Non-UK applicants for 2010 entry / current trainees

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
KimB
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Location: Sweden

Non-UK applicants for 2010 entry / current trainees

Post by KimB » Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:33 pm

Hi everyone,

I will be applying for the 2010 entry and would like to get in touch with other non-UK applicants/trainees out there.

I am currently working in Sweden as a registered psychologist (adult brain injury).

As this will be my first time applying it would be nice to hear how others are experiencing the process of applying/training.

Please feel free to use this thread to introduce yourself and discuss matters that might be of interest for non-UK applicants (e.g. GBR, language exams, legal matters etc.).
//Kim

sarum
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Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:40 am

Post by sarum » Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:47 am

Hi KimB,

As a non-EU citizen living in the UK I'd be happy to share a little of my experience if it's helpful! However, I think the best advice you can get is from the Leeds Clearing House, as their section on non-UK or even non-EU applicants is pretty straight-forward: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/chpccp/BasicInternational.html

If you're planning on applying for training, however, I'd suggest clarifying your application with the individual universities' guidance, as it varies. For example, some universities will only accept trainees who are eligible for "home fees", i.e. have resided in the UK for a certain period of time. Other universities require that trainees are either UK or EU citizens and they will not consider non-EU applicants due to their funding arrangements and the liklihood of trainees staying in the UK after completion of training. This is understandable, as why would the NHS fund a trainee who is intending to return back to their country of origin? And a very few number of universities will consider international (non-EU) applicants.

I completed my undergraduate degree in psychology in Canada and applied to the BPS for GBR, which was granted without too much trouble. There can be a delay sometimes, and a friend of mine from Germany had to pay for her university syllabus to be professionally translated into English, which was very expensive and time-consuming. I'd suggest that applying for training without GBR is very unwise, however, and once it's granted you'll have it for any future applications.

My first language is English, so a TOEFL certificate wasn't necessary for me, but can I ask if English is your mother tongue? If not, it may be necessary to demonstrate competence with an official certificate - I'd check the Clearing House website for more details.

I'm starting training this September after 4 years of gaining work experience in the UK (both voluntary and paid), and I'd also suggest that it's very important for a non-UK applicant to be able to demonstrate commitment to working in both the NHS and the UK upon completion of training - this is very explicitly stated on the Clearing House website.

Can I ask whether you've got any work experience within the UK, either paid or voluntary, and private or NHS? What has drawn you to applying to the UK? Best of luck with your application!

I hope this thread continues as I'm really curious to learn how many other non-UK applicants/trainees are out there! :wink:

KimB
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Location: Sweden

Post by KimB » Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:44 am

Hi!

Great that you replied to this thread, I know there are a limited number of non-UK/EU applicants out there so all input is much appreciated.

Yes, I have applied and been granted GBR. As you mentioned, the process was quite straightforward. Actually, I did this a couple of years ago when I graduated from university and intended to apply for the DClinPsy. At that time I also did the required language test (IELTS) which I passed (my nationality is Finnish, my mother tongue is Swedish). However, the results are only valid for two years so I need to take the test again (scheduled for next week). From the previous exam I remember that the interviewer asked me to “talk about the sea”… It was quite a disappointment since I had prepared to talk about clinical psychology etc and the whole 10 minutes was spent on talking about water, fish and algae :o

Today I work as a clinical psychologist (adult brain trauma and rehabilitation). My postgraduate qualification is sufficient for working in most countries, however not in the UK (or the US). As I really want to live and work in the UK I would have to apply for the SoE or the DClinPsy. I welcome the studies and research that the latter entails so I have decided to apply. With regards to NHS experience I must say that I am a bit concerned about this since I do not have any at the moment. However, I hope that through my work experience in Sweden and Finland in NHS-equivalent organisations I can demonstrate that I am aware of the reality that is working as a clinical psychologist in a complex organisation.

If there are other non-UK applicants/trainees out there, please do not hesitate to use this thread for discussion.
//Kim

sarum
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Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:40 am

Post by sarum » Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:58 am

Hi KimB!

How extremely difficult when postgraduate qualifications are not considered equivalent! As a Canadian, I have met quite a few people who arrived in Canada expecting to their higher education degrees (e.g. medical doctors) and qualifications to be recognised, but who were disappointed when "Statements of Equivalence" were denied. This must be so very frustrating...

