Our selections event

When do we select our trainees?

Candidates will be notified of the outcome of screening around mid-March. All those moving on to the next stage of the selection process, including those declaring a disability and reaching our minimum standard, will be invited to our selection event at Lancaster University in May.

Selections event dates

  • Tuesday 19th May 2020
  • Wednesday 20th May 2020
  • Thursday 21st May 2020


The selection event offers an opportunity to demonstrate competence in: -

  • Oral communication skills
  • Self awareness and openness to learning
  • Personal maturity
  • Warmth and empathy
  • Resilience
  • Professional skills
  • Motivation and application
  • Contextual awareness
  • Problem solving and decision making
  • Commitment to fairness and inclusivity

These competencies are based on a job analysis exercise which established what is important to success as a trainee clinical psychologist. Ratings of all the competencies above will contribute equally to the candidate's score. Please note that candidates do not need to have clinical examples to evidence competencies - they can be shown through a wide variety of life experiences which will be equally valued by selection panels. The person specification may also be helpful to applicants.

The time slot for your interview is fixed and cannot be rearranged unless you have specific support requirements.

On arrival you will have an opportunity to meet informally with one or two of our current trainees and colleagues from the Learning Together Group. Current trainees will be available throughout the day, providing an opportunity for questions, informal de-briefing and support.

Selection panels

Your interview and related tasks will last up to 90 minutes.

The panel members will comprise representatives from some or all of the following groups: -

  • Member(s) of the programme staff team
  • Local clinical psychologist(s)
  • Local service user(s)
  • A member of the Learning Together Group, a social enterprise which builds awareness of disability and equality
  • Current trainee(s)

Activities during the panel meeting

There will be 4 activities with your panel as follows: -

  • A 25 minute interview. The panel will collect evidence relevant to the competencies listed above by asking questions which will encourage you to talk about these areas. The panel will not have read your application form so do not assume they have prior knowledge of your experiences.
  • A 15 minute video discussion task. A short video of a group of people struggling with a common issue is shown during the meeting. The issue may have some personal relevance for you. The panel will then ask you questions about your understanding of what is happening between the people in the clip. Selectors will not rate your clinical skills or theoretical knowledge but are listening for your human reaction to the interpersonal issue.
  • A 5 minute role play. A member of the panel will join you for a role play of a challenging social situation. This is not an assessment of your clinical skill but of your social skills. A short description of the situation to be role played will be provided when you arrive so please allow yourself time to read and digest it before the meeting.
  • A 10 minute 'Working Together Task'. This involves making an object from everyday materials (e.g. A4 paper, sellotape) while working together with a member of the panel and calculating how many items were used in its construction.

Your panel may be audio recorded for the purposes of internal quality assurance.

Support for individuals with a disability

If you are attending our selections event and have specific support, ICT or access requirements please contact the programme office urgently on 01524 592970 if you have not already done so in order for us to make any necessary arrangements.

The video discussion task

This short video gives an example of the type of scenario that our video discussion task will focus on.

The role play

This video kindly acted by some of our former trainees gives an example of a role play scenario in the style of those used during our selections process.

Offers & feedback

Provisional offers

Following the interview days, we will contact all attendees by telephone to notify them of the outcome as soon as possible. We ask candidates who are offered a place on the programme to return to the university to repeat the screening tests under supervised conditions. All offers are conditional on achieving satisfactory scores in the supervised tests as well as a DBS check, references and occupational health check as detailed below. If selected, you will be required to return on a day in the 2 weeks following interview - we will contact candidates individually to arrange an appropriate time slot.

Interview feedback

Feedback on your performance will be available at a later date. You will be given details of how to gain feedback soon after your interview. Please do not telephone the programme office for this information.

Tab Content: Criminal convictions and GDPR

Applicants should note that all Clinical Psychology trainees are subject to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check as a condition of a place on the course. This is a requirement of registering applicants with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC – Privacy Notice available here). Applicants selected for interview are asked to complete a self-declaration form that details any relevant convictions and/or pending convictions. Applicants who fail to disclose relevant criminal convictions or pending convictions that later become known as part of their enhanced DBS check may be excluded from the course. Please note that spent convictions, cautions, warnings and reprimands that would not normally appear on your record may be disclosed through an enhanced DBS check.

