Issues with Diversity in Clin Psy Trainees Recruitment

Discuss applications to the clearing house (and to courses that are not in the clearing house system), screening assessments, interviews, reserve lists, places, etc. here
JDan14
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Re: Issues with Diversity in Clin Psy Trainees Recruitment

Post by JDan14 » Mon May 13, 2019 6:20 pm

Hi JB99

Sounds like an interesting approach to exploring the process. I would imagine that consent to participate/knowledge of recording would impact on interview behaviour (decision less likely to be driven by implicit bias)?

The issue of bias is not specific to Clinical Psychology, but of the wider NHS. For example, Roger Kline has done a wealth of work on ‘The Snowy White Peaks of the NHS’.

Recent data from over 9000 CP’s in the UK (currently unpublished) shows an average of 85% female workforce, yet the split at band 8b+ is 50:50 male/female. Of the 63 band 9 CP’s in England and Scotland, only 4 are from BAME backgrounds.

Socio-economic factors have also been considered as part of the problem (BAME populations are more likely to come from less affluent communities). However, again there is an increase in acceptances from people originating from the lower quintiles whilst BAME acceptance continues to decline (despite increased applications).

Biases in one form of another must be at play to produce consistent data (2005-2017 clearing house stats) within such a diverse population.
Last edited by JDan14 on Mon May 13, 2019 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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LolaSun
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Re: Issues with Diversity in Clin Psy Trainees Recruitment

Post by LolaSun » Mon May 13, 2019 6:24 pm

Older applicants are able to fully understand what the profession involves! They are not obtuse. They are simply considering this career option after having explored other ones.For a reason or another. I believe the knowledge and life experience learnt along the way of such alternative career paths can be extremely useful to help integrating more traditional therapeutic skills.

Also, I know many applicants that got on (including the age range 25-30) after applying 4, 5 or even 6 times. Again, I am curious as to what underpins the reasoning that ppl who get on after the first or second attempt may be stronger candidates. It seems rather to me, by reading the various experiences of successful candidates, that people get on when ready.
Last edited by LolaSun on Mon May 13, 2019 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LolaSun
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Re: Issues with Diversity in Clin Psy Trainees Recruitment

Post by LolaSun » Mon May 13, 2019 6:45 pm

Punkgirluk wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 11:12 pm
This is really interesting, and all I can offer is my experience as a white female and *ahem older than most * applicant ( I also identify as LGBT but didn’t discuss this anywhere in my application as to me it wasn’t particularly relevant). I found that all the negativity and discouragement was way before application. Ever since I changed career I was told pretty much continuously that aiming for clinical was a pipe dream and it would never happen. Fortunately I had previously been in a career with similar odds and had (more than) made it so I had practice in going (metaphorically) “up yours- it’s what I want so you’re not going to
put me off”. But I had to do that and lots of biting my tongue and smiling sweetly for 3 years...By the time I got to application and interview I did really feel my diverse experience was valued and felt no issues at all (first time applicant, 2 interviews. 2 offers) - (although I did stick out considerably at one interviews- I just reminded myself that reflected applications but eventually decided to not accept that offer as couldn’t face feeling that different for 3 years!) I do wonder however whether other potential applicants might have listened to people telling them they couldn’t do it..

I think there are also significant practical issues. I was lucky in that previous career made me financially independent and by the time I changed career I no longer had caring responsibilities. That meant I could take an AP job with a 1 1/2 hour each way daily commute and apply to courses I thought would value my experience no matter where in the country. That’s not the same for everyone (or even most). My sense is that the inequality happens way before selection and that’s what the profession may need to look at...

I would however be very interested in other people’s thoughts and experiences?
What an inspiring experience. What do you think made you successful in your endeavour (getting an offer), whilst preserving all your uniqueness and authenticity?

JDan14
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Re: Issues with Diversity in Clin Psy Trainees Recruitment

Post by JDan14 » Mon May 13, 2019 9:20 pm

Maven wrote:
the norm is for people in their mid and late twenties to be in the majority on courses, and any older candidate has to be mindful about whether they'd feel comfortable within that peer group. Many later life career changers choose counselling psychology training for this reason, and the reduced competition/additional flexibility
An alternative explanation also being that choosing Counselling Psychology training (at any age) is about maintaining the integrity of someone’s epistemological position.

