Assistant Psychologist Induction and Training Process

APs observe assessments, attend EP consultations, talk through casework with the psychologist, complete structured observations and assessments under EP guidance, support and train school staff on areas EdPsychs have trained them on and work directly with students to implement EP recommendations, strategies, interventions and programmes and evaluate impact of their work.

Direct contact work with students takes up around 50-75% of an APs time depending on the school they are working in.

APs also train teaching assistants and gather informed consent, EP questionnaires and associated paperwork.

APs also work directly with the SENCo and Inclusion Manager of their host school on a daily basis, and SENCos and Inclusion Managers have been trained on how best to use and support an AP in their school. 

Each Assistant Psychologist (AP) is under the direct supervision of an experienced educational psychologist for at least 20 days a year in term time.

In addition, APs receive additional supervision from:

  • Their link Senior AP
  • The AP team more widely
  • John Hepburn, Company Director
  • Other EPs supporting the company 

AP induction and ongoing support and training 

Pre-induction all APs must:

  • Complete our online child protection training programme
  • Register for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with the BPS
  • Complete the EdPsychs' DBS process
  • Read and understand all relevant HCPC and BPS guidelines
  • Complete core reading on the work of an educational psychologist and EP casework
  • Visit schools with an attached AP and shadow them for at least two days
  • Set up an EdPsychs' portal access account with our IT team led by Aaron
  • Set up on the EdPsychs' payroll account led by Tereza and Isabella

INITIAL AP INDUCTION AND ONGOING SAP AND AP TRAINING

APs will complete their initial induction training in both Highgate and Harley Street. On occasion, we may also complete some training sessions in other locations off site. Training sessions are run by a team of experienced educational psychologists, CBT practitioners, professional coaches and former doctoral course directors.

All AP and SAP training sessions are open to EPs and Trainee Educational Psychologists (TEPs) currently supporting schools with EdPsychs' contacts.

The AP induction programme is a professional training programme developed by a team of educational psychologists to allow APs to support EPs effectively in a school with an EdPsychs’ EP contract, rather than a programme of study.

APs are expected to develop personally and professionally during their time with EdPsychs (which has a one-year minimum commitment) and each AP must work in a way that protects the company, the profession, the school, our client group and the AP themselves.

This ongoing ethical, professional, compliance orientated 'safety first' approach runs through the entire functioning of a professional psychologist in private practice and APs are also expected to maintain these standards of professional conduct (at BPS level) in their own work.

The 2017-18 running order is presented below. Each day runs from 9am to 5pm with breaks and lunch built in.

It should be noted that EdPsychs run an interleaved problem based teaching approach where skills are taught, practised, embedded and developed over time.

Much of the additional ongoing training and support an AP receives is built into their daily work, and the following training package is the starting point of the training process rather than the training process itself. APs and SAPs will have an additional 20-40 days per year working alongside an experienced educational psychologist in their attached school, and additional supervision, training and learning opportunities will occur there also (and these experiences will be different for each AP and SAP as individual EPs and schools work differently).

The core AP and SAP training is outlined below.

Pre-induction and pre-training

TEP, SAPs and APs will all need to:

  • Complete the NSPCC safeguarding in schools training programme.
  • Read through the core BPS and HCPC information advanced by Emeritus Professor IG.
  • Read through the SEN Code of Practice for KM’s (EP) session in September.
  • Read through CBT pre-reading materials advanced by JM (EP).
  • 23rd August: APs. Welcome to EdPsychs Ltd for new APs. Introduction: EdPsychs Ltd expectations, and core values. Thinking about your core values, problem based teaching, the role of an AP and an EP, evidence based practice and where to find key information. The BPS and HCPC Codes of Conduct. The AP journey, admin, paperwork and the nature of informed consent. Harley Street. JH (EP) and SF (TEP)
  • 24th August: APs. Anxiety, assessments and interventions. Harley Street. Session run by JH (EP), KR (PAP), SM (TEP), SF (TEP).
  • 25th August: APs. Dyslexia, theory, background and evidence based interventions. Harley Street. Session run by JH (EP), SM (TEP), SF (TEP) and LB (SAP).
  • 29th August: EPs, SAPs and APs. Part 1: Ethical and Professional Practice: doing the right thing. Part 2: Negotiation skills: using negotiation skills to promote best practice and ethical conduct. Highgate. Session run by Emeritus Professor IG.
  • 30th August: EPs, SAPs and APs. FRIENDs for Life training. Highgate. Session run by 2 EPs from ‘Psychology Tree’.
  • 31st August: SAPs and APs. Safeguarding continued in the morning. JH (EP) to facilitate, Afternoon: Evolutionary psychology and its influence on education. Highgate. Session run by JH (EP).
  • 1st September: EPs, SAPs and APs. Cognitive Behavioural Approaches in Education Part 1. Highgate. Session run by JM (EP)
  • 4th September: SAPs. Core Skills for Successful Difficult Conversations. Highgate. SG (Professional Coach).
  • 4th September: APs: Dyscalculia. Theory, background and evidence based interventions. Highgate. Session run by JH (EP).
  • 5th September: SAPs. Study skills training. Highgate. Session run by KR (PAP) and SF (TEP).
  • 5th September: APs. The Code of Practice and the Graduated Response Model. Highgate. Session run by KM (EP).
  • 6th September: SAPs and APs. Personal Construct Psychology in Education. Senior APs to then train ‘their’ AP on paperwork and use of the ASD and ADHD screeners, how to support your EP and manage your time in a school. Set up a supervision structure and introduce the structured coaching model. The ‘cognitive structures’ model of training that EdPsychs use will then be introduced and two model SAP presentations advanced to show how this works. Highgate. JH (EP) to facilitate and SF (TEP) to run part one, all SAPS to run part two.
  • 22nd September: EPs and SAPs. Coaching day 1. Harley Street. Introduction to coaching in schools. Session run by MA (EP).

