Let's talk about money

Your chance to ask for advice on any aspect of career development that doesn't fit in any of the above categories
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Re: Let's talk about money

Post by PolkaDot » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:27 pm

Yeah I think a lot of people think that because I did too initially! I live in Ayrshire and was employed in Glasgow for the duration of the course. You either went to Dundee or Stirling for teaching a few days at the end of each month. It was a really good course!

The majority of caaps I know are now on CP training or about to start, so I suppose the course isn’t working the way it is meant to but think that’s because there are a lack of CAAP jobs and progression. Feel free to PM me if you need anymore info.

Thanks, and all the best to you too for whatever path you decide :)

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Re: Let's talk about money

Post by missmoo » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:51 pm

Many thanks, PolkaDot. I'm going to go to the info day at Stirling in July. I'd really appreciate some more info if I do apply, so thanks very much for the offer.

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Re: Let's talk about money

Post by Spatch » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:20 pm

To follow up on a few things.
CEng in civil engineering is the chartership route that I'm aware of, where there's several routes to qualification and a doctorate or even masters level study is not required. Heck, you can qualify as a technician without a degree. It's still a closed shop for safety's sake.
Yes, there are a lot of vocational routes that would make you eligible for chartership at levels, but none (that I am aware of that would take you from post A-level (Level 3) to Doctorate (level 8) in one direct route. I am not sure what you mean by a "closed shop" but the current psychology route is far more open to entrants than routes like medicine or architecture. Just look at the differences in the experience in the succesful candidate threads.
Although we can all agree that more access to psychological therapies would be a good thing, in my experience up here, they're not being delivered by psychologists. Nurse practitioners and psychiatrists are more likely to be assessing and offering psychological therapies than a CP (with the bonus that they can prescribe) with other AHPs doing e.g. ASD assessment. Unless something changes with the cost of training and employing psychologists perhaps in Scotland we'll go the way of the guy who used to apply the leeches 😂
It's easy to forget that therapy is not historically integral to clinical psychology and you can be a CP without ever doing therapy once post qual (think neuropsychology, LD, memory clinics, research). However, the fundamental difference is that a clinical psychologist is an applied scientist that has psychotherapy as a single approach within a wider arsenal. Personally, I would like more nurses and AHPs delivering established evidence based treatments, while psychologists focus on the creation of new methods of intervention, which they are uniquely placed to do due to their doctoral level research training, focus on measurement and evaluation and cross lifespan training that comes as standard. If any service is using psychologists as expensive providers of routine therapy, I would argue that is a waste.
I would love to work as a CP but I also think (whisper it) *psychology's not more special than other clinical disciplines*
If that is the case, why not actively pursue one of the many other therapeutic, mental health focussed vocational pathways that are less competitive and have the direct route you value? Not a snarky comeback here, it is a genuine question. I am obviously biased, but I do think psychology is special because of the broad nature of the training, the scientist practitioner fundamentals and its scope beyond mental health and therapy.
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Re: Let's talk about money

Post by missmoo » Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:12 am

Thanks, Spatch. In terms of 'closed shop' I mean that one is not allowed to practice without having the professional body seal of approval.

I have genuinely thought about mental health nursing (I find the pharmaceutical aspect interesting) but found from colleagues and friends in the field that the realities of the job are pretty grim in terms of conditions, pay, progress etc. I also do really love research.

I take your point about the practitioner/ scientist aspect of clinical psychology and perhaps it is my naivety in discounting this based on what I see in advertised CP posts. But then again, if I never get contact with a CP, it's difficult to know 😉.

Everyone who's responded to my wail of frustration has been really helpful and given me a lot to chew over so thanks again for your time and your thoughts. I wish you all the very best in your future.

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Re: Let's talk about money

Post by alexh » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:41 am

I know it is a side issue to the thread but I am confused about the idea that research assistants require a PhD. Could it be a confusion between assistants and research associates?

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Re: Let's talk about money

Post by psychsars » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:13 am

I'm an Research Assistant without a phd although I have seen higher paid Research Assistant jobs that require a phd, I think mainly because the role itself is different from a Research Associate but still requires skills in a specific field.

