HSJ Awards Winner – Workforce Initiative of the Year: Clinical Associate in Psychology

22 November, 2022

The HSJ Awards were held recently and the following fantastic entry won Workforce Initiative of the Year.

Clinical Associate in Psychology: An apprenticeship model for a future sustainable and diverse psychology workforce

This entry involved East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT), Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) and Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust (SHSC).

The NHS needs to increase the psychology workforce by 60% by 2024. Yet in England in 2020 only 18% of psychology graduates were accepted onto Clinical Psychology courses via traditional training routes. To address this, a Trailblazer Group was established in 2018 bringing together clinical psychology leads from three NHS trusts, and the CAP apprenticeship programme was created. Greg Wood (EPUT), Ravi Rana (ELFT) and Linda Wilkinson (SHSC) are the Trailblazer co-chairs, and these NHS providers have been instrumental in the development and implementation of the CAP role.

Dr Greg Wood, Clinical Director of Psychological Services, Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust:

“I am so proud that the hard work that we have put in to address the gap in our applied psychology pathway has been recognised. The judges gave lovely feedback about the immense impact of the Clinical Associate in Psychology apprenticeship development, its future sustainability, the extent of partnerships that had been achieved, and the contribution towards promoting and enabling a more diverse workforce. It has been a joy to work alongside like-minded colleagues from other Trusts in developing a more accessible, locally-produced, developmental model of applied psychology training. The CAPs have proven themselves to be an invaluable addition to our workforce, and we are in awe of the gargantuan efforts from so many colleagues in order to make this a success.”

Dr Ravi Rana, Consultant Clinical Psychologist / Director of Therapies, East London NHS Foundation Trust:

“This national award is recognition of the huge contribution apprenticeships can make in addressing the immense and intractable workforce problems we are all facing across our heath and care services. We are thrilled that through the CAP the psychology professions have been able to take a lead in demonstrating how apprenticeships can successfully bring innovation, diversity, inclusivity and stability to our workforce.”

The Level 7 Clinical Associate in Psychology (CAP) (Integrated Degree) was approved for delivery in August 2020. You can view the standard here