Concern about trainee behaviour

From time to time staff/service users who come into contact with DClinPsy trainees may have concerns about an individual trainee's conduct and behaviour. There are already a number of formal DClinPsy, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust (LCFT) and Lancaster University policies and procedures which can be applied in the case of serious concerns. The key policies and procedures are available in our programme handbook and are: -

There are also a number of professional standards documents which DClinPsy trainees are expected to adhere to: - The Concern Form has been adapted from a similar form developed by the Lancaster University Medical School in order to complement our existing policies and procedures. The aim of the concern form is three-fold: -
  1. To document 'low level' concerns in order to guide trainees to the appropriate standards of professional behaviour prior to conduct issues escalating to a more serious level
  2. To document the accumulation of 'low level' concerns, where support and guidance has not been sufficient to establish appropriate standards of professional conduct and it has become necessary to issue a formal warning
  3. To standardise documentation with regards to very serious concerns prior to the appropriate route(s) of referral being taken
The process (outlined on the flowchart on the form) is intended to be supportive to students. Our aim is to intervene at an early stage with trainees who are finding it difficult to meet appropriate professional standards, work with the trainees to establish what the obstacles to meeting those standards are and attempt to establish new patterns of conduct.

These forms, once completed, are confidential. The information will only be disclosed to those concerned with the DClinPsy who have a direct need to know. Concern forms for a trainee will be retained on the trainee file and will be kept during their period on the DClinPsy and for six years from the date of graduation / formal withdrawal (this is a university requirement).

The expected standards of appropriate professional behaviour outlined below are from the HCPC guidance on conduct and ethics for students. Any failure to meet one or more of these standards should be registered on a concern form and submitted to the Programme Administrator.

  1. Promote and protect the interests of service users and carers

    • You should treat service users and carers as individuals, respecting their privacy and dignity.
    • You should make sure that you have consent from service users or other appropriate authority before you provide any care, treatment or other services.
    • You should follow your education provider's or practice placement provider's policy on consent.
    • You should make sure that before you provide any care, treatment or other services, the service user is aware that you are a student.
    • You should respect a person's right to have their care, treatment or other services carried out by a professional and not a student.
    • You should treat everyone equally and not discriminate against anyone because of your personal views.
    • You should keep relationships with service users and carers professional.
  2. Communicate appropriately and effectively

    • You should be polite and considerate to service users, other students and staff at your education provider and practice placement provider.
    • You should listen to service users and carers and take account of their needs and wishes when carrying out any care, treatment or other services.
    • You should take all reasonable steps to make sure that you can communicate appropriately and effectively with service users and carers.
    • You should communicate effectively and co-operate with members of staff at your education provider and practice placement provider to benefit service users and carers.
    • If you are experiencing any difficulties or other issues which may affect your learning or ability to successfully participate in your programme, you should tell your education provider and practice placement provider.
    • You should use all forms of communication appropriately and responsibly, including social media and networking websites.
  3. Work within the limits of your knowledge and skills

    • You should make sure that you are appropriately supervised for any task that you are asked to carry out.
    • You should ask for help when you need it.
    • You should be aware of any restrictions which apply to you in carrying out certain tasks and follow any relevant policies of your education provider or practice placement provider.
    • You should recognise that opportunities for carrying out any unsupervised tasks will vary during your programme and may depend on your knowledge, understanding, skills and experience.
    • You should only carry out an unsupervised task if you feel that you have the appropriate knowledge and skills to do so safely and effectively.
    • You should take responsibility for your own learning.
    • You should be aware of and follow any guidance issued by your education provider or practice placement provider for working with service users and carers.
    • You should ask for, listen to, think about and respond proactively to feedback you are given.
  4. Delegate appropriately

    • You should recognise that the opportunities for delegation will vary during your programme depending on your knowledge, understanding, skills and experience.
    • You should discuss the delegation of tasks with an appropriate member of staff at your education provider or practice placement provider before you take any action.
    • You should follow local policies or guidelines on delegation and working with others produced by your education provider or practice placement provider.
    • If you give tasks to another person to carry out on your behalf, you should make sure that they have the knowledge, skills and experience to carry out the tasks safely and effectively. The education provider or practice placement provider should support your decision to delegate.
    • If you give tasks to another person to carry out on your behalf, you should make sure that they have the appropriate information to carry out the tasks safely and effectively.
    • You should explain to service users and carers when you have asked another person to provide any care, treatment or other services.
  5. Respect confidentiality

    • You should keep information about service users and carers confidential, and only use it for the purpose for which it was given.
    • You should follow local policies or guidelines on confidentiality produced by your education provider or practice placement provider.
    • You should remove anything that could be used to identify a service user or carer from information which you use in your assessments or other academic work related to your programme.
    • If any confidential information raises concerns about the safety or wellbeing of someone, you should discuss this promptly with an appropriate member of staff at your education provider or practice placement provider.
  6. Manage risk

    • You should make sure that you take all appropriate steps to limit the risk of harm to service users, carers and others.
    • You should not do anything that you think will put someone in danger or at unacceptable risk.
    • You should follow your education provider's or practice placement provider's policy on managing risk.
    • You should be aware that you may put your service users or yourself at risk if your performance or judgement is affected by your physical or mental health.
    • You should ask for appropriate support and adapt your study or stop studying if your performance or judgement is affected by your physical or mental health and could put service users, yourself or others at risk.
    • You should get advice from a doctor or other appropriate professional if you are worried about your physical or mental health.
  7. Report concerns about safety

    • If you are worried about the safety or wellbeing of service users, carers or others, you should speak to an appropriate member of staff at your education provider or practice placement provider promptly.
    • You should put the safety and wellbeing of service users before any personal concerns, for example, about assessments, marks, other work related to your programme, employment prospects or other personal gain.
  8. Be open when things go wrong

    • You should tell an appropriate member of staff at your education provider or practice placement provider if something has gone wrong in any care, treatment or other services you have carried out involving a service user.
    • You should co-operate with members of staff at your education provider and practice placement provider if something has gone wrong in any care, treatment or other services you have carried out involving a service user. You should learn from this experience.
    • You should tell an appropriate member of staff at your education provider or practice placement provider if a service user or carer wants to raise concerns about any care, treatment or other services they have received.
  9. Be honest and trustworthy

    • You should make sure that your conduct and behaviour does not damage public trust and confidence in your profession.
    • You should be aware that your conduct and behaviour outside of your programme may affect whether or not you are allowed to complete your programme or register with us.
    • You should not claim that you have knowledge, skills, qualifications and experience which you do not.
    • You should be honest about your role with service users, carers and others.
    • You should make sure that your personal appearance is appropriate for your practice placement environment.
    • You should follow your education provider's or practice placement provider's policy on attendance.
    • You should follow your education provider's policies on ethics when carrying out research.
    • You should make sure that all attendance, achievement and assessment records are completed accurately and truthfully.
    • You should reference other people's work appropriately and not pass it off as your own.
    • You should provide constructive feedback on the quality of your teaching and learning experience in both the education and practice placement setting.
    • You should provide, as soon as possible, any important information about your conduct, competence or health to your education provider and practice placement provider.
    • You should tell your education provider, as soon as possible, if you are charged with, convicted of, or accept a caution for, any offence.
    • You should co-operate with any investigation into your conduct or competence.
  10. Keep records of your work with service users and carers

    • You should make sure that the records you keep are clear and accurate.
    • You should help to protect records from being damaged, lost or accessed by someone without permission.
    • You should follow your education provider's or practice placement provider's policy on record keeping.

Concern about trainee form