Are courses visible?

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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jonat1988
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Are courses visible?

Post by jonat1988 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:10 pm

Hi all,

Sorry if this has been asked before. Are course centres able to see the other courses that you have applied for?

Thanks

jonat1988

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Borrowed Cone
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Re: Are courses visible?

Post by Borrowed Cone » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:35 pm

jonat1988 wrote: Sorry if this has been asked before. Are course centres able to see the other courses that you have applied for?
Yes.

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Geishawife
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Re: Are courses visible?

Post by Geishawife » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:44 pm

Why should it matter?

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blue86
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Re: Are courses visible?

Post by blue86 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:16 pm

Borrowed Cone wrote:
jonat1988 wrote: Sorry if this has been asked before. Are course centres able to see the other courses that you have applied for?
Yes.

The Cone
Wait, really? Why is that? Isn't that something that should be confidential. Why release that information? I've applied through plenty of other similar systems and I've never heard of such disclosure. What if I don't want other courses to know where I am applying? I mean it might not affect me directly; but I've seen people with geographical limitations who take a shot at all courses in the area and while some might be a great match, others were less so. Since courses in the same area might have quite different ethos, they will probably see that the person is limited geographically or get to some sort of other conclusion.
In any case, is this disclousure mentioned somewhere on the Clearinghouse website?

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Spatch
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Re: Are courses visible?

Post by Spatch » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:37 pm

Wait, really? Why is that? Isn't that something that should be confidential. Why release that information?
I don't think it's out of any desire to oppress, but its just one less step to take for the clearing house. Instead of sending off the forms as they get them, they would have to take them, blank out the other 3 boxes for each relevant form and then send them off. I daresay that the additional step would be probably another time burden to the already overworked staff at the clearing house.

As there is no real reason for courses to hold your other choices against you (as selectors are aware that there are 3 other boxes people are going to use, and some people have real life geographic restrictions), I am not sure what such anonymity would add?
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blue86
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Re: Are courses visible?

Post by blue86 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:47 pm

Spatch wrote:
Wait, really? Why is that? Isn't that something that should be confidential. Why release that information?
I don't think it's out of any desire to oppress, but its just one less step to take for the clearing house. Instead of sending off the forms as they get them, they would have to take them, blank out the other 3 boxes for each relevant form and then send them off. I daresay that the additional step would be probably another time burden to the already overworked staff at the clearing house.

As there is no real reason for courses to hold your other choices against you (as selectors are aware that there are 3 other boxes people are going to use, and some people have real life geographic restrictions), I am not sure what such anonymity would add?
With all due respect Spatch - and I mean it, I have high regard for your opinion - I still find this as an invasion of privacy. There are software shortcuts that can be programmed to deal with this. The US uses a similar application system for undergraduate and the schools never find out where else you applied. I also have inside knowledge that the schools would judge you based on your choices if they found out, that is why this was needed. Moreover, US graduate school professors would often ask for other applications to gauge the understanding of fit from the applicant. Some applicants have been viewed with suspicion by selectors who would come to the conclusion that they just applied to the course just because it's in the city they reside, and that their other schools choices show interest in a different ethos.
I am aware that all of this might not apply here, but what I don't understand is the reason for this sharing of information. You never know someone's biases and that's why it's often preferred to keep some things confidential. I know some clin psy courses who blank out names or gender or other variables.

I understand that this might add to the burden of staff; but I am sure that some applicants would be willing to pay a processing fee to add more hours/extra staff/extra software to preserve their privacy.

What also bugs me is that this information regarding disclosure is not clearly stated during the application process - unless I missed it. I will look through the website again to make sure.

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Geishawife
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Re: Are courses visible?

