Trainees on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology undertake clinical placements within psychology services in our partner organizations across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire (see locations of clinical placements in last academic year).
Clinical placements enable trainees to develop a comprehensive portfolio of clinical skills, so that by the end of training they should be well prepared to start working in a clinical service. Trainees will normally complete five placements over the three years of the Course. Four of these placements are usually in the areas of adult mental health; children young people and families; people with learning disabilities; and older people. These placements are approximately 5½ months in duration and trainees will normally spend between 60 and 70 days on each placement. Placements are fully integrated with the academic programme. Over the course of training, trainees may express preferences for the opportunity to develop particular clinical competencies. These preferences are considered by the trainee’s clinical tutor alongside the availability of supervision and their individual training needs. At regular intervals, there are scheduled individual discussions with the trainee’s clinical tutor about future learning needs. In the third year of the Course, trainees will normally complete one 12-month placement which will cover a wide range of clinical competencies. A further aim of this placement is to equip trainees with additional skills such as leadership, consultancy, supervision and effective team-working to meet the needs of the modern NHS.
Placements are carefully monitored and clinical tutors visit three times over the course of each placement. To help facilitate the effective development of clinical and professional competence, trainees normally keep the same clinical tutor throughout their training. Trainees are encouraged to work wherever possible with staff from other professions and with service users and carers. Trainees normally receive a minimum of 1 hour formal individual clinical supervision each week whilst on placement in addition to less formal supervision and support.