Access to a car?

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
Mephistofela
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu May 16, 2019 10:48 am

Access to a car?

Post by Mephistofela » Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:34 pm

Hi everyone,

I have been looking through the requirements of the courses, and the majority of them expect applicants to have a valid drivers license when they are interviewed. They also say that access to a car is essential, but I am not sure I understand at which point access to a car is needed - when offered a place or when starting the course? I am asking because while I have a drivers license I don't currently have a car - my plan is to get one only if I am offered a place on a course for which this would be required. I am planning to email the specific courses that I want to apply to and check with them but I thought it would be useful to hear other's experiences about this.

Thank you!

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Randomswirls
Team Member
Posts: 507
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:21 pm

Re: Access to a car?

Post by Randomswirls » Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:37 pm

When I interviewed I needed to show my driving license and that was enough.

PinkFreud19
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 3:08 pm

Re: Access to a car?

Post by PinkFreud19 » Tue Jul 23, 2019 4:27 pm

At interview, they will only require a driving license as evidence of this criterion. In light of this, I think it's fine to wait until you are offered a place before shelling out a lot of money on a car and insurance. Who's going to know?

Also, remember placements usually don't start until November/December, so you actually have even longer.

Mephistofela
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu May 16, 2019 10:48 am

Re: Access to a car?

Post by Mephistofela » Tue Jul 23, 2019 4:41 pm

Hello Randomswirls and PinkFreud19, thanks for letting me know!

rhapsodyinred
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 1:08 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Access to a car?

Post by rhapsodyinred » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:20 pm

For Liverpool you have to show your driver's license at interview.
In a lot of cases it's to commute to placements - e.g. for Edinburgh and Glasgow, placements can be quite far and difficult to access via public transport.

Susanna75
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:55 am

Re: Access to a car?

Post by Susanna75 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:08 am

Hi all! This is my first post and I hope it's okay to ask a question relevant to this thread. I have been thinking about applying for the DClinPsy in the next few years, but reading this thread has made me concerned. If the ability to drive is a pre-requisite for most courses that would be a huge stumbling block for me, as I don't currently drive and have no real desire to learn to, let alone buy a car. Is there anyone who's been through the training without having to drive?

RJParker
Posts: 249
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:44 pm

Re: Access to a car?

Post by RJParker » Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:05 pm

Lots have people have been through training at Lancaster without driving. It's more work for them and means there are fewer placement options when people want to do specialist placements but it is perfectly doable.

I imagine other programmes can provide alternative arrangements to car transportation and would no doubt do so in the event of someone with a disability applying without a license - they would have a requirement to do so under the DDA if they were an otherwise suitable candidate. Given the changing demographics of car ownership and that a requirement to have one naturally advantages those who are more affluent, it's a surprise people aren't looking at it more carefully.

Susanna75
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:55 am

Re: Access to a car?

Post by Susanna75 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:05 am

Thanks RJParker - it's good to know that there's at least some possibility of getting through training without a car. I'll have to look through the requirements for each course very carefully. It did surprise me to learn that car ownership might be required, as you say it would disadvantage applicants coming from less privileged backgrounds and I'm sure for Clinical Psychology it would be advantageous to have trainees from as wide a variety of backgrounds as possible.

AnsweringBell
Posts: 478
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:01 am

Re: Access to a car?

Post by AnsweringBell » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:45 am

I'd also assume that the central London courses really don't need/expect you to have a car either? (I didn't train there so don't actually know myself).

In my cohort at UEA, there was one non-driver... and my goodness it wasn't easy for her. We're quite a geographically spread out course though. But there were times in training where she was doing bus-train-bus to placement and taking 1.5 hours each way to get there. It was a real real bummer.

lakeland
Posts: 932
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 12:18 pm

Re: Access to a car?

Post by lakeland » Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:33 am

I'm probably a bad person for saying this, but a Band 6 NHS employee is fairly well paid and in most circumstances, they should be able to afford to run a car (I appreciate this may be different for people with dependants, single parents etc etc).

Maybe I'm a total cow, but as someone who does drive, I wouldn't have wanted all the far away placements while someone who is able to drive (not referring to people with disabilities etc) gets the ones 10 minutes from home.

Also, it's important to consider that very few community placements involve being based in one place, so there's often travelling within the working day - CAMHS in particular but also LD in my experience, and I would suspect OA too.

Brio52
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:36 am

Re: Access to a car?

Post by Brio52 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:21 am

lakeland wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:33 am
I'm probably a bad person for saying this, but a Band 6 NHS employee is fairly well paid and in most circumstances, they should be able to afford to run a car (I appreciate this may be different for people with dependants, single parents etc etc). 