Post by Geishawife » Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:52 pm

blue86 wrote:I also have inside knowledge that the schools would judge you based on your choices if they found out, that is why this was needed.
With all due respect, what does this insider information about the US have to do with applications for the CP courses in the UK? Whilst I'm sure this is not what you meant, there is a veiled slight in what you've said here on the integrity of the selectors. This implies that they would make judgements about offering a place based on where someone applies! I'm sorry, but that, as far as the UK CP courses go, just doesn't happen. In all the years I was involved in selection, for 6 different courses n total, this was NEVER a selection criterion. The selectors are interested in who you are, are you right for the profession and whether or not you will be a good candidate for their course, not where else you have applied. There could be an argument made for this information being unnecessary to be seen, but given that it will make no difference to your chances of being interviewed and/or accepted by a course I don't think it would justify the extra levels of bureaucracy involved.

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Spatch
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Re: Are courses visible?

Post by Spatch » Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:54 pm

The US uses a similar application system for undergraduate and the schools never find out where else you applied. I also have inside knowledge that the schools would judge you based on your choices if they found out, that is why this was needed. Moreover, US graduate school professors would often ask for other applications to gauge the understanding of fit from the applicant. Some applicants have been viewed with suspicion by selectors who would come to the conclusion that they just applied to the course just because it's in the city they reside, and that their other schools choices show interest in a different ethos.
I think if this kind of issue was identified as a problem it would definitely need some kind of blinding. However, it may be because the clinical courses here are quite collegial and band together under the Group of Trainers anyway, there is less of a culture of hostility to people applying to other places. If there were any genuine fears of people being lead by where they reside, you could find that out by looking at the applicants address in the first place.
I understand that this might add to the burden of staff; but I am sure that some applicants would be willing to pay a processing fee to add more hours/extra staff/extra software to preserve their privacy.


I am not sure how happy applicants would be if the cost was passed onto them. Genuine open question, would people reading this want to pay, say, an extra £2 to have this extra "blinding" step for the software?
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blue86
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Re: Are courses visible?

Post by blue86 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:17 pm

Geishawife wrote:
blue86 wrote:I also have inside knowledge that the schools would judge you based on your choices if they found out, that is why this was needed.
With all due respect, what does this insider information about the US have to do with applications for the CP courses in the UK? Whilst I'm sure this is not what you meant, there is a veiled slight in what you've said here on the integrity of the selectors. This implies that they would make judgements about offering a place based on where someone applies! I'm sorry, but that, as far as the UK CP courses go, just doesn't happen. In all the years I was involved in selection, for 6 different courses n total, this was NEVER a selection criterion. The selectors are interested in who you are, are you right for the profession and whether or not you will be a good candidate for their course, not where else you have applied. There could be an argument made for this information being unnecessary to be seen, but given that it will make no difference to your chances of being interviewed and/or accepted by a course I don't think it would justify the extra levels of bureaucracy involved.
As I have emphasized - I know that this might not apply. What I am saying is that some biases exist and I have seen them in action. I do view the UK courses as more friendly in that regard (and many other issues), that is why I became interested in them.
But there are applicants who only apply to their one or two local courses if they are severely limited or maybe some applicants don't want to have this information out there.

Spatch - I have some friends who are going through the process who would be willing to pay extra 2-5 pounds to cover such software. Maybe I am affected by what I've seen in other places, or maybe living some time in a former communist country. But justifying an invasion of privacy just because it would take more work to not disclose does not seem like a good reason to me. I am not questioning the integrity of selectors. I am just saying that selectors are humans and human beings have different biases. That's why there is a push for anonymity applicants, gender, ethnicity, disability, etc. On the opposite argument, why not have all of the information out there, including previous mental health status, just because it's easier to do so? I know I am being a bit ridiculous. :)

What I am trying to say is that applicants should have been informed of this. I would have responded to the question "Are courses visible" with an "of course not" without even realizing how wrong I would be. I've messaged some friends and none of them knew about this, and they were a bit outraged. Since some applicants do have a problem with this, I am imagining that it can't just be swept under the rug because otherwise we accuse the selectors of not having integrity. Of course courses applied is not a criterion, but it can impact someone's opinion of an applicant.
I think that applicants should get to decide what they want to disclose, as is for other variables.

lakeland
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Re: Are courses visible?

