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External Quality Indicators

Apart from what our trainees say about the programme, we have also received feedback from the Health Care Professions Council, the British Psychological Society and Bangor University, during their accreditation visit in 2012.

The HCPC has approved the North Wales Clinical Psychology Programme, so all trainees who complete the programme will be HCPC registered.

In the BPS unconditional accreditation, which is the second time in a row.  the programme received 12 commendations. The BPS are not planning to visit us again until 2019.  Here are their 12 commendations:

Staff contributing to the delivery of the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology are commended for the following aspects of good practice:


1. The academic and clinical programmes incorporate a comprehensive articulation of the required learning outcomes, which thoroughly reflect the requirements of both the Society and the Health Professions Council throughout the programme’s teaching, learning and assessment strategies.

2. The programme pays close attention to Welsh language and cultural diversity issues and weaves these throughout its provision as a key transferable skill; training is available to those who are not Welsh speakers, and service contexts are able to support trainees who do wish to develop their clinical practice through the medium of welsh.  The programme’s achievements in supporting the local community through enabling the development of clinical psychology services that meet Welsh language and cultural needs, and by addressing the specific challenges presented by the region’s geography, are to be commended.

3. There is very strong integration between the programme and the School of Psychology, whose reputation for research excellence provides a focus for connectivity and cross-fertilisation that is unrivalled compared to many other clinical psychology training contexts.

4. The programme’s consideration of the trajectory from Beckian CBT to using mindfulness as a bridge into other Third Wave therapies, and moving on towards supporting trainees in developing expertise in more specialised approaches, is coherently developed across the three years of the programme, and is also supported by centres of academic and clinical excellence in those areas.

5. The programme has provided a focus for the development of excellence in the areas of older adult and learning disabilities services regionally, the importance of which must not be underestimated; over the years, this has significantly contributed to the growth of local services, in what are often difficult to recruit to specialties.

6. The programme’s practice of feeding back routinely on trainees’ placement and supervisory experiences to heads of service or specialty is unusual and is an impressively straightforward but valuable way of closing the quality enhancement loop. Services rely on this as an integral part of staff appraisals, and the practice offers a further example of how embedded the programme is with service.

7. The programme provides a focal point for CPD of which the DClinPsy is only one component of a larger whole that also incorporates extensive supervisor training and other formal and informal CPD and networking opportunities. Supervisors also particularly value the bespoke options that the programme makes available for supporting colleagues who are unable to attend scheduled supervisor training sessions.

8. The work that has gone into developing the programme’s assessment strategy since the previous BPS visit is to be commended. The changes that have been made root the assessment tasks that trainees need to complete in contemporary clinical practice, and assimilate service tasks that focus on the integration of theory and practice. The service development proposal offers a particularly good example of this.

9. The personal and professional development strand to the programme is very strong, culminating in the final year case report that offers a valuable opportunity for trainees to reflect on their development and to prepare for the transition to post-qualification practice. The programme team’s thoughtfulness around the challenges presented by this being a small course, and the care taken to manage the interfaces between trainees and the various different individuals involved in their training, is a real strength.

10. The programme benefits from a stable and committed staff team, who offer a range of knowledge, skills and experience, and long-standing leadership expertise; this applies both to the core programme team and the extended team of service colleagues with whom they work.

11. The role of the Training Co-ordinator is central to trainee support, development and monitoring, and models the integration of academic and clinical roles. The visiting team would encourage the programme to disseminate this good practice, for example through presenting it at the national Group of Trainers in Clinical Psychology annual conference.

12. The programme enjoys the support and contributions of a committed and engaged group of service users, who feel valued in their role and spoke of a positive and well-supported experience.  This aspect of the programme’s provision has developed well since the previous BPS visit and continues to go from strength to strength, having now become a very tangible and embedded part of the programme with a direct impact on the training experience.

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