What experience did you have when you got on training?

Discuss applications to the clearing house (and to courses that are not in the clearing house system), screening assessments, interviews, reserve lists, places, etc. here
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Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by Hod8913 »

I'll also be 30 when I start training.

2019: 1 interview and reserve list for place
2020: No interviews
2021: Three interviews, two reserve list for places and one offer.

A levels I got 3 Bs a C and a D
My undergraduate was Psychology (major) with History (graduating in 2012) - I got a very low 2:1 (pretty much a 2:2 - my uni's policy at the time was that if you'd needed extenuating circumstances at any point during your course they would review your overall classification, take into account tutors comments and try and reflect that in your final degree award).
MSC War and Psychiatry - Distinction

While at uni I volunteered with Headway (a brain injury charity) and also was the Deputy President of the Sports Union.
Immediately after I graduated I was one of the student union officers (for sports).
I then worked as an Assistant Support Worker and later a Support Worker for a supported housing charity.
I moved on to work for a local Mind as a local group coordinator.
I worked as a Research Assistant at a University for a year.
Took a year out to go travelling.
Worked in an NHS research team while also working as a HCA on the weekends, and working over my hours in my regular job to be an honorary AP for half a day a week, I also volunteered for Samaritans at the same time (I 100% do not recommend doing all of this all at the same time no exaggeration it nearly finished me off!)
I reduced my hours in the research team and worked part time there and part time as an assistant psychologist for an NHS Autism Assessment Service.
Moved on to my current post as an Assistant Psychologist in NHS Low Secure Forensic Services.

Advice I wish I'd taken up/gotten sooner
Don't spend time trying to be the practitioner/employee you think the service/courses want you to be. Spend time figuring out what you're interested in, what your passions are and the type of clinician you want to be and let that shine through in your form and interviews.

Also learn to actually get on board with self care and don't take three jobs on in the space of 3 months - you will be stressed and you will get very ill!
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Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by Esme2094 »

I got on first time and will be turning 27 by the time I start. I applied when I felt more ready, which was 4 years after graduating.

A level: ABB
BSc: 2:1 (graduated in 2017)
MSc: distinction (graduated in 2018)

2015-2016 - research assistant during my placement year (30 hours per week).
2017-2018 - Support worker for 14 hours per week whilst completing my MSc.
2018-2019 - I worked as an honorary AP in the NHS for 14 hours per week, alongside working in a different support worker role for 30 hours per week.
2019-2020 - I worked full time as a research assistant in the NHS.
2020- now - currently training to be a PWP (full time role).

I had one interview and was offered a place. Still can’t believe it at all, but it does only take one!
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Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by Daisy10 »

As someone who would peruse this thread an awful lot, I thought I'd offer my experience as I have finally been offered a place :)

I applied 3 times (2 serious attempts on reflection) and will be 28 when I start.

A levels: A*AB
BSc: 2:1 (on the lower end) graduated in 2016
MSc: Distinction (2018-2019) - I didn't plan to do an MSc but was worried that my undergrad grade would hold me back, I'm glad I waited a few years to mature and find an Msc that I was actually interested in

I did some brief volunteering during second year but gained very little relevant experience during my undergrad which in hindsight probably made my journey slightly longer. I worked bar/pub jobs during my degree and didn't start considering what I wanted to do post uni until my 4th year.
2016: Support worker for an individual with ASD and an LD (6 months full time)
2017 - 2018: Mental Health Support Worker for young people in the community (1.2 years full time)
2019: During my MSc. I did some honorary AP work alongside my dissertation tutor (1/2 a day for about 5 weeks) - although this was such a short amount of time, I feel that (rightly or wrongly) having 'Assistant Psychologist' on my resume definitely helped me get my first AP role.
2019: AP job in LD (p
2020: AP job in NHS crisis service
2021: Senior AP in NHS Neuropsychology service
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Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by vaguemango »

Currently 26 although will be 27 when training officially starts.

2021 - 2 interviews, no offers
2022 - 2 interviews, 1 reserve for interview (turned into interview). 1 reserve list for a place and 1 offer. Withdrew from the last university.

