Apply for a CAAP course or chance my luck with DClinPsy or NES Stage 2?

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DaniCmbl
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Apply for a CAAP course or chance my luck with DClinPsy or NES Stage 2?

Post by DaniCmbl »

Hi everyone,

Looking for some advice as I'm a bit unsure of which route to go down.
I'm currently a higher level Assistant Psychologist with the NHS (since March 21) and I also have 13 years experience working therapeutically in a community setting. I have a first class accredited BSc in Psychology and almost completed a stage 1 Masters in Health Psychology. So far I have distinctions in all modules so just need to finish my thesis and ideally get a distinction overall, (which my supervisor reckons I will achieve).
I'm now considering my future and what to do next. I am also a career changer (31yo) with responsibilities, a mortgage etc so cannot move locations or study full time unless it is funded with a fulltime wage. Luckily, I live in Scotland so am fortunate enough to have several funded options to consider.

1) I could apply for a Clinical Associate in Applied Psychology (CAAP) course, adults or children, be funded for a year within the NHS and be able to get a band 6 role when I graduate. However, If I do this I won't be able to apply for a doctorate (Clin or Health) for almost 2 years and would be doing another masters which I've just done!
2) I could apply for a NES funded Trainee Health psychologist post, this is funded for 2 years and I complete a stage 2 qualification during this meaning I can apply for HCPC and potentially work as a health psychologist. However, these places are not guaranteed to come up and are limited to only 3 or 4 posts!
3) I could wait, put all my eggs in the one basket and apply for the DClinPsy courses at Edinburgh and Glasgow when they come up, I dont need to tell you all how competitive this is. However, all 3 options are all very competitive.

So there it is, what would you do if you were me? Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Geishawife
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Re: Apply for a CAAP course or chance my luck with DClinPsy or NES Stage 2?

Post by Geishawife »

Could you not apply for all 3 and just see what happens?
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miriam
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Re: Apply for a CAAP course or chance my luck with DClinPsy or NES Stage 2?

Post by miriam »

No reason not to apply for clinical training, given you have both academic strength and relevant experience, but as Geishawife says, you can always apply for all of these options and then make the best choice from the offers you get.
Miriam

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sweatered
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Re: Apply for a CAAP course or chance my luck with DClinPsy or NES Stage 2?

Post by sweatered »

I was considering moving up to Edinburgh for the CAAP course, though I believe there might be issues with that post currently not existing down here in England! Looks like a great course, though you're right in that you'd be doubling up in a sense.

Might sound obvious, but I really would go with what you feel you might enjoy more, regardless of competition or doubling up. (I think your chances are pretty good with the DClin though!) If you apply for all 3, that might help in terms of meeting the people involved and getting a feel for what the associated posts/roles might be like.
And sometimes you meet yourself back where you started, but stronger.
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DaniCmbl
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Re: Apply for a CAAP course or chance my luck with DClinPsy or NES Stage 2?

Post by DaniCmbl »

Thanks for the advice so far. It really is appreciated!
The way the deadlines are if I applied to CAAP courses and was successful, I would not be able to apply for either doctorates as the CAAP applications open june/July and doctorates don't open until October (although you don't find out if you even get an interview with DCLinpsy until March) hence why I'm wondering if I should go down the CAAP route now or wait.
To make matters more complicated if I apply for the NES Health psychology post in October I would be starting the post in February before I know if I've got an interview with the DClinpsy or not.
I'm leaning towards waiting and applying for the doctorates as my heart isn't really in the CAAP courses, they would just be a stepping stone to a doctorate which isn't really fair on the course staff, NES or other applicants. I'm still very torn between Health and Clinical psychology but feel as though there are many more opportunities in Clinical?
rachyp
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Re: Apply for a CAAP course or chance my luck with DClinPsy or NES Stage 2?

Post by rachyp »

Do keep in mind that if you were successful in obtaining a place on the Edinburgh MSc, you would then be ineligible to apply for either of the Scottish DClinPsy courses the following year. As NES fund both they won’t do one after the other to discourage using it as a “stepping stone”, so if you were to train as a CAAP until January 2023, you couldn’t apply to Scottish doctorate courses in 2023. You’d either have to wait until 2024 to apply, or look at courses outside Scotland. Worth keeping in mind if your heart isn’t in it and you are focused on timelines.
han10
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Re: Apply for a CAAP course or chance my luck with DClinPsy or NES Stage 2?