I’m not entirely convinced by the suggestion that people would opt for £20-£25k worth of fees and juggling paid employment to cover living costs with a full time doctorate simply to avoid a queue full of 20 somethings.

However, I am convinced that an overwhelming amount of applicants to Clinical Psychology would opt for alternative training courses if it wasn’t salaried with course fees paid.

LolaSun
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Re: Issues with Diversity in Clin Psy Trainees Recruitment

Post by LolaSun » Mon May 13, 2019 10:15 pm

JDan14 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 9:20 pm
Maven wrote:
the norm is for people in their mid and late twenties to be in the majority on courses, and any older candidate has to be mindful about whether they'd feel comfortable within that peer group. Many later life career changers choose counselling psychology training for this reason, and the reduced competition/additional flexibility
An alternative explanation also being that choosing Counselling Psychology training (at any age) is about maintaining the integrity of someone’s epistemological position.

I’m not entirely convinced by the suggestion that people would opt for £20-£25k worth of fees and juggling paid employment to cover living costs with a full time doctorate simply to avoid a queue full of 20 somethings.

However, I am convinced that an overwhelming amount of applicants to Clinical Psychology would opt for alternative training courses if it wasn’t salaried with course fees paid.
I couldn't agree more Dan.

In fact, if both Clinical and Counselling Psychology Doctorates were salaried and paid for..I would definitely choose Counselling.

JB99
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Re: Issues with Diversity in Clin Psy Trainees Recruitment

Post by JB99 » Tue May 14, 2019 9:16 am

JDan14 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 6:20 pm
Socio-economic factors have also been considered as part of the problem (BAME populations are more likely to come from less affluent communities). However, again there is an increase in acceptances from people originating from the lower quintiles whilst BAME acceptance continues to decline (despite increased applications).
I don't think socio-economic factors would be too predictive of success in the selection process though, as you alluded to in your second sentence. From the demographics, it does seem that BAME are proportionally represented at the point of application, but they lose out during the selection process. My conceptualisation has always been that socio-economic factors prevent opportunity (i.e. the number of people applying, or in a position to be able to apply), rather than weaken someone during a selection process.

I also wonder what the socioeconomic status of BAME applicants is compared to other ethnicities, in terms of dclin applicants. I would not be surprised if they are not different in socioeconomic status, given the need for university-level education.

lakeland
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Re: Issues with Diversity in Clin Psy Trainees Recruitment

Post by lakeland » Tue May 14, 2019 9:26 am

JB99 wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 9:16 am
JDan14 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 6:20 pm
Socio-economic factors have also been considered as part of the problem (BAME populations are more likely to come from less affluent communities). However, again there is an increase in acceptances from people originating from the lower quintiles whilst BAME acceptance continues to decline (despite increased applications).
I don't think socio-economic factors would be too predictive of success in the selection process though, as you alluded to in your second sentence. From the demographics, it does seem that BAME are proportionally represented at the point of application, but they lose out during the selection process. My conceptualisation has always been that socio-economic factors prevent opportunity (i.e. the number of people applying, or in a position to be able to apply), rather than weaken someone during a selection process.

I also wonder what the socioeconomic status of BAME applicants is compared to other ethnicities, in terms of dclin applicants. I would not be surprised if they are not different in socioeconomic status, given the need for university-level education.
I think given what someone said about BAME individuals being over-represented in secondary care, it's important that we don't just have proportional representation from those groups. We need to ensure that people accessing services feel like their experiences are going to be understood - of course any good Psychologist will listen, learn, reflect etc, but I have no personal experience in how racism (for example) can affect someone's mental health. Also, a diverse workforce is important for challenging the overall whiteness of the NHS, and the potential institutional issues that come with it. Though I don't think that's the responsiblity of just our BAME colleagues, and I'm aware of the labour that is sometimes put on minority groups to educate white people about their experiences.

In terms of age, I think this is far less important, but I'm prepared to be corrected on this. Training is one relatively short part of someone's career. Qualified Clinical Psychologists span a vast age range, so I think there is age diversity within the profession already.