Post by lakeland » Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:24 pm

Maybe I'm missing the point, but why would it sway anyone's opinion? I applied to two courses close to where I lived, and two further away (but not near each other). I got one interview at one of the far away courses and got a place. And subsquently moved for the place.

I personally don't think there is anything wrong with applying to local courses rather than ones that fit your ethos anyway - as a lot of people won't have a particular preferred therapeutic style at the time of applying, and some people may prefer to not move areas for various reasons.

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Geishawife
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Re: Are courses visible?

Post by Geishawife » Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:33 pm

blue86 wrote: Of course courses applied is not a criterion, but it can impact someone's opinion of an applicant.
Again, I must ask why you think that? Where is your evidence to back this up? It strikes me that all this thread is doing is suggesting yet another (totally unjustified) myth which will only increase the anxiety the poor applicants are already experiencing!

astra
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Re: Are courses visible?

Post by astra » Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:44 pm

As a regular selector for one northern course I would say we are often interested but never swayed by this information. It really is a non-issue as people choose courses for lots of different reasons and we respect that. We might jokingly comment that someone is a "committed northerner" if they went to school and uni in the north and then apply to 4 northern courses, but really what else can we infer from that, other than that they would be happy to be offered a place there? Or we might notice they've applied to three London courses and ours and think, wow they'd love to stay in London but they're taking a punt on this course, they must really like us! Or we might notice a total scattergun approach and wonder what that's about, but maybe they have a gran in Edinburgh, a girlfriend in Bristol, parents in London and really like the sound of our course - so what's wrong with that? We can't judge people on their choices as we don't knowthe reasons for them. but we can have a bit of fun speculating and then get back to the things we can judge poeple on.
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msmc
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Re: Are courses visible?

Post by msmc » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:16 pm

I would like to agree with Blue and say that in my experience there can be biases present based on selectors seeing the courses people apply to.

A clinical psychologist who I work with who has reviewed my form (and also is involved in selection for a local course) asked me why I had only applied for 2 and said this could be viewed as me being less committed to training if I would not be willing to move locations for it.

I understand that not all selectors would view it that way (as demonstrated by the responses on this thread). But I do understand Blue's argument to say that this info should be kept anonymous.

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Loula
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Re: Are courses visible?

Post by Loula » Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:34 pm

msmc wrote:A clinical psychologist who I work with who has reviewed my form (and also is involved in selection for a local course) asked me why I had only applied for 2 and said this could be viewed as me being less committed to training if I would not be willing to move locations for it.
Or it shows that you are more committed to the courses you do apply to?

I didn't apply to 4 courses the year I got accepted, but I did get interviews at all the ones I applied to so it didn't seem to make me appear less committed! The year before I had applied to another course that would have been pretty unfeasible for me to attend but I felt the need to fill all the spaces on the form- and the result was I was actually afraid of getting an interview/place there in case I somehow had to make it work. I was honest in my interviews and discussed how important it was for me to be able to be on a local course as I feel very settled where I am and am near family/ friends and that's a big factor for me in terms of self-care.

Nat89
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Re: Are courses visible?

Post by Nat89 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:41 pm

msmc wrote:A clinical psychologist who I work with who has reviewed my form (and also is involved in selection for a local course) asked me why I had only applied for 2 and said this could be viewed as me being less committed to training if I would not be willing to move locations for it.
I submitted my form yesturday having only applied to two courses as I am not willing to relocate. Lots of people have said "you're mad" and others have commented that the ones I have applied to may view me as "less committed". Maybe this is true. I value my family life and social connections much more highly than I do getting a place on the course and I'm not willing to budge on that. So yes maybe if "less commited" means not willing to sacrifice everything else then it's a label I`m happy to have.

I`m sure those doing the selections are all human too (I haven't had any evidence to show they are robots or aliens ;-)) and will understand these reasons. As astra has said I very much doubt they are the kind of people to make such wide inferences on the basis of little information.

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