As I said, I can only speak from my experience - work experience in the UK, ideally within the NHS, is extremely valuable and helps to reassure the university courses that you are not likely to return to your country of origin with your training. I achieved a First in my undergraduate degree, obtained GBR without trouble, had 3 years of work experience in Canada including research assistant (2 yrs part-time), behavioural interventionist for children with autism, support worker and as a kind of LIW within a private company, but it wasn't until I moved to the UK and had volunteered as an AP for 6 months and worked in the NHS for 3.5 years that I was offered a training place. I'm sure there were other factors involved, but I really believe the years of experience spoke in my favour and commitment to the NHS. FYI, the AP role (along with GMHW, LIW, etc) does not exist in Canada so obtaining this kind of work experience just wasn't possible.

Obviously this won't apply to you in the same way as you're already qualified to work in your country of origin. Excuse my ignorance, but is Finland within the EU? If so, there might be more universities willing to consider your application due to funding arrangements. Perhaps you might explicitly state your intention to relocate to the UK?

Alternatively, have you considered applying for the Band 6 HIW roles within IAPT? I believe that in some Trusts, after completion of 1 year of training you're able to move on to a Band 7 role and will have obtained BABCP accreditation for CBT, plus some NHS experience!

Although I'm pretty new to this forum it seems extremely helpful and supportive, and I'm sure there are some people out there who would be willing to look over your application and give you some feedback, particularly on how to highlight your work experience and draw parallels to working within the NHS. Demonstrating awareness of NHS issues might also be an idea, particularly if you get an interview.

KimB
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Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:20 pm
Location: Sweden

Post by KimB » Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:48 pm

Hi,

Thank you for your reply.

Yes, Finland is part of the European Union so I should not have any problems with my application with regards to fee status etc.

On average, it takes 6 years to train to to become a clinical pscyhologists in the Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland). This includes an undergraduate and postgraduate research degree with clinical placements. You only need to apply once, i.e. for the undergraduate entry. As this is one of the most popular courses to attend, admission is based on grades obtained before university (these all have to be excellent), entrance exams and interviews. After 6 years one can register as a clinical psychologist with the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs. This entitles one to work in any of the Nordic countries; you just need to register in each country separately.

As stated earlier, the fact that I have no NHS experience is a concern. I will go ahead and apply this autumn with my current CV, it will be interesting to see what sort of feedback I get (if any)... Perhaps I stand a better chance at the courses that are more academically orientated? I am intending on applying to IoP, UCL, RH and UEL. If I am not successful then I will consider the SoE route. I have read that it is possible but takes a lot of time and that it can be quite difficult to find supervisors and placements.
//Kim

sarum
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Post by sarum » Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:12 am

Hi KimB,

I'm definitely not a course selector, but my guess is that due to funding arrangements I'm sure that even the more academically orientated courses will be concerned about a commitment to the UK and working in the NHS. It seems that this is a serious consideration nowadays, particularly due to the financial climate and the high competition for places. I really hope that this works out for you though!

The Nordic path to becoming a clinical psychologist is really interesting and seems quite different from the North American route! In Canada and the USA the formula is a 4 year undergraduate degree, a master's degree of approximately 2 years, and a PhD of approximately 3 - 6 years, depending on where you train. You can't gain qualification without the PhD.

KimB
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Location: Sweden

Post by KimB » Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:53 am

Yes, the Nordic path differs from the training in the UK and US but is similar to the academic/training requirements in other European countries as well as Australia and New Zeeland.

I fully understand that the course selectors need to feel confident that non-UK applicants will stay and work in the UK. Current trainees, do you have non-UK colleagues and can you offer some input to this discussion?
//Kim

attishu
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Post by attishu » Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:22 am

Hi KimB, Sarum,

I'm a psychology graduate from Hungary currently working in the UK, in quite a similar situation like u. First of all thanks for starting this thread I'm sure it will help a lot of us, non UK applicants.
When I was reading Sarum's comments about qualifications not accepted it was a bit of a deja vu for me, I'm still struggling with the acceptance of my master. I studied psychology for 5 years at uni, but when I applied for the GBR they only accepted my degree as BA, which was extremely frustrating (especially since having a master is quite an advantage). I'm currently trying to negotiate with NARIC to review my transcript of records so hopefully I'll get the appropriate statement of equivalence (wishful thinking :) ). I don't know if any of u had any experience regarding acceptance of masters?
KimB- I saw u did the IELTS test u might be able to help me on this, I've done my TOEFL last summer(Jun 2008) and I'm planning to apply this year so I'm not sure if I need to take the test again. I understand that the results are valid for 2 years, what means it will be expired in Jun 2010. By the time they will be looking at my application it will still be ok... I'm just not sure.
Sarum- Congratulation on getting on "THE" course I'm sure u put in a lot of hard work before u got an offer. I would be really interested what sort of experience did u need at the NHS before u were successful. I saw that u been working for them for 3,5 years, was it an AP/RA role or sg. different?