No A-levels as I didn't study in England initially. It's a 6-point grade system and my total final score was 5.93/6.00.
Undergraduate (2014-2018): BSc (Hons) First with a sandwich year
No MSc

Work Experience:
2015-2016 - some voluntary Research Apprentice experience with one of my university tutors
2016-2017 - Honorary AP role in a Therapeutic Community (forensic personality disorder). Completed my dissertation with them and then presented it at a conference.
2017-2018 - some brief Honorary Research Assistant type role - very few hours
2018-2019 - 7 month stint as an Activity Coordinator in a medium secure service (forensic personality disorder)
2019 - 6 months as an AP in a substance misuse team within medium and low secure services (male, female, and adolescent)
2019-2021 - AP in a forensic community service part of the Offender Personality Disorder Pathway. Brand new service and being involved in building it up from the beginning was invaluable!
2021-2022 - Forensic Peer Support Worker Coordinator. Responsible for recruiting and embedding peer support workers into services and managing the process overall.

I was lucky enough to be able to do an honorary post although that did include me having a paid job on top of my placement and working insane hours to help with living expenses. All of my experience was in forensic services, which might seem like a downside, but it was actually really varied, complex, and interesting. Several different roles as well, some of them not even psychology based, but all valuable in their own way. I decided not to do a masters. I'm sure it does help a lot, but I could simply not afford to do one and focused on gaining clinical experience instead. Taking the time to reflect on each role and what I've learned from it was really crucial. I also took my time and didn't apply immediately, because I didn't feel quite ready yet and wanted to keep learning and building up my skills. I'm really happy with all of my decisions and I wouldn't have done it any other way.
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Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by DaniCmbl »

I will be 32 when I start my training. I'm also a career changer!

2 applications;
2021- no interviews, I was still undertaking my MSc and working in Community learning and Development.
2022- 2 Interviews, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Offered a place at Glasgow and still to do Edinburgh interview!

MSc Health Psychology- Distinction, (Distance learning at Ulster University whilst working FT)
BSc (hons) Psychology- First Class, (Distance Learning at Open University whilst working FT)
HNC communication with Media
SVQ 3 In Youth work
3 Scottish Highers (B,C,C)

Paid experiences;
3 Months Trainee Health Psychologist, NHS (not on application but mentioned at interview)- Developing a peer support network, designing psychological interventions with care home residents living with dementia and ACT groups to staff members with Long COVID.
11 months Assistant Psychologist, NHS - I delivered brief guided self help interventions with mild to moderate patients as past of the PTT.
12.5 years as a Youth, Family and Community worker- I delivered a lot of mental health specific groups and 1:1 motivational interviewing or LIAM (anxiety management) sessions with young people.

Voluntary experiences;
3.5 years as a childline volunteer counsellor and mentor
1.5 years as a volunteer assistant art therapist at a psychiatric hospital.
4 years as an activity coordinator with PRIDE Glasgow
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Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by jazzydwi »

I'll be 29 when I start training. I've had a bit of a topsy-turvy journey to this point, so not sure how helpful this post will be for people, but I read these threads pretty obsessively a few years ago so am compelled to share.

Applications: Just the one application for 2022 intake; two straight out no's, one unsuccessful after interview and one offer of a place at Bath.

A levels: AAB (all humanities subjects)
Undergrad: 2011-14 English Literature, 2:1. Loved this, loved the uni I went to and the course I did. 10/10 would do again.
PgDip: 2014-17 CBT, Merit. Did this part-time and in Wales. Wasn't via IAPT, thus I had to find my own placements and self-fund. Very tricky. Totally worth it. Best thing I ever did.
MSc: 2021 Psychology Conversion, Distinction. Basically ended at the beginning, got all my experience and then got the BPS accredited course. I did this full time whilst in my NHS post and really pushed myself academically perhaps for the first time. Was super chuffed with my mark.
My research experience basically consists of my clinically focused dissertation here, a bit of voluntary RA stuff I did during my MSc and a small bit of service evaluation.

2014-17: Whilst I did my CBT training I worked as a library assistant and a research administrator at a university, as well as a bid writer for small charities. This was also in conjunction with clinical practice placements in a third sector MH org (which I later became a trustee of) and then in a primary care MH service. Unsurprisingly I became very burnt out.
2017-19: B6 CBT Therapist in Primary Care Eating Disorders. This was my first exposure to clinpsych and the role of a CP. I had a little browse of clearing house and this forum, saw that I'd need to do another postgrad, went 'absolutely not' and closed the tabs.
2019-22: B6 Therapist in Dementia Services (started FT, dropped to PT in 2020 to do my conversion). Met more clinpsychs, learned more about neuropsych, service development and the research side of things, opened the tabs back up.
2021-22: B6 Therapist in Primary Care Mental Health Service (picked up PT hours post-conversion)
2022-Present: B7 Senior Therapist in Tertiary Eating Disorders, decided to apply and take this job because I didn't fully believe this doctorate thing would pan out and I wanted to progress into a post where I could do more service development.

