The programme leads to the award of the degree of Doctor of Clinical Psychology, leading to eligibility for registration as a Practitioner Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council. Successful completion of the programme also leads to eligibility for Chartered Status as a clinical psychologist with the British Psychological Society.
The programme is based in the School of Psychology and housed in a modernised and refurbished late-Victorian building. Accommodation consists of teaching rooms and offices for academic, clinical and administrative staff. There is also a resource room for trainee use which houses a small library and several computers which provide trainees with access to the University’s IT system, numerous database facilities, software packages, and the Internet.
Trainees are registered postgraduate students in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences and employed by Mersey Care NHS Trust. All members of staff are committed to ensuring that theory and practice elements are fully integrated within a programme structure responsive to both academic and service developments. The programme is funded through a contract with the NHS. There is a Programme Training Committee consisting of representatives of appropriate bodies, with three sub-groups responsible for the clinical, academic, and research activities within the programme. Trainees are represented on all management committees.
Almost all qualified clinical psychologists on Merseyside and a sizeable proportion from the wider North-West region contribute to the effectiveness of the programme in some form - through direct teaching, clinical supervision, mentoring, or participation in intake/selection processes. Many have honorary university contracts in recognition of these contributions. There are expanding links with many Special Interest Groups which are now increasingly active in Merseyside and Cheshire, and wider links to post-qualification activities throughout the North West. Communication with these various sources of support is maintained through a number of channels, including working groups, and an Annual Review.
Whilst most clinical placements can still be reached within an hour’s drive, trainees are increasingly expected to be prepared to travel greater distances for their clinical placements. The three programmes in the North West (Lancaster, Manchester and Liverpool) employ a systematic, collaborative approach to the use of clinical placements, allowing greater flexibility of access across the region as a whole. Trainees at Liverpool must possess a full and valid UK driving licence and have regular access to their own transport (own car or equivalent motorised vehicle) to enable them to fulfil the requirements of placements (subject to reasonable adjustments for disability). Travel expenses are paid for journeys to placement which exceed the distance from a trainee’s home to the university, and for travel within a placement.