KimB
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Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:20 pm
Location: Sweden

Post by KimB » Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:46 am

Hi Attishu,

Great that you found this thread, I hope that we can keep it active throughout the application process.

Regarding GBR and your degrees, did you qualify to practice as a clinical psychologist in Hungary? If that was the case then it sounds strange to me that your second degree was not accepted. Do you have two seperate degree certificates or is it just the one?

When I applied for GBC I simply got a reply with my registration number. They did not comment on my degrees at all (I have a BPsy and MPsy). However, I only applied for the basic registration, nothing more.

I did my IELTS a month ago, it was a bit tricky but I did pass with good grades so I am glad for that. If you did your test in June 2008 I guess you should be fine, I presume that the degree needs to be valid at the application deadline.

I will start filling in my form this weekend; I hope to submit my application by mid-Nov at the latest. Out of curiosity, are you working in the NHS at the moment?
//Kim

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maven
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Post by maven » Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:40 am

At a guess, Attishu, they might be saying that an MSc is not enough to work as a CP here, so they will accept you have graduate basis for chartered membership, but not enough to gain equivalence to being fully qualified. I'd have thought your Masters would still count as a post grad qualification to get an extra point if you applied for clinical training though.
Maven.

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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Chalice
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Post by Chalice » Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:08 am

I have just started training and I am originally from Germany. There are also Canadian and Dutch trainees in our cohort. If you have any specific questions please do ask!

Just to add what others have already said - we have all had quite extensive NHS experience. I think it is not only about showing that you are committed to working in this country but also that you have an awareness of current issues within the NHS (as well as what it means to work as an NHS clinical psychologist, which does differ from other countries and other settings). I imagine that with not having worked in this environment it might be quite hard to demonstrate this awareness?

Good luck though!
------------------

You Don't Have To Be Great To Be Great

attishu
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Location: Preston

Post by attishu » Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:12 pm

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all the info and replays (:
How is your work with the application going KimB? I've just finished mine a few days ago, summarizing 2,5 years of professional experience in 250 words was not an easy task for me, still 10 word over :(
Back to your question I'm currently working for a charity as an assistant psych. so its not directly NHS, but my supervisor is an NHS clinical psychologist, she is a great source of information on the doctorate training and NHS issues. I'm applying for a voluntary post at the local NHS mental health help line at the moment as well, hope that will help me to gain a bit more insight to the NHS system.
-Chalice Congratulations, which uni are you at? Do u think there are certain course centres which are more open to international applicants? I know officially they all have to offer equal opportunities, but u might have some additional info on this..
Getting back to the NHS experience I faced a difficoult dilemma about a year ago. I was offered a place by the NHS as an IAPT low intensity worker which seemed like an interesting post, but I knew that having UK assistant psychologist experience is quiet essentila for the clinincal doctorate course, so I turned it down and applied for AP posts for the next few weeks, finally secured an AP post (not NHS). I'm not really sure which is more important but I hope to gain NHS experience through voluntary work and do the AP job as my full time. What is your understanding of the priorities?

KimB
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Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:20 pm
Location: Sweden

Post by KimB » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:16 am

Hi there,

I have contacted my referees and asked them to complete the documents. One could say that my application is still very much a work in progress :D Please keep us updated on your other applications!
//Kim

orbital_f
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Post by orbital_f » Sun Nov 01, 2009 2:35 pm

Hi to all!

I am studying in Germany towards a degree called diplom psychologie which entitles its holders to work as fully fledged psychologists in Germany.Hence,I don't thjink I'll have much of a problem getting the GBC (GBR)
Much has been said on this forum concerning work experience.

What I was wondering about and I hope you could help me with it is whether experience gained outside the UK might also be relevant

I have:

1)done 400 hours of working in a psychotherapeutic clinic
2)another 400 working in a hospital in psycho-oncology
3)and will be working one year after graduation in a psychiatric clinic outside the EU

I'd like to apply in 2010 for a course starting in 2011 so my questions are:

1- as I am starting my post graduation year only in october 2010 would it be considered when I apply by December 2010?By the time interviews start I will have gained a lot of experience so what do you think?

2 - is UK experience absolutely paramount or do you know of anyone who has made it without?

3- a question to all those psychologists who gained sufficient qualifications abroad - how come you didn't just go straight for the statement of equivalence?or why don't you try the HPC route?

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dannythemenace
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Post by dannythemenace » Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:26 pm

hallo orbital_f

ich glaub nhs experience ist einfach ein muss weil die sehen wollen das man in dem system gearbeitet hat

d

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