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
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Re: Access to a car?

Post by RJParker » Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:20 pm

lakeland wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:45 pm
What would your solution be Richard?
Not sure if you're asking me - or what problem you are looking for a solution to.

If you mean the problem that programmes are potentially excluding people for economic reasons by having a driving requirement then the solution is to not have a driving requirement. There may be some programmes for whom this would be more problematic than others for more than a few trainees but I do think, from our own experience, it is largely manageable.

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Re: Access to a car?

Post by lakeland » Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:47 pm

I think we're broadly in agreement that it shouldn't be a requirement, but it would also be naive to think that it would be possible to find placements for an entire cohort of non drivers, because of the way services are set up. A nice challenge for Lancaster maybe!

I did read a National Geographic issue about solving the car issue and basically we have to rebuild cities from scratch and have better public transportation.

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Re: Access to a car?

Post by RJParker » Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:34 am

lakeland wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:47 pm
I think we're broadly in agreement that it shouldn't be a requirement, but it would also be naive to think that it would be possible to find placements for an entire cohort of non drivers, because of the way services are set up. A nice challenge for Lancaster maybe!
We don't require a driving license and never have. We actively tell people this and encourage people to apply to us with this information and have done for years. We have never come close to having even half a cohort that don't drive. There simply isn't a problem here if you choose not to have this requirement.

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Re: Access to a car?

Post by miriam » Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:41 am

Brio52 wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:21 am
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.
I'm with Lakeland and AnsweringBell here. You couldn't have done any of the jobs I've done in my career, nor any of my placements on clinical training, nor any of the AP or qualified jobs I've employed others to do in services I've led or managed without a driving license. It just isn't possible to get to our base by public transport, and the job requires going out to see people and/or gather information from schools, placements, solicitors offices and local authorities. It would be stupid not to make driving an essential requirement in shortlisting, though we are happy to accept reasonable adjustment plans if anyone has a disability that means they can't drive.

And the idea that learning to drive is out of the financial scope of lower bands and those with dependents seems rather narrow-minded to me. You assume that this is done through large numbers of purchased driving lessons, when actually you can learn with any qualified driver. I had 10 lessons after my Dad taught me to drive. My husband had about the same after I taught him to drive. And I have taught several friends to the point of being roadworthy, before they took formal lessons too. So, apart from a possible uplift in insurance for the 'teacher,' we are talking about £200-£300, including the test fee. But even if you need to raise the full cost of never-been-behind-the-wheel to passed, this is still much smaller than doing an MSc or volunteering, and has much wider applicability in the employment market.

So, whilst it is nice for diversity if some courses allow people without driving licenses to apply, I agree that (outside London) it is likely to mean that those who can drive are on average expected to have longer commutes, and that isn't entirely fair either.

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Re: Access to a car?

Post by RJParker » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:59 am

So basically, another reason to apply to Lancaster peeps!

(but obviously you'll typically have the longer commute than the car drivers)

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Re: Access to a car?

Post by clinlecturer » Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:48 pm

Mephistofela wrote:
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!
At Surrey, you need access to a car from the start of the course.

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Re: Access to a car?

Post by buenosaires » Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:00 pm

Susanna75 wrote:
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?
I'm a trainee on the Manchester course and you have to have a valid driving licence to sit the interview! Now having experience of the placements I can see why, relying on public transport would be very limiting both in terms of accessing the base and travelling to client site.

BUT I do really empathise with your sentiments - I passed my driving test just months before starting training and had had absolutely no driving experience prior to this. This was a bit painful financially (as other contributors have noted, owing to a relatively low paying job coupled with London living and not having a friend/family member who could regularly take me for driving lessons) and I still feel like rookie on the roads - would have much preferred to have a fair amount of experience under my belt before having to do daily driving on scaaaary motorways!

This said, the NHS do offer pretty economical car leasing options (which include all your insurance in one monthly sum), so you wouldn't have to buy a car if that's not of interest. Also, I keep telling myself driving is a life skill that will definitely come in handy beyond my professional life, so it's not a wasted endeavor! But if it really is something that is a deal breaker, I would look at the London courses as public transport is definitely the superior mode of transport there :D
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Re: Access to a car?

Post by Susanna75 » Wed Oct 30, 2019 2:46 pm

Thank you buenosaires and everyone else who's replied! It's given me a lot to think about. I'm 44 so would be an older applicant, and still need to fill in the "relevant experience" box before I can apply - I have GBR/GBC, a lot of non-psychology NHS experience and a PhD in another subject (audiology). So I had thought all I needed before I could apply was to find some relevant work for a year or so. Having to learn to drive would add a whole new aspect of expense and time that I hadn't factored in, and at my age time is of the essence! I'll think about it carefully and also explore what other options there may be for me outside of the clinical doctorate.

I live in London so probably would be applying for courses in London, so I may not even need to worry about driving, but equally if there was a brilliant sounding course in eg Wales or Manchester i wouldn't want to deny myself the opportunity to go for it!

Thanks again for all the helpful responses! :)

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Re: Access to a car?

Post by firegal » Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:20 pm

I don't know the official stance of the Birmingham course regarding driving, but we definitely had trainees in our cohort who couldn't drive and relied on public transport and lifts from other trainees. Placements do cover a broad geographical area though, and you might really limit yourself if you aren't able to travel freely.

I'm really in the middle with this discussion. I tended to use my car for getting to most placements, but I conceivably could have managed all of them on public transport, and only one of my five placements required regular driving actually during working hours. Like someone else mentioned, for the majority of other placements the broad opinion seemed to be that psychology time was too valuable to "waste" on driving, there was very little in the way of home visits, even in CAMHS and adult CMHT, but I know other people had a lot more driving in their placements, so it really varies.

Now, in my first qualified post, I'm in the situation of hopping on the train to get to work, I don't need access to a car at all, but I think this is probably the only band 7 job I applied to where that was the case, nearly all of the rest of them required access to a car as part of the person spec.

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