Missmoo have you thought about training as a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner? I know this is a career path in it's own right but could potentially help with getting onto CP training and although you start on Band 4 you can progress to Band 5 once qualified.

Also don't forget the wages in the NHS are set to increase now that the proposed pay agreement has been confirmed, and I would think you'd definitely be better off financially as a Band 4 AP than the HCA salary you're used to!

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Re: Let's talk about money

Post by maven » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:39 pm

In the nicest possible way, your view of the world is quite myopic - the system that doesn't suit your needs in your locality must be faulty and therefore the profession is as doomed as the dodo. I don't really see it that way at all.

I'd say that whilst there are some difficulties with the profession, including our need to make pathways that attract more diverse applicants to the profession, our model of selection and training works - 99% of trainees pass the course and go on to work as CPs, and almost all CPs are of a good standard and uphold our professional reputation, and as a result we are a well paid, well valued profession that still has a funded training pathway despite cuts elsewhere. I don't want loads of lower level qualifications entering the profession as CPs and diluting our brand - but that has already happened as a new pathway for psychology grads into IAPT and the result isn't creating practitioners as skilled as CPs - in fact many HI practitioners still apply for clinical training. Our numbers are not shrinking, as a profession, despite austerity. In fact there are new projects emerging with new posts (including high graded posts to allow career progression) such as in the new community forensic CAMH services that have been created all over England. So whilst the training pathway and geography isn't a good match for your needs, it works really well for us as a profession overall, and for meeting the needs of the NHS and related workforces.

You also need to bear in mind that people don't just get to pick their area of interest, and their geography and expect a well paid job outside of CP. I know plenty of graduates struggling to find work with any prospects, or good enough pay, or related to their interests across many fields. In Scotland in particular, wages are lower and jobs outside of the main cities are less diverse and less frequently available. We are in a time of sustained austerity politics, and wages have stagnated compared to the cost of living rises. Nobody is having it easy in the early career stages, and there is increasing inequality including a growing divide between thriving cosmopolitan city centres and the rest of the UK where industry and retail is waning.

In terms of what next, I think you need to decide whether it is worth earning less for a year or two to achieve your goal, or whether relocating or delaying is preferable. I'm not sure why you think you need another Masters, but instead of spending money, why not just earn at a lower rate for a while in order to gain the best possible experience? Or why not find a job you love, that pays enough to service your needs, whilst volunteering in a role that will bring CP contact and/or a publication to strengthen your CV?

Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare

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Re: Let's talk about money

Post by missmoo » Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:30 am

Hi psychsars. Thanks for your suggestion. That post doesn't exist in Scotland. Polkadot's kindly suggested the route to a similar post which I thought was geographically restricted but that's not the case. I'm following that up.

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Re: Let's talk about money

Post by missmoo » Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:53 am

Thanks maven. No, I'm quite clear nobody owes me a living. I've also been clear upthread about why I'm not working and volunteering or otherwise doing two jobs. I'm a single parent with two young adult children with Aspergers, poor mental health and other psychological issues. They are both attempting to enter education again this year and will require a lot of ongoing support from me and I can't move away or commute long distance for a relevant post.

I've been doing those lower paid jobs in mental health for nearly five years (partly to gain more knowledge relevant to supporting my kids) but I cannot yet tick the boxes of contact with psychologists. Neither do I have a relevant masters as mine is mainly related to my old profession. I cannot afford to work for free or take a band 4 post as the cumulative effect of 5 years low pay means I'm in skint and I need to find money to support the kids through college. Hence why I asked if there's any more sensible way to go about the route to entering the CP profession. The answer seems to be 'no'.

I've taken Polkadot's helpful suggestion about CAAP training on board and will see how that goes. My point about training routes is that there's a great deal of uncertainty in how to get there, as demonstrated by this forum. I think that there could be a clearer path to training which might mean fewer people starting on that path but at least the rest of us would know if it's not worth pursuing and therefore not wasting time on it.

Also, I do live in a metropolitan centre of over a million people so not sure what you mean by that? In addition, I'm 43 so I've been around the career block a few times 😂

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