Our selections event

When do we select our trainees?

Candidates will be notified of the outcome of screening around mid-March. Approximately 150 candidates will move on to the next stage of the selection process and attend interviews in April/May.

Please note the process for 2023 is under review and this page will be updated shortly.

Face to face assessment dates

  • Tuesday 25th April 2023
  • Wednesday 26th April 2023

Online interview dates

  • Monday 8th May 2023
  • Tuesday 9th May 2023
  • Wednesday 10th May 2023
  • Thursday 11th May 2023


The activities during our selection events are designed to offer applicants opportunities to demonstrate competence in the following areas: -

  • 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 online interview is fixed and cannot be rearranged unless you have specific support requirements.

In order to ensure you are able to undertake our online interview process remotely, a current trainee will contact everyone invitied to our online event to run a test with your technology and connect to Microsoft Teams as well as providing an opportunity for informal questions and support.

Selection panels

Your online interview will last around 70 minutes and consist of 3 distinct phases.

The panel members will include: -

  • A member of the programme staff team who will chair your meeting
  • A local stakeholder such as a clinical psychologist, social worker, or other professional
  • A current trainee

Activities during the online interview

Following a brief introduction, there will be 3 activities with your panel as follows: -

A 35 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 working together task. You will be shown a video of people working together to complete a non-clinical task and asked questions about the interactions in the video.

A 15 minute role play task. A member of the panel will undertake a 5 minute role play of a challenging social situation followed by a brief discussion of the issues raised. 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.

Your panel may be 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 us urgently if you have not already done so at the screening stage to advise us of any specific support you may feel you need. You can email us via dclinpsyadmissions@lancaster.ac.uk or phone us for an informal chat on 01524 592691.

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 interviews, we will contact all attendees by telephone to notify them of the outcome as soon as possible. We ask candidates who are made an offer to repeat the screening test under supervised conditions - these will be arranged on an individual basis to fit with candidates schedules and within a timescale that allows candidates to make a genuine choice between programmes where multiple offers are received. All offers are conditional on the retest result, a satisfactory DBS check, employment references and occupational health check as detailed below.

Interview feedback

Feedback on your performance will be emailled to candidates following the selections process. Please do not telephone or email the programme 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. 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 programme. 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 the LSCFT Privacy Notice. For information about how criminal convictions can affect your application for study, please refer to the self-declaration form or contact the programme.

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)

  • Passport (current and valid)
  • Biometric Residence Permit (UK only)
  • Full or provisional photo-card driving licence (UK, Isle of Man, Channel Islands and EU)
  • Birth Certificate (UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands - including those issued by UK authorities overseas, for example embassies, High Commissions and HM Forces)
  • Adoption Certificate (UK and Channel Islands)

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

  • HM Forces ID card
  • Firearms licence (UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man)
  • Mortgage Statement (UK & EEA)**
  • Bank or building society statement* (UK and Channel Islands or EEA)
  • Bank or building society account opening confirmation letter* (UK)
  • Credit card statement* (UK or EEA)
  • Financial statement, for example pension or endowment** (UK)
  • P45 or P60 statement** (UK and Channel Islands)
  • Council Tax statement** (UK and Channel Islands)
  • Work permit or visa*** (UK)
  • Utility bill* (not mobile telephone bill)
  • Benefit statement, for example Child Benefit, Pension* (UK)
  • Central or local government, government agency, or local council document giving entitlement, for example from the Department for Work and Pensions, the Employment Service, HMRC* (UK)
  • EU National ID card***
  • Cards carrying the PASS accreditation logo*** (UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands)

* less than 3 months old
** issued within the past 12 months
*** valid and current

Applicants who are offered a place on the programme will be required to complete an online DBS form and provide payment of approximately £50 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.