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Oxford Health NHS FT


Job Title:                                  Trainee Clinical Psychologist

Band:                                       6

Responsible to:                       Allocated Course team members and clinical placement supervisors

Responsible for:                      N/A


Accountable to:                      Centre Director, Oxford Centre for Psychological Health with devolved line management undertaken by Course team members (see organisational chart)


Place of work:                          Base:  Isis Education Centre, Warneford Hospital Oxford, Placement locations across the Oxford Health NHS Region.

Hours:                                     1 WTE.  3-year fixed term contract.

 Author:                                    Admissions Tutor, OxICPTR

Creation Date:                         21/06/2019

Last Updated:                          04/07/2019

Document Ref:                        TCP1

Version:                                   1.1


  • JOB PURPOSETo undertake a structured programme of learning including personal study, academic work, research, placement learning and assessment leading to the award of the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DclinPsych).
  •  To undertake specialised psychological assessments, treatments and other types of clinical intervention with individual clients, carers, families and groups of clients; staff training; research and development activity.
  •  To work independently on a day-to-day basis. This work will be supervised and reviewed at regular intervals, in accordance with the Health and Care Professions Council and British Psychological Society guidelines; supervision will normally be offered by a qualified clinical psychologist (although other qualified healthcare professionals may also contribute).
  •  Employment is contingent on being registered as a student on the DclinPsych Course.


Key Dimensions of Post

  •  To work within a broad range of health and social care settings alongside other professions and agencies including within multi-disciplinary teams and specialised clinical settings.
  •  To carry out complex psychological assessments sensitively and independently with a broad range of client groups including individual psychometric testing sessions
  •  To formulate the nature, causes and maintaining factors of highly distressing psychological difficulties and presentations informed by a broad range of potentially conflicting clinical, theoretical and conceptual models, the empirical, experimental and clinical literature base and the results of assessment. To communicate such formulations professionally, sensitively and diplomatically, frequently in an emotive atmosphere, to clients, relatives, carers and other healthcare professionals relevant to the case.
  •  To plan and implement individualised, formulation-driven psychological interventions, or programmes empathically, sensitively and independently, with a broad range of client groups, carers (including relatives), families, and groups of clients, and to evaluate the impact of such interventions.
  •  To plan and deliver group sessions for clients or their carers.
  •  To provide advice and support for carers and other professionals.
  •  To network and consult with relevant external agencies such as social services, independent and voluntary sector, to facilitate and enable intervention at multiple levels.
  •  To plan and provide formal and informal training to other psychologists, other professionals, and carers, including the presentation of complex and sometimes contentious psychological and research material.
  •  To carry out formal and informal research and development activities designed to inform service development as major features of the work, culminating in the award of a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. To disseminate research findings from own Doctorate, including journal publication and conference presentation.
  •  To place special emphasis on personal and professional development activity such as weekly clinical supervision, shadowing, joint working, personal study and reflection. To work independently on a day-to-day basis, with work managed and goals agreed and reviewed at intervals.
  •  To attend formal teaching and training sessions provided by the Course and to complete assessment and evaluation procedures as required by the Oxford Doctoral Course in Clinical Psychology.
  •  To bring to bear a greater level of knowledge, training and experience on clinical activity than the assistant psychologist.
  •  To travel to placements across a large geographical area and visiting a range of settings on placement, including home visits – ability to drive is desirable.
  •  Most face to face clinical work is sedentary.

 Communication and Working Relationships


Trainees will develop working relationships with their Course Tutor and the wider Course team. The Course Tutor supports personal development and oversees academic, clinical and research development The Course Tutor is generally allocated at the commencement of training and remains constant throughout training. In addition, trainees will develop circumscribed supervisory relationships with a number of service-based clinical supervisors and research supervisors who each hold responsibility for supervision of specific aspects of their clinical and/or research work.

 Most Challenging Part of the Job

 Throughout their clinical psychology training trainees will need to develop accurate self-awareness about their current knowledge and skills and use this information to determine their own learning needs. The generic nature of training is such that trainees will address these issues in multiple organisational and professional contexts and in respect of several client groups.  The capacity to manage academic, research and clinical demands whilst developing as a reflective practitioner is a challenging aspect of the role.  The post holder will be required to comply with policies and procedures issued by and on behalf of the employing and placement Trusts and the regulations and requirements of the University.



