Life as a Trainee Clinical Psychologist

The Doctorate in Clinical Psychology programme is normally a three-year, full-time programme. Successful completion of the programme confers eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council. Students work as trainee clinical psychologists and are employed by Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust. They all begin their employment at the first level of Agenda for Change pay scale band 6, (£26,565; figure accurate in June, 2017) and progress to the third level over the three years of training (£28,746). Although previous continuous NHS service does not confer pay protection, it does increase the number of days of annual leave entitlement during training. Students are also registered as full-time postgraduate students at Lancaster University.

For the first two years of training a typical week would comprise supervised clinical work on a practice placement in a mental health service based at a location in the North West region for three days, one day of personal study time and a day of on-campus teaching. Teaching is relevant to the current practice placement, each of which lasts about six months. In the first year of training, trainees work with children and their families for six months and then spend a further six months working in a service for adults of working age. Second year trainees work in services for older people, in clinical health psychology services or in a neuropsychology service for the first six months and with people who have a learning disability for the second six months. The third year of training is split between practice placement in a setting which best meets trainees' learning needs, teaching and research activity. We have a number of trainees on bespoke pathways to accommodate them working less than 1.0 FTE where required.