Year 3 placement seeking procedure for second years

Below is an outline of the procedure for arranging Year 3 placements adopted by the Lancaster DClinPsy, which is closely coordinated with the procedure undertaken by the Liverpool and Manchester programmes.

Time Plan:

October of Second Year Trainees are introduced to the procedure for planning third year placements, some of the options available, and relevant points to consider. This is done via a meeting, teaching session or 3rd year placement 'Roadshow'.
October of Second year Trainees are sent a Third Year Placement questionnaire, to prompt them to think about relevant issues in choosing a third year placement. They are asked to make an appointment with their clinical tutor to discuss their personal learning needs, any outstanding competencies to be addressed, their preferences, and possible people to contact to explore placement opportunities further. They will be pointed towards the Register for third year placements held by the course.
October - December of Second Year Trainees meet with clinical tutors, and a process of information gathering takes place - led by the trainee, supported where necessary by the clinical tutor.
December of Second Year Trainees submit an Action Plan to the tutor coordinating third year placements, which has been developed in collaboration with their clinical tutor. The 'Action Plan' consists of a list of supervisors/services that they may wish to contact to gather information about placements.
December of Second Year The Tutor coordinating third year placements reviews all submitted 'Action Plans', to coordinate overlaps between trainees (and avoid supervisors being contacted several times). The tutor will give approval to each trainee individually, to pursue their Action Plan. Where several trainees are interested in speaking to a certain supervisor, the tutor may arrange or suggest a joint meeting between the trainees involved and the supervisor, to avoid repetition for the supervisor.
December - February of Second Year Trainees contact supervisors and services, to discuss opportunities for Third Year placements. All these enquiries are tentative. They are asked to regularly update the Third Year placement tutor of their conversations (e.g. weekly by email), in order that any necessary changes to the action plan can be made, or new directions added, and to monitor how the system is working. In February, they submit a preference form, detailing the options which they wish to pursue, that is - which placements they would like to take up (where possible). It is important to give as much information as possible at this point about preferences, as it is not possible to match all trainees with their named preferred supervisor - any information about desired experience, model, or any other factor should be made clear to the Third Year Placement tutor.
February - May of Second Year Tutors meet with counterparts from Liverpool and Manchester programmes, to review the preferences/learning needs of all trainees across the region. Supervisors are contacted to obtain firmer offers of placements. Overlap and limitations in capacity are managed and collaboratively solved/alternatives suggested. Tutors contact trainees where necessary during this process, to discuss alternative options or preferences, and further information gathering and discussion may be necessary.
May - June of Second Year Supervisors and trainees are contacted, to confirm allocation of placements. After this, trainees make contact with supervisors, to arrange a meeting in the next few weeks around placement planning. Some undertake mandatory training/DBS checks ahead of placements.
September of Third Year Supervisors are contacted more officially, with information about placement dates and procedures.
December of Third Year Trainees start placements.

Points to remember:

  • A trainee's learning needs (e.g. any competencies which still require development or monitoring) should be the first priority in selecting a supervisor or service.
  • Our policy across all three Programmes in the North West is to give priority to first and second years' core placements, so trainees are less likely to be allocated to a placement/supervisor who is used for a core placement.
  • Trainees are encouraged to talk to individual supervisors about their potential availability, and to get more information about the service/nature of the work/learning opportunities that might be on offer. However, they should make it clear to supervisors that their enquiries are exploratory at this stage, and any formal approach for placements will need to come from the programme.
  • Trainees can feel free to express preferences for placements across the North West.
  • All three regional courses have signed up to this timescale and outline planning process. Placements are agreed together in the spring of second year, by tutors from all three courses. Occasionally, we do hear of supervisors who are not aware of the process, and give a message that "they are already taken" (as if a first come, first served system was operating). If this occurs, the trainee should please let the Third Year tutor know about this.

Trainees should not:

  • Make 'definite' arrangements with individual supervisors. It should be made clear that confirming a placement can only be done by the course
  • Approach placements or supervisors from outside of the North West (e.g. covered by other programmes such as Leeds, Staffordshire and Shropshire or Birmingham) until they have discussed this with the Third Year placement tutor, as we need to get permission from the appropriate course before even approaching them.