  •  To undertake structured interviews, psychological assessments (including complex psychometric tests) and observations of individuals and groups.
  •  To assist in the development of psychological formulations of clinical problems and the development and delivery of care plans, which include psychological treatment and/or management of clients’ problems.
  •  To determine appropriate psychological intervention, taking into account a range of potentially conflicting clinical information and dynamics.
  •  To carry out psychological and psychometric tests, accurately and to develop interview and observation skills, to assess needs and eligibility for services.
  •  To design, implement and modify as appropriate, bespoke psychological interventions with clients, carers, families, and groups.
  •  To communicate confidential and personal information concerning ability level and psychological needs, obtained through assessments and interventions, to referring agents and to the client themselves, who may have limited understanding and difficulties with acceptance, and where appropriate to relatives and carers.
  •  To provide advice and clinically based supervision to carers about care and management of clients’ problems.
  •  To assist in the coordination and running of therapeutic groups.
  •  To provide emotional support for clients, their carers and families.
  •  To keep appropriate records of work and inform referrers and relevant others through letters or reports.
  •  To work as a member of a multidisciplinary team.
  •  To follow a person-focused and evidence-based approach.
  •  To work in partnership with service users
  •  To work in accordance with National NHS and placement providers’ policies and regulations, as well as those of relevant professional and regulatory bodies.
  •  To work in a variety of settings including the client’s own home, in-patient, residential and day centre facilities.
  •  To work in a highly emotive atmosphere, frequently encountering highly distressing problems and circumstances and must maintain a high degree of professionalism at all times.
  •  To work in situations where there are barriers to acceptance and possible exposure to aggression.
  •  To receive regular clinical supervision in accordance with BPS guidelines and criteria, University procedures and Health and Care Professions Council requirements.To complete observations of supervisors’ clinical practice and to have own practice observed including direct assessment of clinical competence

 Clinical Supervision, Teaching and Training

  •  In conjunction with supervisors and Course tutors, to plan and prioritise own workload, research, and individual and group sessions.
  •  To plan and deliver formal training sessions on psychological aspects of health care to groups of relatives, care staff and other professional staff.
  •  To provide practical training and supervision to care staff with respect to planned interventions.
  •  To assist with providing specialist training to other psychologists, trainees and assistants as appropriate.
  •   To demonstrate own duties to other graduate psychologists if required.

 Research and Development

  •  To plan, monitor and evaluate own work, using clinical outcomes assessments, small-scale research methodology and statistical procedures.
  •  To plan and undertake a portfolio-style research dissertation the individual elements of which will be approved by Course staff
  •  To prioritise expenditure from a small research budget.
  •  To develop an advanced knowledge base and practical skill in the design, implementation and statistical analysis of a wide variety of types of research. This must include quantitative or mixed methodology, single case experimental design and skills in the critical appraisal of research evidence and could also include qualitative, small N and group comparison studies.
  •  To plan and undertake clinical audits or service evaluations, using appropriate methodology and statistical procedures as appropriate, as agreed with the clinical supervisor(s).
  •  To plan and undertake practice-based research using or developing validated questionnaires, as required.
  •  To enhance own knowledge of clinical psychology, specific client groups and types of psychological difficulty through reading, literature searches and personal study.
  •  To comply with the requirements of research governance and evidence-based practice.


  •  To maintain appropriate records of own work, in line with NHS and Social Care policies and professional guidelines.
  •  To maintain relevant administrative systems of own work, in line with relevant guidelines.
  •  To submit statistical information, activity and quality data of own work as required by the Course, regional, national bodies or NHS.
  •  To word process material relevant to the Doctoral programme (such as essays, case studies, service improvement projects, clinical audits and the main research projects), using  suitable word processing and spreadsheet software.
  •  To use information technology as appropriate, within direct clinical work, research and treatment interventions.
  •  To undertake clerical functions requiring some familiarity with applied psychology, including literature searches, developing and maintaining training packs, information leaflets, inputting data and other tasks necessary for the efficient running of the service and/or training needs.
  •  To undertake computerized literature searches using major clinical databases such as PsychInfo, Medline and Cochrane, to inform routine clinical work and as preparation for the design of major doctoral research and smaller scale placement-based projects.
  •  To develop competence in advanced statistical software (such as SPSS) for the analysis of clinical research and research data. 

 Human Resources/Professional

  •  To follow the advice and policies of the placement provider, including knowledge, awareness of, and compliance with the legal framework relevant to the placement and client group.
  •  To be familiar with and abide by confidentiality and information handling and storage guidelines of the placement provider, employing Trust and University.
  •  To participate in regular appraisals with the Course Tutor and identify experience, skills, aspirations and areas for development through the use of a structured self-assessment
  •  To cooperate in the use of rooms, books, tests and other equipment needed to carry out duties.
  •  To attend and participate in administrative and service planning meetings as determined by the clinical supervisor(s).
  •  To undertake any other duties as requested by the Course Team, such as participation in trainee and staff selection procedures, or service on Course and national committees.
  •  To participate in evaluation and monitoring of the Course and associated placements as required by the health service commissioners, the University, the QAA, Health and Care Professions Council and the BPS.
  •  To practice and conduct self in accordance with the British Psychological Society, Health and Care Professions Council and University codes of ethics and conduct.


