Do I want to be a CP? What else could I do other than AP?

Information about qualifications, experience and the typical career path
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Do I want to be a CP? What else could I do other than AP?

Post by maven » Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:42 pm

I think that somewhere in the definition of "Assistant Psychologist" is that it is a temporary post, intended for people on their path to clinical training. However that is not always rigidly enforced, also there are a number of similar posts for which that is not the case (such as if you do the new qualification for associate psychologist, or primary mental health care worker, or if you go for a research post). GBR will be listed as essential for many AP posts, but not necessarily all, and not necessarily for the other posts.

You can find adverts through the internet, and many of the key sites are linked from this forum: the guardian newspaper,, NHS jobs, NHS trust websites, jobs in psychology from the BPS.

There are a lot of jobs within social services that do not require social work qualifications, such as support workers, project workers, key workers, staff in residential homes, etc. However I am not so certain how to access the adverts for these posts, as social services is a separate agency from the NHS. I do know that they are less competitive than the AP posts, and a lot of them would be good experience and quite interesting and hands-on. from firegal: many of those jobs can be found on more general job search websites such as indeed

There are also other related roles such as nursing assistant, care assistant, special needs assistant in a school, ABA therapist for a child with autism, work with various charitable and voluntary organisations, work with playschemes, etc, etc. You would need to bear in mind that most of these jobs are not very well paid, especially if you move to an area with high cost of living, such as London.

In terms of psychotherapy training, this is also quite a complex, competitive and long-term training. I think that the Tavistock does a course, and they are developing courses in Leeds. I think (and I could be wrong, as I am trying to remember what a colleague who was in training where I used to work told me) that the training is five years long. I think there is also competition for places that are funded, which are very few and far between. You also have to have personal analysis throughout the training, as well as supervision from a qualified psychotherapist. I do have the name and contact details of somebody you could contact to ask more about this, if that is a route you are keen to pursue.

In order to figure out the path to clinical psychology that suits you best, you need to narrow down what you are hoping to achieve, and prioritise aspects that are the most important to you. For example, do you want to work/live in a specific area of the UK? Are you only interested in work with a particular client group? Is your aim to work the rest of your career in the UK? Is your aim to get a clinical qualification? etc. I think that is a hard set of things to work out without much knowledge of the system, so why not read all the information that is on this site, and then perhaps you would want to visit or otherwise contact more people who might be able to help inform your choice?

Have a look at these links for other examples of 'relevant experience'.....
Places to look for jobs
Relevant experience: Alternatives to the assistant psychologist post?

Checked by firegal (Trainee CP) on 24th June 2019: Links fixed and some wording amended to help reading as a wiki article

Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare

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Re: Do I want to be a CP? What else could I do other than AP

Post by Randomswirls » Sun Jun 19, 2016 2:03 pm

The dweb liv link isn't working

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