We are very excited to request applicants for a new type of Psychology role and training: an apprenticeship post known as a Clinical Associate in Psychology (CAP). Clinical Associates in Psychology fill an identified skills gap between assistant psychologists and qualified clinical psychologists. They are able to practice autonomously with appropriate support, working within their scope of practice, under the supervision of a registered clinical psychologist.
Applications are invited for a Band 5 Clinical Associate in Psychology apprenticeship post. The CAP Apprenticeship is an eighteen-month full-time training divided between work-based experience (up to 4 days per week) and academic teaching and study, which leads to a Masters level qualification. If successful in their training, on qualification, CAPs can apply for a Band 6 CAP role. As the expected start for the apprenticeship is autumn 2022, successful candidates will initially start in a Band 5 Senior Assistant Psychologist role and will move onto the CAP apprentice role and job description at the start of the apprenticeship programme.
CAPs are trained to work with a particular service user group and in this case the post will be within our new ARMS (At Risk Mental State) service with young people and adults aged 14-35 considered to be at risk of developing psychosis.
Main duties of the job
The broad purpose of the CAP is to provide high quality, evidence-based psychological interventions. CAPs work with specific populations and therefore provide a more proscribed range of activities than Clinical Psychologists. They are able to practice autonomously with appropriate support, working within their scope of practice, under the supervision of a registered clinical psychologist.
We are looking for Psychology graduates with experience of working with adults or young people with complex mental health problems. These graduates may have been working in other roles related to psychology or mental health services, and now be keen on developing their psychological skills to this level. The post-holder will be expected to work flexibly and at times independently. We are particularly keen to hear from applicants with a Psychology degree who have a commitment to working in the local region, from those with diverse backgrounds and from people who bring lived experience relevant to mental health work. The Clinical Associate in Psychology role is a new psychology career path in its own right, therefore the selection process will aim to recruit those suitable for and committed to training for this role. The post-holder will be supervised by a qualified Clinical Psychologist.
The ARMS team is a new team made up of CBT therapists, Clinical Psychologists, Recovery Coordinators, an OT, Employment Advisors and Peer Support Workers. There are further ARMS teams in various stages of development across Essex, with variations in service design and delivery according to local needs.
The post is community based, covering the South West of Essex including Basildon, Brentwood and Wickford. The post holder will be required to work across the South West Essex locality. The ARMS service is separate to, but under the umbrella of, and has close links with, the existing Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) service in South Essex known as ESTEP (Essex Support and Treatment for Early Psychosis). There are a number of new posts in this new multi-disciplinary team aimed at offering predominantly, but not exclusively, psychosocial interventions with an evidence base of mental health prevention.
The NICE guidance recommends that those at risk of developing psychosis be offered CBT with or without Family Intervention. The ARMS team will work closely with primary care referrers and the Early Intervention in Psychosis Service and aims to prevent or delay transition to a first episode of psychosis.
Job description Job responsibilities
As a specialist mental health service, ARMS is based on NICE-recommended interventions which include comprehensive assessment and psychological interventions for psychosis or co-existing mental health problems (e.g. depression, anxiety, emerging personality disorder, substance misuse). These activities are often supported with family interventions, recovery coordination, social prescribing and education/employment support. The psychological therapists are an integral part of the ARMS multi-disciplinary team. Key responsibilities would include undertaking assessments, developing formulations, delivering evidence based interventions, supporting the team with auditing activities, and developing intervention packages. As it is a new service there is significant scope for innovation in contributing to developing the service.
The main responsibilities are:
- To undertake a range of clinical activities including psychological assessments, treatments and other types of clinical intervention with individual service users, carers, families, groups etc; along with other activities such as staff training; research and development activity.
- To work semi-autonomously on a day-to-day basis within their scope of practice under supervision of and subject to review at regular intervals by a registered practitioner psychologist in accordance with British Psychological Society (BPS) guidelines.
- To undertake and meet the requirements of a degree apprenticeship including personal study, academic work, research, clinical experience and assessment leading to the award of a Masters Clinical Associate in Psychology.
Please see attached job description, person specification and FAQ document for full details. Please note: we are expecting a high number of applicants for this position and will cap the number of applications after the first 50. Please note that since April 2022 if you are successful in being selected to undertake the CAP apprenticeship training, in line with national Health Education England policy, you will not be eligible to access further HEE funded training for at least two years after completion of the original training.
Person Specification Experience Essential
- Paid or voluntary experience relevant to working in health, mental health and/or psychological service settings, including work in community groups.
- Experience of working in a setting with service users presenting with psychosis or other complex mental health presentations.
- Experience of working within a multidisciplinary team. Experience of working with carers. Experience of working with groups and/or delivering group interventions.
- Experience of audit and/or service evaluation.
- An honours degree (or equivalent) in Psychology at 2.1 or better OR Successful completion of a BPS accredited post-graduate Psychology conversion programme with 2.1 equivalent or above. OR A 2.2 honours degree (or equivalent) in Psychology with appropriate additional experience (or contextual information) demonstrating academic potential. Eligibility for Graduate Basis for Chartered membership of the British Psychological Society.
- Further continuing professional development relevant to work in mental health and/or psychological interventions.
Any attachments will be accessible after you click to apply.