JB99
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Re: Issues with Diversity in Clin Psy Trainees Recruitment

Post by JB99 » Tue May 14, 2019 10:11 am

lakeland wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 9:26 am
I think given what someone said about BAME individuals being over-represented in secondary care, it's important that we don't just have proportional representation from those groups. We need to ensure that people accessing services feel like their experiences are going to be understood - of course any good Psychologist will listen, learn, reflect etc, but I have no personal experience in how racism (for example) can affect someone's mental health. Also, a diverse workforce is important for challenging the overall whiteness of the NHS, and the potential institutional issues that come with it. Though I don't think that's the responsiblity of just our BAME colleagues, and I'm aware of the labour that is sometimes put on minority groups to educate white people about their experiences.
It's a reasonable point. So you feel the goal would be to have effectively have the supply match demand, in terms of demographics? I guess I agree, although I'd be careful about the means by which such a goal is achieved.

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Spatch
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Re: Issues with Diversity in Clin Psy Trainees Recruitment

Post by Spatch » Tue May 14, 2019 11:07 am

It does seem that BAME are proportionally represented at the point of application, but they lose out during the selection process. My conceptualisation has always been that socio-economic factors prevent opportunity (i.e. the number of people applying, or in a position to be able to apply), rather than weaken someone during a selection process.
Good points. I wonder if it is even more nuanced than that. I am very much aware in certain BME communities, that the more able students will be pushed into the more traditional (read prestigous) healthcare roles such as medicine, pharmacy or dentistry, and there is a strong stigma in taking a psychology degree.

Case in point, I remember a rather amusing conversation with my mother who casually mentioned (after I had finished my PhD and DClinPsy) that wouldn't now would be a good time to go to medical school so I can get "a proper job". I thanked her but told her I would take my chances with my mickey mouse psychology degrees to pay the rent and keep food on the table. Mentalising her perspective, I could see that she thought I was being obtuse; clearly I had demonstrated the academic ability so why not do the obvious thing.

That led me to wondering if there is a pre-pre-selection skew where the BME candidates more likely to get onto a DClinPsy will have been prefiltered out into other roles, which may leave the "weaker" BME candidates in a position where they are directly competing with stronger ones from White backgrounds (where there may be less of a stigma/ disregard for psychology careers)? Would be curious to get others view on this.
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JDan14
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Re: Issues with Diversity in Clin Psy Trainees Recruitment

Post by JDan14 » Tue May 14, 2019 12:10 pm

JB99 wrote:
I don't think socio-economic factors would be too predictive of success in the selection process though, as you alluded to in your second sentence. From the demographics, it does seem that BAME are proportionally represented at the point of application, but they lose out during the selection process. My conceptualisation has always been that socio-economic factors prevent opportunity (i.e. the number of people applying, or in a position to be able to apply), rather than weaken someone during a selection process.
Essentially, the data suggests that socio-economic factors do affect opportunity. If you are from a low income family/household, are you more likely to apply to a funded course that pays a salary, or one where you have to pay your fees and work for free? One of the key arguments in trying to prevent the withdrawal of funding for DClinPsy training is that this would disadvantage people on low income. Also, people on low incomes are less likely to be able to undertake honorary/temporary contract AP roles limiting the pre-training experience for application.
Spatch wrote:
I am very much aware in certain BME communities, that the more able students will be pushed into the more traditional (read prestigous) healthcare roles such as medicine, pharmacy or dentistry, and there is a strong stigma in taking a psychology degree....wondering if there is a pre-pre-selection skew where the BME candidates more likely to get onto a DClinPsy will have been prefiltered out into other roles, which may leave the "weaker" BME candidates in a position where they are directly competing with stronger ones from White backgrounds (where there may be less of a stigma/ disregard for psychology careers)? Would be curious to get others view on this
Sounds like what you are saying here is that less able BAME students apply for clinical psychology and that their own cultural biases are to blame for this? Slightly lost for words to be honest.