 A trainee will have been admitted by the Medical Sciences Board of the University of Oxford as a student for the Degree of Doctor in Clinical Psychology (D.Clin.Psych.), having been recommended for admission by the Directorate of the Oxford Course.  Once admitted, the student will be bound by the Examination Decrees and Regulations of the University of Oxford as they apply to students for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.


Continued participation in the Training Course is dependent in all components of the Course: clinical, academic, research and personal professional development.  Trainees will not be allowed to proceed to the second part of the Course until they have satisfied all the requirements of the Doctorate Regulations as assessed at the Mid-Course Review


Trainees may fail the Oxford Course through failing to meet the required levels of academic, clinical or research competence or through infringement of the Doctorate Regulations. Course failure automatically results in termination of contract of employment with Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and removal from the Register of the University of Oxford.












All staff are required to work in accordance with their professional group’s code of conduct (e.g. NMC, GMC, DoH Code of Conduct for Senior Managers).


This job description is intended as a basic guide to the scope and responsibilities of the post and is not exhaustive.  It will be subject to regular review and amendment as necessary in consultation with the post holder.


In addition to undertaking the duties as outlined above, the post-holder will be expected to fully adhere to the following:


Personal Development

  • To actively participate in an annual performance review (appraisal) and the development and implementation of a personal development plan.
  • To take responsibility for their own professional development ensuring professional standards are maintained and statutory and mandatory training is in date.
  • To attend any training as requested.


Code of Conduct

  • To adhere to the Professional Code of Conduct relating to your profession (if applicable).
  • To uphold the principles and values set out in the NHS Code of Conduct for Managers.
  • To support the organisation in developing an effective work/life balance for employees that meets the needs of the organisation.
  • To ensure that the health and wellbeing of patients is at the centre of all activities and that all staff engage and communicate with patients as appropriate.
  • To always promote quality and safety of patients, visitors and staff thus enabling the Trust to meet its regulation requirements (Care Quality Commission Registration – Regulations and Outcomes) that relate most directly to patients and also strive for continuous quality improvement.


Equal Opportunities/Diversity

  • To observe Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust’s Equal Opportunities Policy providing equality of treatment and opportunity to employees, service users and service providers irrespective of sex, sexuality, age, marital status, ethnic origin or disability.


Health & Safety

  • To take responsibility for the health & safety of themselves and other persons who may be affected by their omissions or actions at work.
  • To promote the Trust’s Health and Safety Policy and ensure matters are managed in accordance with it.
  • To co-operate with the Trust to ensure that statutory and departmental regulations are adhered to.
  • Report accidents, incidents and near misses, implementing corrective action where necessary.


Infection Control

  • To comply with Trust policies for infection control and hand hygiene such as hand hygiene, decontamination Policy, uniform and workwear code and standard precautions Policy to reduce the spread of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs).
  • Employees with clinical responsibilities must incorporate into their clinical activities up to date evidence that supports safe infection control practices and procedures, such as the use of aseptic techniques and the safe disposal of sharps.


Confidentiality and Data Security

  • To comply fully with the duties and responsibilities outlined the the Trust’s Information Governance Policy.
  • To comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, NHS Confidentiality guidelines (eg. Caldicott, GMC) and any code of practice on Confidentiality and Data Protection as accepted by the Trust.  Departmental codes of practice and procedures for confidentiality are available from the head of department.
  • To ensure that all information collected, stored and used is done so in compliance with the above Act and any relevant Trust Policy.
  • To preserve the confidentiality of any information regarding patients, staff records in your area (in connection with their employment) and the Trust business.  This obligation shall continue in perpetuity.
  • To raise any matters of concern with your Manager/Director



  • To recognise that promoting the welfare and safeguarding children, young people and adults is everyone’s business and access training and supervision as appropriate to the role.
  • To support the organisation in ensuring service users are protected from abuse or the risk of abuse and their human rights are respected and upheld.
  • To ensure concerns are responded to appropriately in line with the Trust’s Safeguarding Adults Policy and the Child Protection Policy and interagency safeguarding procedures.
  • To comply with recruitment and other checks as requested by the organisation including undertaking an Enhanced Disclosure via the Criminal Records Bureau.



  • To be aware of and work in line with all Trust policies and procedures.
  • To carry out any other tasks as reasonably directed.




Band:  6





Criteria for Selection

Essential Requirements

Desirable Requirements




Specialist knowledge of clinical psychology acquired through relevant prior experience, undergraduate teaching and/or supervised clinical practice, and the potential to build upon and extend such knowledge through training.


Knowledge of basic statistical procedures employed within the field of psychology (including multivariate data analysis)


A foundation of undergraduate-level knowledge of research design and methodology




Qualifications –


First degree in Psychology, or an equivalent qualification, which confers eligibility for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society.