I was/am in the very fortunate position of having a great career in mental health even if the doctorate hadn't gone to plan (though I probably would have been a bit bitter about that conversion debt). I know that I love and can do the therapy side of psychology so I'm really excited for all the other bits that are harder to access in my current role.
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Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by Geishawife »

jazzydwi wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 6:54 am I'll be 29 when I start training. I've had a bit of a topsy-turvy journey to this point, so not sure how helpful this post will be for people, but I read these threads pretty obsessively a few years ago so am compelled to share.
I think it helps enormously to see posts like your's. They demonstrate that not everybody takes the "straightforward" route to clinical training and I think they are hugely encouraging for people seeking to make a change after following another path.
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Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by miriam »

Yeah, I agree. It is good for people to know that people come to the profession by a wide variety of routes, and aren't all people who made their A-level choices with CP in mind. And good to know the forum was helpful in showing you what was needed to get to your goal, as you learnt that it was your goal.

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com
This forum is free to use. If you find the site useful, you are welcome to contribute the cost of a cup of coffee to our running costs.
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Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by rosie18 »

I will be 25 when starting training, and have applied 3 times. I have a rather ‘typical route’ into training, and was aware of the doctorate before starting uni, so was able to gain experience with this in mind.

2019/20: No interviews
2020/21: No interviews
2021/22: 2 interviews, 1 reserve list place, 1 offer

A-Levels: A* A* A
BSc: 2:1 Psychology

2015-2022 Multiple short-term voluntary roles working with a range of populations
2016-2018 Part-time support worker alongside undergrad
2018-2019 Assistant Psychologist in adult LD private sector
2019-2021 Assistant Psychologist in child LD private sector
2021-2022 Assistant Psychologist in older adult CMHT
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Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:53 pm

Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by ebails »

Thought I'd post as I found it useful flicking through this thread before applying! I'll be 27 when I start training.

I only applied once, I waited until I felt "ready"ish. One straight rejection, 2 interviews (one successful, withdrew from the other) and one reserve for interview (which became an interview which was successful).

A levels: AAB
BSc Social Science (BPS accredited pathway), 1st.
PgCert Low Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Studying for MSc as part of the CAP degree apprenticeship, but didn't have this qualification at time of applying.

2016: Support worker in supported living house for people with severe and enduring mental health difficulties.
2017: Support worker at an inpatient eating disorder unit.
2017-2018: AP at a mood disorders research centre at a university.
2018: Research assistant at the same university, helping with evaluation of CYP-IAPT services.
2018-2020: Various roles in IAPT - assistant psychology practitioner, trainee PWP, then qualified PWP.
2020-present: Very brief AP role before starting CAP training in the same service (adult CMHT).
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Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by katiebrown »

I was 23 when I got offered a place on the course, but I'll be 24 by the time I start training in September. I really saw this year as my practice year because the majority of my experience was part-time during my degrees. But I guess that just shows that you should give it a go even if you don't feel perfectly ready.

2022: first application, 4 interviews, 2 offers and 2 reserve for offers

A Levels: Biology (A*), Physics (A), Chemistry (A), AS Level Psychology (A), EPQ (A), General Studies (B) - 2016
- Medicine (I left in my first year to pursue clinical psychology) - 2016,
- BSc Psychology (First) - 2020
Postgraduate: MSc Psychological Research (Distinction) - 2021

During A Levels:
- A couple months volunteering on a stroke ward in an NHS hospital

- 1 year full-time teaching assistant

During BSc:
- 3 years part-time as a playworker working with autistic children
- 1 year part-time working 1:1 with an autistic child

During MSc:
- 6 months part-time playworker at a different playground
- 1 year part-time research assistant on a project on the wellbeing of psychological professionals (got a publication from this and a couple of webinar presentations)

After MSc:
- 3 months full-time NHS assistant psychologist (at the time of application submission in November)

Lucky breaks
- I was able to get experience working with children as a teaching assistant because my mum was a teacher - this helped me a lot in getting relevant roles later on
- I managed to gather lots of experience early on because I knew that I wanted to be a clinical psychologist. I left my medicine degree to pursue clinical psychology, so I knew a lot about the application process before I even started my undergraduate degree.
- I met a lot of clinical psychologists through my RA role which meant I knew a lot about the work that clinical psychologists do.
- I had (and still have!) a really amazing clinical supervisor in my AP role who helped me to develop the clinical knowledge necessary for interview in a relatively short amount of time

My advice would be to try to gain relevant experience during your degree if you can (I had to work anyway for financial reasons), and to just start applying as soon as you meet the minimum requirements - you never know what will happen!
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Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by Clinpsychap95 »