Applicants that contact the department before the interview stage to disclose criminal convictions will be treated in the same manner as those that disclose using the self-declaration form.

Lancaster University will only have access to an applicant’s self-declaration form. Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust receives the results of the enhanced DBS check and these are not made available to any staff at the University. The course will retain the reference number and date of completion of the DBS check for use in the provision of placements during the programme. For more information about how Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust uses and secures personal data, please refer to their Privacy Notice. For information about how criminal convictions can affect your application for study, please refer to the self-declaration form or contact Katherine Thackeray, Programme Administrator.

The information applicants provide via the self-declaration form is collected in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018. Received self-declaration forms will be scanned electronically with the paper copies being destroyed in a confidential manner. The application cycle for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology begins in May and ends by 1st September the same year. All self-declaration forms are securely deleted from University systems on, or before, the 1st September in the year of application.

Information will be stored securely within the University systems and will only be accessed by appropriate University staff. To learn more about how Lancaster University ensures the security of personal information please refer to the University's Information Security Policy.

GDPR grants individuals certain rights in relation to their own personal data. For more information on these rights, please refer to the Rights of the Data Subject page on the University website.

For more information about how the University uses student and applicant data, please visit the Student Privacy Notice on the University’s website.

Students also have a responsibility to inform the University if they receive a criminal conviction during the course of their studies on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Students who wish to disclose a criminal conviction ‘in-year’ should contact Katherine Thackeray, Programme Administrator.

Tab Content: DBS check required documents

In order that the programme is able to acquire a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS) for those applicants offered places on the programme, it is essential that you bring with you as many of the following forms of identification as possible. All documents must be valid, current and original. Documents downloaded from the internet or photocopies will not be accepted.

A minimum of 3 documents are required, 1 from essential documents and 2 others from either essential documents or supporting documents.

Essential Documents (If you possess any of these documents you must provide at least one of them for verification purposes)

  • UK Passport
  • EEA/other nationality passport
  • Biometric Residence Permit/Permanent Residence Card issued by Home Office
  • Passport endorsed to show that the holder is exempt from immigration (ILR - indefinite stay, no time limit)
  • UK Full or provisional photo-card driving licence
  • Birth Certificate/ Adoption Certificate

Supporting Documents (In support of the Essential documents above, you must provide at least 2 of the following documents)

  • Utility Bill (not mobile phone bill)*
  • Financial Statement (bank/building society or credit card statement)*
  • Credit Union Statement*
  • Local Council Rent Card or tenancy agreement*
  • Document from Central/Local Government Agency/Local Authority – i.e. DWP,HMRC, Job Centre*
  • Local Authority Tax Statement (i.e. Council Tax)**
  • Most recent HMRC Tax notification (tax assessment, statement, P45 or P60)**
  • Mortgage Statement (UK & EEA only)**
  • Benefit Statement, book, card or letter from DWP confirming benefits**
  • Confirmation from electoral register search**

* less than 3 months old
** issued within the past 12 months

NB: All documents will be returned to you on the day

Applicants who are offered a place on the programme will be required to complete an online DBS form and provide payment of £46 to the employing trust. Failure to begin the DBS process and provide payment within four weeks of acceptance of a place will result in the offer being withdrawn and the place being given to someone else. For those applicants who are not offered a place on the programme, all information gained for DBS clearance will be destroyed. If you have any queries regarding the DBS check please contact the programme office.

DBS process for transgender applicants

The DBS offers a confidential checking process for transgender applicants who do not wish to reveal details of their previous identity to the person/organisation requesting a DBS check.

For more information about the transgender process email sensitive@dbs.gsi.gov.uk before completing the DBS application form.


Tab Content: Referees and references

Successful applicants are required to provide the programme with satisfactory references after a provisional offer is made. These must cover the previous 3 consecutive years of employment or training.

  • Reference requests will only be sent to your named referees in the event that you accept a place on the programme
  • It is the responsibility of the applicant to chase the return of references
  • These are factual employment references which are usually completed by HR departments. They are not looking for opinions on applicants suitability for the position.

More information on these can be found in our NHS references section.