which nhs grades and job titles appropriate for work exp?

The place to ask about degree courses, conversion courses, masters, PhD or other qualifications. Discuss specific courses, their pros and cons, the content, the application process, different institutions, how to fund them, etc. Includes advice if you have a 2:2 and questions on transcripts
Post Reply
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:12 am

which nhs grades and job titles appropriate for work exp?

Post by tapircareerchange » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:30 am


I am finding it tricky to decode the language of NHS job adverts. I have not yet started a conversion course and my existing degrees are not in psychology. What grade/job titles is it appropriate to apply to within the NHS at this stage, please? A lot of the adverts appear to me to have requirements I don't meet - nursing or counselling qualifications and experience. It's possible I'm either misunderstanding the wording or looking at the wrong type of job.

I have done voluntary work for a listening service and am currently doing voluntary work for a rehabilitation charity. My past (as a university teacher and researcher *outside* psychology) jobs have involved some student welfare support and academic tutorials with an ASD student 1-1.

I am on maternity leave October to March and then have a part-time job in academia for the following 2.5 years with flexible hours so I could combine this with gaining experience in part-time work after April and with a conversion course after Sept 2018. However, I can't do night shift work because of the baby.


Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:17 pm

Re: which nhs grades and job titles appropriate for work exp

Post by Psyfer » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:02 pm

I don't think there is a level that you can enter the NHS at (in psychology) that is consummate with your previous experience as a university teacher.

Please other users correct me as this is just my impression and I am not a qualified CP!

Without GBC (the conversion course) you would be looking at band 3 (or possibly 4) mental health support worker type role. Try typing Health Care Assistant, (Support Time) Recovery Worker or Occupational Therapy Assistant into NHS jobs. A research post at band 5 might also be appropriate but I rarely see these.

With your part-time role in academia I think it would be hard to find a part-time NHS role. It would also be difficult to join the NHS bank as an HCA without previous HCA experience.

You could consider applying for a part-time honorary assistant psychologist job alongside the work in academia either during or after the conversion. If you can afford to do this it might be the fastest way to gain relevant experience.

I just spammed psychologists (a lot) until one agreed to meet me and offered me an honorary AP post during my conversion.

Have you considered the counselling psychology doctorate? (I am just wondering if this might be affordable for you and fit nicely other commitments if you did it part-time.)

Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:12 am

Re: which nhs grades and job titles appropriate for work exp

Post by tapircareerchange » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:00 am

Hi Psyfer

Thanks very much for this.

Yes I know that I'll have to take a pay cut and status cut while changing career. The careers advisor I talked to suggested NHS work in the period before doing a conversion but I just couldn't see how to implement her advice. It sounds as if she was just giving bad advice. It would be best to look for experience during and after conversion.


User avatar
Posts: 679
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 11:07 pm
Location: Midlands

Re: which nhs grades and job titles appropriate for work exp

Post by mungle » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:32 pm

While you do the conversion or after is there scope to collaborate in research with your academia colleagues from psychology? It sounds like you could be in a good position, post-conversion, to apply for highly relevant pre-doctoral jobs (e.g. assistant psychologist, psychological wellbeing practitioner etc.) but getting some relevant publications would help you show a strong research profile on dclinpsy applications. In terms of NHS jobs, you'd be limited without the conversion course but if your academia job is science or social science you could look at research assistant jobs and jobs in NHS Research and Innovation departments. Also, you would be eligible for support worker jobs but these are likely to involve a significant pay cut. You could also look at charities and private healthcare companies for roles e.g. drug and alcohol worker, youth work, welfare, housing charities, social policy, advocacy etc.

Think about the wider CP role and what skills a CP needs e.g. clinical skills, research skills, leadership, supervision, teaching, service development etc. Can you develop or demonstrate any of these skills in your current role or area? Also, is there any relevant training you can access through your workplace such as counselling skills, communication, management or leaderships training etc. I would imagine an academia job might let you demonstrate teaching skills, research skills, presenting at conference, taking leadership, managing projects and you may have access to free training run in-house.

But if you need to choose, prioritise getting the best grade you can in your conversion course. You can always gain experience afterwards but you need to demonstrate the academic achievement.

Also, there is nothing wrong with leaving the extra experience until after your conversion course. I'm sure you will have your hands full with a baby, part-time work and study. There is no race and there is no finish line.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest