls have these opportunities, and that there is growing evidence that socio-economic status can have a strong impact on educational attainment. For reasons such as this, tests of general mental ability are increasingly used in occupation selection tasks as there is substantial evidence to indicate that they can predict performance on both professional training programmes and complex job roles once qualified, and are less influenced by socio-economic circumstances. We have therefore chosen to introduce a test of general mental ability as part of our selection process as a step towards broadening inclusivity. We believe an online test of mental ability will allow all applicants, regardless of background, the opportunity to demonstrate their potential to become a clinical psychologist.

  1. Short-listing
    The test of general mental ability will be overseen by Lancaster University. Those who meet the basic entry criteria will be invited to take part in the online test, and have two weeks to complete it. The top 30% of candidates from the test of general mental ability will then be put forward for shortlisting prior to being selected for interview. Each short-listing panel will comprise of programme staff and practising regional clinical psychologists, and will consider the results of the online test alongside information from each candidate's Clearing House application form. We anticipate a significant proportion of those who go through shortlisting will be offered an interview.

    We are proactive about supporting people with disabilities. If you need support during any stage of the selections process, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will work with you to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that you are given a fair opportunity to show your potential.

  2. Interviews
    Candidates will be required to take part in one interview (evaluating research and clinical experience) and a group task co-produced by the programme and the lived experience group. We intend the time you spend with us to be respectful, constructive and supportive, and all candidates will be given a clear brief about what to expect when they are invited for interview. All selection tasks are designed to give candidates the opportunity to demonstrate the required competencies and values required for entry into the programme.

All offers of a place on a course are dependent on satisfactory criminal record and health checks and compliance with health checks will be acted upon.

Feedback

Due to the high numbers of applicants, the Programme does not give feedback to applicants who are not interviewed. Feedback on interview performance will be available on request after the selection process has been completed.