Post by han10 »

Hi DaniCmbl,

Just to pick up on one bit in your last message - What is it about Health that you like? What do you want to do within 'Health'?

I work as a clinical psychologist in physical health and have done since qualifying, across various specialties in England. (what I say next may not apply to Scotland as I don't know the system there). I support those with long term health conditions manage adjustment, dealing with treatment regimes, side effects, trauma, make treatment choices, anxiety and depression related to their physical health problems or where it is impacting on their ability to engage with treatments, future planning and end of life care (and much more beyond that I'm sure but that's a bit of a list off the top of my head) I work within a MDT at a hospital, provide consultation, joint work, individual work and have ran workshops and groups too. I also provide long term health condition teaching to trainees and IAPT and supervise.

All my colleagues within physical health psychology are clinical psychologists, we do not have any health psychologists within our service but that could just be me. My (potentially wrong - happy to be corrected) beliefs around health psychologists were it was a more academic role and focused on understanding health behaviour and behaviour strategies to promote healthy living and optimise health engagement. This may be completely different in Scotland.

Just in case that information impacts on your decision making.

But above all else, enjoy the journey and do what you want to do now rather than focus too heavily on stepping stones to somewhere that you may not arrive at. If you enjoy the journey then you are never disappointed on the destination. Having said that, if clinical psychology is the option you choose I would apply this year given as you have the academic and practical experience required to meet minimum criteria by the sounds of it and if you don't get on this year can you just stay in your assistant role?
gin
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Re: Apply for a CAAP course or chance my luck with DClinPsy or NES Stage 2?

Post by gin »

sweatered wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 10:15 pm I was considering moving up to Edinburgh for the CAAP course, though I believe there might be issues with that post currently not existing down here in England! Looks like a great course, though you're right in that you'd be doubling up in a sense.

Might sound obvious, but I really would go with what you feel you might enjoy more, regardless of competition or doubling up. (I think your chances are pretty good with the DClin though!) If you apply for all 3, that might help in terms of meeting the people involved and getting a feel for what the associated posts/roles might be like.
Hiya! I'm actually interested in applying for CAAP, which means I would move from London to Scotland. Tho reading your comment, now I'm not sure how would I use those qualifications back in England. Does anyone have an idea...?
JamieFerrie
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Re: Apply for a CAAP course or chance my luck with DClinPsy or NES Stage 2?

Post by JamieFerrie »

Hey 😊

I completed the Adult CAAP course in 2019 and will be starting the DClin at Edinburgh Uni come September this year. I'm more than happy to reflect some of my thoughts on what’s been discussed:

- So, if you were to take the CAAP route (either Child/Adult) then you’re right in saying that you would need to at least work for 1 year as a CAAP, or at least wait 1 year before applying to the DClin at Edinburgh/Glasgow. This does not apply to any other DClin out of Scotland as it was an agreement with NES. As a trainee CAAP you are on a Band 6 salary and when qualified, should be at a Band 7 salary. Some health boards, however, do not always offer a Band 7 post for CAAPs due to wider issues, although this largely tends to be the case in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Other health boards like Lothian, Lanarkshire, Tayside etc are a bit better at offering the Band 7 post.

- I’m not an expert at all in knowing what Health Psychologists do, however, my understanding is that there are far and few posts between in Scotland for Health Psychology in the NHS. I don’t agree with this, but posts are often not advertised to include Health Psychology for certain ‘practitioner psychologist’ roles as they do not have neuropsychology competencies which is apparently a requirement for a lot of health boards. As stated, I think this then pushes qualified Health Psychologists into private work or academia. I myself work as a CAAP in Clinical Health Psychology and we only have either CAAPs or Clinical Psychologists even though I think we would benefit immensely from a diverse skill-set.

- In all honestly, I would apply for the DClin if I were you, it is very competitive as we all know, but actually from what you’ve said you have all the ingredients for a good application 😊

I would say ask yourself what you would like from your career:
- If you would like purely clinical work and to be qualified more quickly than the DClin, CAAP course may be appropriate.
- However, if you prefer more of a mix in working i.e. being able to work in research, teaching and training, or through different clinical populations beyond mild-moderate then the DClin is the better option.