Evidence from undergraduate and any postgraduate study of a capacity to undertake study at a Doctoral level, as indicated by an upper-second degree or its equivalent


Effective communication skills, both orally and in written format.


Evidence of potential to communicate complex, technical and clinically sensitive information to individuals with whom clinical psychologists usually work. This includes both psychologists and fellow professionals, as well as individual clients and their relatives/ carers.


Evidence of potential to tailor communication in a manner which is congruent with the needs of the recipient, including the needs of clients with a range of emotional difficulties, or who have difficulty in communicating or understanding


Evidence of potential to exercise both appropriate assertion and diplomacy according to the particular situation, with professional colleagues, carers, relatives, and clients with a range of challenging emotional difficulties (including hostility).


Evidence of potential for good presentation and teaching skills suited to both formal and informal settings


Evidence of potential to formulate and articulate sound judgements based on analysis and interpretation of a range of complex information in clinical work, drawing both on clinical observation and on relevant theoretical models.



Masters or PhD in a subject relevant to the study of Clinical Psychology


Relevant post-graduate certificate level training and counselling courses.


Additional skills such as leadership, teaching, community involvement, drama, competency in languages other than English, publishing, media experience


Evidence of dissemination through authorship of peer-reviewed journal articles, also conference presentations, posters and health service publications




Further Training or Job Related

Aptitude and Skills

Capacity to frequently sit in constrained positions for client assessments, group and individual therapy and counselling sessions and clinical supervision


Familiarity with computer use which may include word processing, spreadsheets, database programmes, publisher and PowerPoint.


Evidence of organisational potential which enables planning of own workload in relation both to clinical work (e.g. organise appointments with staff and clients, plan client sessions), as well as academic work (e.g. teaching and research activities).


Evidence of a potential for flexibility in planning: specifically, a capacity to monitor, evaluate and adjust plans accordingly over time.




Experience of paid or voluntary work in a clinical, community or clinical-academic setting exposing the person to client groups and service settings directly relevant to clinical psychology.  This experience can be gained in a range of contexts; including NHS or University settings, the voluntary sector or organisations affiliated to the NHS. It follows that a variety of pre-training roles would be relevant, including (but not restricted to) Assistant Psychologist, Research Assistant, Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Practitioner, Nursing Assistant, and Healthcare Assistant.


Evidence that this experience (as above) engenders realistic expectations of the demands and nature of Clinical Psychology training


Evidence that this experience (as above) has developed an awareness of the contexts in which Clinical Psychology services are usually delivered.


Evidence that this experience includes building and sustaining relationships with service users in relevant organisational contexts


Evidence of learning from supervision of clinical practice


Evidence of undertaking research beyond undergraduate level


Evidence of a continuing commitment to research


Experience of developing/coordinating research


Experience of applying for ethics approval, of particular value through the NHS Integrated Research Approval System


Personal Qualities

Evidence of a commitment to NHS values


Evidence of ability to form empathic relations with a wide range of clients in a variety of settings


Evidence of an ability to form good and respectful professional working relationships with a wide range of professional colleagues


Evidence of a capacity to reflect constructively on all aspects of own performance (academic, clinical and professional)


Evidence of a capacity to reflect realistically on their own strengths and weaknesses


Evidence of receptiveness to academic feedback and clinical supervision, and to apply ideas and knowledge gained from this feedback to current and novel contexts


Capacity for frequent extended periods of intense concentration in a range of clinical contexts (e.g. individual/ group therapy, clinical assessments/ interviews, clinical supervision)  which require active participation which takes account of dynamic processes, and where planning of appropriate responses to these dynamic processes is required


Potential  to work effectively under pressure, including working directly with staff and clients who may be highly distressed, analyse data where there may be frequent interruptions, prioritise work, operate a waiting list, meet short deadlines and an unpredictable work pattern which requires regular revision of plans.


Ability to function well in the context of unexpected or uncertain outcome, or in the absence of guidelines or in novel situations, and to contain anxiety and distress on behalf of others, including other staff within the organisation.


Ability, with appropriate support, to undertake psychological assessment, and therapy in an emotionally demanding environment, with frequent exposure to highly distressing or highly emotional circumstances, including situations where sexual abuse, family violence and breakdown, mental illness or terminal ill health, may be the focus of psychological intervention.





Contractual Requirements or other requirements

Ability and willingness to travel across the training region 


Successful health clearance, Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and evidence of English language proficiency 


Current driving licence and car/ motorcycle owner


Evidence of potential ability to work as a lone worker in circumstances where there may be exposure to severe distress, verbal or physical aggression.


Evidence of potential ability to work effectively whilst exposed to unpleasant working conditions including frequent exposure to verbal aggression and occasional exposure to physical aggression.