Information on Psychology Directorate within NES
The Psychology Directorate within NHS Education for Scotland has responsibility for expanding
and modernising training for psychologists for the NHS in Scotland. Expansion of clinical
psychology training has been achieved by partnership funding between NES and NHS Boards in
support of additional training places. This partnership approach has been successful in achieving
a significant increase in training numbers over the last 7 years, however it is likely that in the
coming years overall numbers of trainees will remain at the current levels and that the focus for
the next two to three years will be more about aligning clinical psychology training more closely
with identified workforce gaps (eg. older adults, forensic, CAMHS) and responding to Scottish
Government Health Department policy drivers.
NES Psychology Directorate continues to align training pathways with contemporary workforce
development policy including:-
Improved access to training, both through recruitment/selection process and
mechanisms, of programme organisation and delivery;
Greater flexibility e.g. opportunities for part-time training; flexible routes through clinical
Recent development of new roles for psychologists trained to Masters Level, with
circumscribed competencies required by NHS Scotland services. A Masters level
training in evidence-based interventions for common mental health problems presenting
in adults in primary care has been established (since 2005). Another Masters level
training to support services for children and young people in the delivery of early
interventions for common emotional and behavioural problems in the early years and to
promote mental health and well-being was established in 2007.
Modernisation of Pre-registration Training for Psychologists – Strategic Direction
The following are key features of the modernisation agenda for pre registration training in
The strategic direction of training for this professional group is set at national (Scottish)
Training involves a partnership between NHS Scotland and Higher Education Institutions
brokered by NES.
There is a portfolio of academic programmes available in Scotland. NES brokers
arrangements to enable NHS employers to work in partnership with the academic
providers whose programmes best meet their needs.
Trainees are NHS employees who are employed and managed locally within an NHS
Board throughout their training contract.
Employers are engaged with the programme(s) in the development of learning plans for
trainees which take account of local service need as well as professional training
We are moving towards a more formal system of accrediting training placements. For
example in order to be approved, training placements will require to offer a supply of
appropriate clinical practice learning opportunities with appropriate supervision; access to
learning resources, including IT and physical accommodation and administrative support
sufficient to support the presence of trainees and their clinical activity. NES is developing
generic standards for placement learning.
NES is working to strengthen the role of NHS Scotland as an equal partner in training with the
Developing clear agreements with employers and the Universities specifying roles and
responsibilities and directing funding flows accordingly.
NES has an established training office function within the psychology directorate for
psychology training the role of which is
- to ensure good practice in recruitment/selection and employment of trainees;
- to establish and maintain information management systems ranging from
recruitment/selection monitoring through training completion data.
- to provide key business support for the directorate including the contractual
relationships with employers of trainees, and commissioned Programmes for training.
NES is continuing to develop educational infrastructure to support clinical training in the
- An established network of local tutors across NHS Scotland to improve
communication and co-ordination re. training arrangements between
stakeholders locally and in programme teams.
- A team of clinical practice educators (course tutors) for each of the clinical
training courses. They work in partnership with the academic team to ensure
training is not only meeting academic/professional standards but fit for purpose of
A Scotland-wide approach to the assessment of clinical and professional competence in
the workplace. Development of this work is being led by academic staff within the
programme teams in collaboration with NES Psychology Directorate.
In partnership with key stakeholders, NES is developing a Scotland- wide induction
training programme of supervisor training for recently qualified clinical psychologists.
New Supervisor training for clinical psychologists will be from 2010 incorporated within
the multi-professional training for core competencies, with the provision of additional
training that is specific to clinical psychology being delivered in part by programme teams
and in part locally by local NHS tutors. Work is currently underway to develop a
Scotland wide strategic approach to coordination and development of training for