New Ways of Working

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New Ways of Working

Post by Spatch » Tue Apr 03, 2007 10:02 am

New Ways of Working for Applied Psychologists (NWWAP) is a NHS programme for revamping the way psychologists within the NHS work. Partly due to the increased demand for psychological therapy, but also due to the increasing wage costs of qualifieds, NWWAP is a way of maximising the use of clinical psychologists.

Remember, what follows is currently theoretical.

"Business-speak" aside, this effects the following areas

1) Changes to clinical psychology training.
2) Changing career pathways for qualified psychologists.
3) Expanding the roles of assistants/ pre-qualified.
4) Improving access to psychological therapy.

Instead of having the traditional pre-qualified/qualified two tier divide, NWWAP would propose a more gradated "pyramid structure" in which non-doctoral training grades would occupy the large base of the pyramid. There would be three levels between undergraduate and doctoral applied psychology training with each level having its own qualification. This would be achieved while working.

The first level would be Psychology Assistant and would result in a Certificate. The second level would be that of Psychology Associate and would result in a Diploma and the third level, Senior Psychology Associate would result in an MSc.

There would be a recognised career exit at the completion of the MSc at the level of Senior Associate Psychologist, equivalent to the EuroPsy model. The next career progression would be the Doctorate. This would be a two-year specialist course.

Under this model clinical, health and counselling psychologists will be trained together . There is also a strong view being expressed that educational and forensic should also be included.

Career Pathways

For the qualified folk, its all change too. There is a need for more people at lower bands and fewer people at higher bands, as more people wish to access psychological therapies. For those wishing to really rise high there would be two potential strands, one that would focus on the practitioner becoming primarily a therapist, and the other "applied psychologist" pathway that would be more managerial/ consultant/ clinical leader.

For the latter (that will consist the majority of future "applied psychologists") the pathway will be as follows.

Band 7 – Preceptorship – gaining clinical experience in NHS context
Bands 8a and 8b – main service delivery grades – expectations of clinical leadership around complex cases; ‘responsible clinician’; research/evaluation; supervision/ training; service improvement; projects
Consultant grades 8c, 8d – defining different but equivalent kinds of consultants
Consultant Band 9 – Head of service – head of multi-professional grouping, additional responsibilities e.g. psychological therapies

maven added
There was an interesting repost to NWWAP in this month's Service and Practise Update (the newletter of the Child Faculty) called "New ways of shooting ourselves in the foot" by Tim Prescott of the Teeside course. The gist being that this is a new language (invented by psychiatrists who are much better at protecting their interests than we are) to imply that the bulk of psychological work can be done by cheaper graduates, rather than needing "proper" qualified CPs and may lead to less funding for us!

guest23 added
New Ways of Working links: The BPS page and

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Post by miriam » Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:21 pm

There is an update from the BPS on NWWAP, called "the end of the beginning"which seems much more sensible, and from my reading of it differs significantly from some of the things Spatch has stated above.

Firstly, they have established a lot of sensible things:

- that service users want more psychological therapies available
- that psychology is a very valued and skilled profession
- that clinical psychology training is a very good investment for the NHS, as most people given places qualify and then spend the remainder of their working life in the NHS, with less than 1% attrition per year
- that clinical psychology training is very good and should not be changed
- that clinical psychologists are very skilled at management, service development, leadership, governance/evaulation
- that psychologists can work very well as part of multi-disciplinary teams and also help assist team dynamics and relationships more broadly, but need to retain their own professional identity and be connected to their professional group

They then make a lot of sensible proposals:

- that we make better use of psychology graduates to do some of the new lower level psychological work, but ensure that there is a proper career structure and training for these posts, and that people can either choose to stay at that level or compete for doctoral training
- they have suggested 3 levels of AP post to fit with the bands 4-6: Assisant psychologist, Senior Assistant and Associate Psychologist. They are considering making training courses leading to a certificate or diploma which are accessible from these posts
- that all new psychological therapists and psychology graduate posts are sited within existing psychology services/departments
- that psychology is represented on trust boards and throughout senior management, and in service re-design and commissioning
- that increasing primary care provision and lower-level mental health services does not erode the need for specialist services at higher tiers
- that there is clear post-qualification career structure, and process for attaining those who apply to attain consultant status
- that we explore the overlap and differences between the different applied psychologies, and where there are differences be open about them so that the public and commissioners can know the differences, and where there are commonalities consider whether there is scope to overlap segments of the training

So, the graduate grades in the profession would have slightly different names to those Spatch mentions. Also clinical training would not be cut down, or have to follow a post with a masters qualification, and would not overlap nearly so significantly with other applied psychology training. The term "applied psychologists" applies to anyone with a doctoral training (or a qualification that has subsequently become a doctoral training) in a branch of psychology such as clinical, counselling, forensic, educational, health, or neuro. It is not necessary to either specialise in therapy or in the indirect/management stuff as a career pathway (though there will be more therapy posts that are open to psychology graduates where long term career progression will be capped unless the person does gain a place on a doctoral training course).

They are keen to emphasise that professional arrogance and defensiveness is not part of the future of the professions, but I do feel like there will be a lot of people worried by the blurring of what a psychologist is, and wanting to ensure that we maintain the thresholds of what it takes to become each level of the profession...

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