JB99
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Re: Issues with Diversity in Clin Psy Trainees Recruitment

Post by JB99 » Tue May 14, 2019 1:01 pm

JDan14 wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 12:10 pm
Essentially, the data suggests that socio-economic factors do affect opportunity. If you are from a low income family/household, are you more likely to apply to a funded course that pays a salary, or one where you have to pay your fees and work for free? One of the key arguments in trying to prevent the withdrawal of funding for DClinPsy training is that this would disadvantage people on low income. Also, people on low incomes are less likely to be able to undertake honorary/temporary contract AP roles limiting the pre-training experience for application.
Sure. It undoubtedly affects the number of applicants that are able to apply (as I stated in the last post). On second thought, it probably also affects the quality of experience amongst those who meet the eligibility criteria, and therefore success in the process.

For some reason I had it in my mind that selection process equated purely to the interview.

Regarding your above post, I agree that my research idea would probably be influenced by the Hawthorne effect. You could make sure the applicant is blind to the purpose of the recording, but there may still be some affect on behaviour. Mind you, I think anxiety levels are probably at max anyway, so the addition of being recorded may not be as influential as it would in other contexts?

mr0860
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Re: Issues with Diversity in Clin Psy Trainees Recruitment

Post by mr0860 » Tue May 14, 2019 2:46 pm

The group which is most significantly underrepresented, relative to their proportion in the UK population as a whole, is men. In the engineering profession, which has a similar gender imbalance in the opposite direction, they are trying to tackle this by offering female-only scholarships (equivalent to ~£10k, plus mentoring support) for Master's courses. Would a similar system of male-only scholarships for psychology be a useful and/or effective tool to address the gender imbalance?

lakeland
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Re: Issues with Diversity in Clin Psy Trainees Recruitment

Post by lakeland » Tue May 14, 2019 3:02 pm

mr0860 wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 2:46 pm
The group which is most significantly underrepresented, relative to their proportion in the UK population as a whole, is men. In the engineering profession, which has a similar gender imbalance in the opposite direction, they are trying to tackle this by offering female-only scholarships (equivalent to ~£10k, plus mentoring support) for Master's courses. Would a similar system of male-only scholarships for psychology be a useful and/or effective tool to address the gender imbalance?
No, because men are not disadvantaged as a group. They just choose not to apply for Psychology for various reasons.

Also, as JDan14 said, men are over-represented at senior CP levels (8B and above), so seems to me that if they choose this route, they're doing just fine.

praxising
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Re: Issues with Diversity in Clin Psy Trainees Recruitment

Post by praxising » Tue May 14, 2019 5:03 pm

This has been a topic of considerable discussion for the last few years. My own take is that that there are significant systemic issues of racism, class and poverty at play that come into effect long before application. Here are some figures that came out of the discussion late last year that people may find interesting.

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Spatch
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Re: Issues with Diversity in Clin Psy Trainees Recruitment

Post by Spatch » Tue May 14, 2019 5:29 pm

If you are from a low income family/household, are you more likely to apply to a funded course that pays a salary, or one where you have to pay your fees and work for free? One of the key arguments in trying to prevent the withdrawal of funding for DClinPsy training is that this would disadvantage people on low income.
Similar arguments were made around the introduction of tuition fees at undergrad, that it would put people off from lower SES groups. However, this was not found to be upheld in the end, and the stats seemed to indicate that all groups increased entry to higher education
https://fullfact.org/education/tuition- ... ge-access/

That said I still disagree with tuition fees in principle, but I have to acknowlege my prediction at the time (fewer poorer students, more middle class affluent ones) was inaccurate.
Sounds like what you are saying here is that less able BAME students apply for clinical psychology and that their own cultural biases are to blame for this? Slightly lost for words to be honest.
I am making a possible hypothesis relating to the observation by the paper by Scior (I link to further upthread) that observes BME candidates applying for clinical training with lower grades and weaker academic profiles. Yet there are indications that BME groups can attain high grades and do enter high tariff universities, so where are they going?

https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/me ... udents.pdf

The point about "cultural bias" has been commented on in the past in several sources including this forum
viewtopic.php?t=19277#p173994

and research like this

Turpin & Fensom (2004). Widening access within undergraduate psychology education and its implica-tions for professional psychology: Gender, disability andethnic diversity.Leicester: British Psychological Society.

Instead of being lost for words, perhaps you could suggest a better explanation and cite your evidence?
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