I took the CAAP role to get more of an idea of what clinical work is like in the NHS full-time and I decided that 'pure clinical work' wasn’t for me and so I pursued the DClin just to give me more of a diverse skill set to work in different posts going forward i.e. academia, teaching/training etc. It is mentioned as a bit of a taboo that people should ‘never’ do the CAAP and then go onto the DClin but it’s honestly not that tense with the programme staff. I even had some of the staff mention and recommend it as a future goal on occasion during my training and a few of my cohort are going onto the DClin. Don’t get me wrong, there are people who have been CAAPs for years and will continue to be and that is fantastic as there are more opportunities opening up for CAAPs i.e., working in Older Peoples services, Clinical Health Psychology, and I’m aware of two CAAPs who work in Learning Disabilities and a Women Offender Prison.

Regarding your query Gin, I am not aware how well the CAAP role in Scotland translates in England/Wales as it is different from the CAP course that has recently been set up in Exeter. My very naive understanding is that the CAAP role is similar to High Intensity IAPT? But I am not sure if you would need to do IAPT programme to do the role as you need to do the CAAP programme to do the CAAP role up in Scotland.

I should say lastly that if you are a CAAP who is accepted onto the DClin in Edinburgh or Glasgow, NES recognise your existing competencies and will cut 1 placement out of your training so you only do 2 years and 7 months on the DClin as opposed to 3 😊

Hope this info has been any use to anyone!
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miriam
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Re: Apply for a CAAP course or chance my luck with DClinPsy or NES Stage 2?

Post by miriam »

JamieFerrie wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 10:02 amI should say lastly that if you are a CAAP who is accepted onto the DClin in Edinburgh or Glasgow, NES recognise your existing competencies and will cut 1 placement out of your training so you only do 2 years and 7 months on the DClin as opposed to 3 😊
That's a really helpful and interesting post, thanks for sharing. The bit I've quoted is particularly interesting and not something I knew until now!
Miriam

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JamieFerrie
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Re: Apply for a CAAP course or chance my luck with DClinPsy or NES Stage 2?

Post by JamieFerrie »

Hi Miriam,

No problem glad it was helpful! I have copied and pasted the extractions from the course descriptors on the Clearing House which mention it:

University of Edinburgh
"Recognition of prior learning (RPL) will be applied for candidates who have completed the MSc in Applied Psychology for Children and Young People at the University of Edinburgh or the MSc in Psychological Therapy in Primary Care provided jointly by the Universities of Stirling and Dundee, which have significant clinical practice (placement) components. Any consideration of RPL will not have any impact on the selection of trainees. Further details are available on our website.

Please note that the MSc in Psychological Therapy in Primary Care and the MSc in Applied Psychology for Children and Young People have been designed as an innovation in the training structure for Applied Psychologists and provide MSc graduates to NHS workforce roles. NES funds these training roles in addition to the Doctoral training places. NES will not fund places on the University of Edinburgh/NHS (Scotland) Clinical Psychology Training Programme for candidates who apply to the Clearing House while in receipt of NES funding for the MSc in Psychological Therapy in Primary Care or MSc in Applied Psychology for Children and Young People.

This means, if you are currently enrolled on either the MSc in Psychological Therapy in Primary Care or the MSc in Applied Psychology for Children and Young People, you would not be eligible to apply to the University of Edinburgh/NHS (Scotland) Clinical Psychology Training Programme in the current intake (ie September to November 2020 application window for 2021 intake)."

University of Glasgow
"Recognition/accreditation of prior learning (RPL/APL) is applied to candidates who have completed either the MSc in Applied Psychology (Healthcare) for Children and Young people at the University of Edinburgh or the MSc in Psychological Therapy in Primary Care (MSc PTPC) provided jointly by the Universities of Stirling and Dundee. These programmes, which are also funded by NES, have significant clinical practice (placement) components. Eligibility for RPL/APL does not impact on the selection of trainees. Further details are available on our website about APL. All places in the 2021 intake will be full-time. The duration of the programme is 31 months for those meeting the criteria for APL and 36 moths for others."
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