2021 = 2 applications, 1 reserve interview (not called), and one rejection
2022 = 2 applications, 1 interview -> offer, 1 reserve interview

2012-2013 5 Scottish Highers (Including Higher Psychology)
2013-2017 BA (Hons) Psychology - 2:1
2017-2018 MSc Psychological Research Methods (Child Development) - Merit (included placement)

2016-2020 2.5 years Volunteer Counsellor at Childline
2018-2020 2.5 years Residential Childcare Worker (LAAC)
2020-2021 10 Months Band 4 AP (Forensic Community Mental Health Team - with experience in forensic LD and Older Adults)
2021-2022 1 year Band 5 AP (General Adult Mental Health)

Good supervision, the ability to be reflective, and being proactive about opportunities was key to my development over the last year, I think this made all the difference.

I will be 27 when I start my training, and qualified at 30 (hopefully!)
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Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by AGoodCupOfTea »

I will be 24 when I start training and it will mark officially 3yrs since I graduated from my undergraduate degree.

2021- x3 rejections x1 Screening (unsuccessful)
2022- X2 rejections x1 Screening (unsuccessful) x1 offer :sunny:

Alevels - A* Welsh Baccalaureate, B sociology, C psychology
Undergraduate - 2:1 BSc (hons) Psychology with Clinical Psychology

CBT informed skills - 3 day Short Course through my employer
DBT informed skills- 5 day short course through my employer
CFT informed skills - 1 day short course through my employer
Leading structured DBT groups - 5 day short course through my employer

Millennium volunteer with Disability Sport Wales (U16)
Course Representative (1st and 2nd year)
School Representative (3rd year)
Alumni mentor to undergraduates (post degree and presently)
Visiting Alumni for undergraduate events

All within the NHS (or collaboration with Police networks and Primary Care)
-Bank Health Care Support Worker (During 3rd year and then 0.6 after)
-Mental health recovery practitioner in Adult Community Mental Health (full time, 0.8yrs)
-Assistant Practitioner in CAMHS (full time, 1.6yrs)
-Assistant Psychologist in Integrated Place-Based Team (Adult Community Mental health Division) (full time, presently)
-Out of Hours Crisis Worker at Sexual Assualt and Rape Crisis Centre (on call evenings, 0.6)

My piece of advice would be to take time to reflect on what your learning from each role and how you are developing. It can be easy to lose sight of the here and now, when we're focused on the goal of getting on to training. Don't forget to put the breaks on every now and then, enjoy the view. Because you are a success no matter what and you are ever evolving and learning. I found it helpful to keep a reflective journal of how I was developing and what I was learning. Best wishes to all, YOU CAN DO IT!
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Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by rachiepsy96 »

Coming on this thread used to terrify me as people have such amazing depth and length of experience. I've recently got on the course at Glasgow 2 years after my undergraduate degree and after my first time of applying, so it is possible!

A-Levels: 2 A's (Maths and EPQ in schizophrenia) and 2 B's (Psychology and Chemistry).
Undergraduate: 1st class BSc (hons) Psychology. I did not go to a Red Brick University. My biggest piece of advice would be really trying in undergrad, as I think this really helped me get on.

1 full year nannying, and 4 years nannying part-time alongside my degree. I put this on my application form as 'relevant experience' as I got to work with children on a 1-to-1 basis, and this helped with basic skills like responsibility and low level emotional regulation (trying to reason with a 3-year-old throwing a tantrum is hard work!).
3 years as a volunteer call taker at Parentline during my degree.
1 year as a volunteer at an Autistic Charity during my degree.
4 months as a health care support worker on an enduring mental health ward.
8 months as a call taker at Breathing Space, a mental health phoneline (NHS work).
8 months as an honorary assistant psychologist in paediatric neuropsychology (NHS). I worked at BS and as an HAP at the same time, which was a lot (I would often do 12-16 hour days).
6 months AP in CAMHS ASD/LD.
7 months AP in general CAMHS.

My pieces of advice would be, if you are able to, work and volunteer during your degree. I was very disciplined with my time and that allowed me to juggle competing demands, and I got amazing experience from early in my career. I would also apply for lots of different jobs which will help with mental health experience. AP roles are tough to find, and I feel like I learnt a lot from my time in other roles, so they are so valuable as well. And finally, do not doubt whether you have enough experience! I thought this, but had amazing supervisors who helped me reflect on my experiences as I knew I was ready to be a clinical psychologist. Believe in yourself :)
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