Maybe I'm a total cow, but as someone who does drive, I wouldn't have wanted all the far away placements while someone who is able to drive (not referring to people with disabilities etc) gets the ones 10 minutes from home. 

Also, it's important to consider that very few community placements involve being based in one place, so there's often travelling within the working day - CAMHS in particular but also LD in my experience, and I would suspect OA too.
This presumes the person already knows how to drive. For a band 4 (which is a difficult position to get in the first place) learning to drive takes a serious commitment of time and money, with no guarantee of how long a process will take. When you add in the possibility of someone having to cover living expenses, possibly caring for others etc, I definitely think that it's not just people with disabilities who may not be able to drive.

There's also the fact that to me it just seems a bit weird to have driving as a requirement for clinical psychologist. Certainly if I were seeing a psychologist it wouldn't be on my list of things to check for, and the idea that a caring, intelligent, and talented candidate may not be considered due to either not wanting to or even not being able to (some people just don't have the knack for driving!) may not be able to even interview is a shame to me.

I also think it's odd that you characterise people who can't drive as having the pick of placements and having a really easy time, when the experiences described in this thread show that actually it's much harder for people who aren't able to drive, restricting the placements they can go to and requiring serious travel commutes.

Lastly just for my own experience of working in a community setting, the clinical psychologists very rarely if ever travelled from the base, as their time was quite precious to be spent driving. They would do so if needed, but we found it a better use of time to work with people to help get them to the work building where a proper therapeutic space can be held.

Hope it doesn't come across as a big rant, I apparently feel quite strongly about this! :P
I know that I feel very lucky that I was able to learn to drive and use a car, but I definitely don't think it should be a hard requirement.

lakeland
Posts: 932
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 12:18 pm

Re: Access to a car?

Post by lakeland » Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:40 am

I don't think it's the marker of a good psychologist - but I do think it reflects the NHS we work in, and have made it pretty clear from my experience that services exist where travel is needed during the work day, like rural services. Every day this week I've travelled to a client appointment because my service is county-wide, and children are generally not able to travel independently.

Absolutely there are many reasons why people don't drive or have access to a car other than disabilities, and I said that in my post. I think the "won't drive" people who want the closest placements irritate me, as just because I can drive, doesn't mean I love it.

AnsweringBell
Posts: 478
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:01 am

Re: Access to a car?

Post by AnsweringBell » Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:19 pm

You make a fair point about a band 4 learning to drive and buying a car is quite different to a band 6, financially... and I agree, there are a number of individual circumstances that it's a bit harsh to make a blanket rule for. And Also agree with RJParker in terms of making the profession as accessible as possible.

But I'm with Lakeland here too, both when I worked as an assistant in the community and also in my various placements on training, and now as a qualified... I ended up driving a good deal, as did my supervisors. When in a community LD team, both me and the clinical psychologists would drive quite a bit for appointments and meetings. Community older adults, the whole team did a huge amount of home visits, from support workers to nurses to consultants. CAMHS involved home visits, school visits, social work visits... It's definitely not just about training where CPs drive and need to drive to access their client base. Of course there are jobs where you wouldn't need to drive at all for the post, or could manage it all with public transport (without wasting a lot of clinical time you wouldnt otherwise)... but I don't think that's the bread and butter, or the typical CP experience necessarily. So that doesn't really come down to talent or potential at all, but rather the needs of a changing and increasingly stretched NHS.

And insisting on not driving whilst on training? Where your needs impact on others in your cohort... If it's a choice, I'm probably with Lakeland there too. I could drive, and did, and I might have had strong feelings about having to have worse/trickier placements for someone else's preference rather than need. (Disabilities or caring requirements is totally different). At times, I had to drive nearly 60 miles to placement by no choice of my own - if that was picked for me because other people refused to drive (rather than couldn't)? I'd have been pretty aggrieved.

Clearly a very tricky topic here.

RJParker
Posts: 249
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:44 pm

Re: Access to a car?

Post by RJParker » Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:35 pm

A few things I'd flag there.

I don't think someone not driving in a training cohort has any real impact on the rest of the cohort. It pretty much just impacts on them (and the person finding them placements but that's what we're paid for).

Talking about driving post qualification when you are a member of a well paid profession and requiring driving as a condition of application to a programme which is the only route into that profession are different things.

lakeland
Posts: 932
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 12:18 pm

Re: Access to a car?

Post by lakeland » Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:45 pm

What would your solution be Richard?

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