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Clinical Associate Psychologist - Trainee

Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
Mendip, Taunton and Minehead
£27,055 to £32,934 a year per annum, pro rota
Closing date
1 Jun 2023

View more

Mental health, Psychologist
Band 5
Full Time
Job summary

We are delighted to be recruiting to four full-time Trainee Clinical Associate Psychologist roles across our trust.

There are two posts in the Mendip Community Mental Health Service (based in Wells), and two posts in the Taunton and Minehead Community Mental Health Service (one post based in Taunton and one in Minehead).

This trainee Clinical Associate Psychologist (CAP) post will provide you with excellent opportunities to develop a wide range of clinical skills and experience.

You will be required to undertake an 18 month apprenticeship, consisting of 'on the job' learning, and assessments. Successful completion of this apprenticeship will lead to the award of an MSc in Clinical Associate Psychology recognised by the British Psychological Society and employment as a Clinical Associate Psychologist at Band 6.

We have several qualified CAPs across the trust who trained with us and have gone on to become highly valued and skilled members of their teams, and Somerset Foundation Trust aims to support staff with development opportunities throughout their career.

You will work with the principles of co-production, inclusion, equality and accessibility. The services are on a journey to developing a trauma informed care approach, recognising the role of adverse experience in people's lives (both clients and colleagues), and providing care that is trauma aware.

Main duties of the job

Clinical duties expected of the post holder
  • A CAP is semi-autonomous practitioner psychologist working under the direct supervision of experienced and chartered clinical/counselling psychologists
  • CAPs are scientist practitioners who utilise psychological knowledge, research and theory to reduce psychological distress and to enhance psychological wellbeing in the clients they work with
  • Working with specific client groups in a range of services, acting as a resource of psychological skill and competence to a team of healthcare practitioners
  • Provision of effective evidence-based care to national and local guidelines
  • Caseload management & responsibility for proactive care delivery decisions
  • To plan, assess, implement and evaluate programmes of care
  • To maintain a compassionate and safe care environment

Somerset Foundation Trust is a trailblazer site for the national Community Mental Health Framework. We are dismantling the traditional barriers to accessing help, while expanded the mental health provision.

The vision is to create, with our NHS colleagues, expert by experience, voluntary care sector partners and other community resources, a mental health ecosystem that support the well-being and recovery of people with mental health difficulties in Somerset. This is called 'Open Mental Health'

About us

Somerset NHS Foundation Trust:endeavours to provide development opportunities for those looking to develop a career in the NHS, in both clinical and non-clinical roles.

Through our training programmes, individuals can earn a salary, develop their skills, and achieve a nationally recognised qualification, all whilst contributing towards delivering excellent patient care.

We have six active and impactful colleague networks. These networks provide a safe space for colleagues to share their experiences and learn from one another, but also influence change across our trust:
  • Multicultural Network
  • Women's Network
  • Armed Forces' Network
  • LGBTQ+ Network
  • Lived Experience Network, for colleagues living with disabilities
  • Autistic Colleague Network

As an organisation,the NHS offers a wide range of benefits including flexible working, pension contributions, market leading annual leave allowance, career progression and regular conversations, not to mention our Blue Light Card and NHS exclusive discounts.

Job description

Job responsibilities

The apprenticeship will be undertaken with Plymouth University. You can find out more information about the apprenticeship programme here:

The programme values are:
  • Cocreation: Not to simply work alongside. We are passionate about collaboration - to operate 'with, not to'. We value critical and community-based psychological approaches and aim to bring important topics such as social justice to the fore.
  • Inclusion and diversity: We are passionate about widening participation and increasing workforce diversity and inclusion. We value a wide range of experience and context and encourage participation with the Plymouth Inclusion, Power and Diversity (IPD group).
  • Applied Psychology: We are about applied psychology. We aspire to train competent psychological professionals who operate flexibly, effectively and compassionately beyond the boundaries of therapy.
  • Reflective and reflexive practice: A willingness to bring awareness and to promote learning and practice. We advocate the importance of reflective and reflexive practice to benefit ourselves and the people we work with.
  • Empowerment and adult learning: We value a practice-based and grounded approach. We consistently strive for meaningful learning opportunities and trust our CAP apprentices to direct their learning and development.
  • Relational and contextually aware: Seeing the whole person and the wider context. We work to promote systemic and relationally aware training contexts that are trauma informed and move beyond a diagnostic paradigm of mental health.

University of Plymouth are proud to be a part of the Group of Trainers of CAPs who have very recently won a national HSJ Partnership award for Best Education Programme for the NHS and being Highly Commended for Best Mental Health Partnership (

At Plymouth, we are dedicated to providing the highest quality training and are proud of the positive feedback we get from Apprentices, supervisors, employers and people with lived experience.

The CAP Apprenticeship Standards can be viewed here:

This role would be well suited to person who thrives in a team context and enjoys working in partnership with other psychological and mental health practitioners. We are looking for compassionate, energised and inspiring tCAPs to join Somerset Foundation NHS Trust in re-defining how we offer mental health care.

Please refer to the job description for full details, we welcome informal discussions prior to applying.

Person Specification

Essential and Desirables


  • Minimum of a 2:2 degree in psychology. Eligibility for Graduate Membership of the BPS
  • Minimum Level 2 Maths and English (equivalent to GCSE grade 9-4 (A*-C))
  • NOT currently on any publicly funded training
  • At least two years post any publicly funded psychology training, as stipulated by Health Education England (HEE) (
  • Have lived in UK / EU / EEA for 3 years (apprenticeship requirement)
  • Experience of working in community settings.
  • Demonstrable experience of working directly with a vulnerable client group, including experience of working psychologically with adults who are experiencing mental health problems.


  • A further qualification in an appropriate subject
  • Experience of developing therapeutic relationships with people who are hard-to-engage
  • Experience of offering Guided Self Help, Psychoeducational or Motivational interventions
  • Experience of conducting service evaluation and/or implementing service developments

Any attachments will be accessible after you click to apply.


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