    EPs with an SAP/AP will also meet on this day to discuss further supporting SAPs and APs in schools.
  • 3rd October: APs. Mindfulness 1. Introduction to MAP. Off site. Session run by JM (EP).
  • 20th October: EPs, SAPs and APs. Cognitive Behavioural Approaches in Education Part 2. Highgate. Session run by JM (EP)
  • 31st October: APs. Mindfulness 2. MAP follow up and discussion. Afternoon only. Off site. Session run by JM (EP).
  • 16th November: SAPs. Coaching follow up and running a modern consultation method in schools using the integrated approach. Highgate. Session run by JH (EP).
  • 21st November: APs. Mindfulness 3. MAP follow up and discussion. Afternoon only. Off site. Session run by JM (EP).
  • 15th December: APs. Voice of the Child: Little Box of Big Questions 1 and 2 interventions: P4C and future of the profession. Highgate. Session run by Emeritus Professor IG.
  • 22nd December: EPs and SAPs. Voice of the Child 2: Life Compass, coaching, and then using LBBQ 3 + 4. Highgate. Session run by Emeritus Professor IG.
  • 22nd December: APs. Working Memory: background, assessment and supporting students in the classroom. Presentations training will be built into this. Model AP session presented. Highgate. KM (EP) to run.
  • 12th January: EPs and SAPs. Coaching Day 2. Following on from September session on coaching in schools. Discussion around coaching sessions completed so far. Additional techniques and methods. Harley Street. Session run by MA (EP).
  • 26th January: EPs, SAPs and APs. Equalities and Inclusion in EP practice Part 1. Promoting equality and inclusion in EP practice: legislation and frameworks, multi-cultural awareness, bilingualism, EP assessments. Highgate. Session run by ET (EP).
  • 23rd February: EPs, SAPs and APs. Equalities and Inclusion in EP practice Part 2. Promoting equality and inclusion in EP practice: inequalities and disadvantage in education, working with diverse cultures and communities, the role of the EP in promoting social justice. Highgate. Session run by ET (EP).
  • 29th March: APs. Quality first teaching in schools: teaching from the evidence base to improve student outcomes. Highgate. Presentations based on cognitive structures model. Sessions facilitated by JH (EP) and SF (TEP).
  • 26th April: SAPs. Cognitive Behavioural Approaches in Education Part 3. Vignettes and case analysis. Highgate. Session run by JM (EP). SAPs will be split into two groups of 4. One group work directly with JM, second group complete peer supervision and case analysis and the groups then switch around.
  • 26th April: APs. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with Groups. Highgate. Session run by AC (EP). Evidence based teaching presentations in the afternoon (APs).
  • 27th April: EPs and SAPs. Coaching Day 3. Following on from January session on coaching in schools. Discussion around coaching sessions completed so far. Additional techniques and methods. Harley Street. Session run by MA (EP).
  • 25th May: SAPs. Cognitive Behavioural Approaches in Education Part 4. Vignettes and case analysis. Highgate. Session run by JM (EP). SAPs will be split into two groups of 4. One group work directly with JM, second group complete peer supervision and case analysis and the groups then swap over.
  • 25th May: APs. Low Mood and Depression in Children and Adolescents. Highgate. Session run by AC (EP).

    Evidence based teaching presentations in the afternoon (APs). Session run by DS (EP).
  • 29th June: SAPs. Cognitive Behavioural Approaches in Education Part 5. Vignettes and case analysis. Highgate. Session run by JM (EP).

    SAPs will be split into two groups of 4. One group work directly with JM, second group complete peer supervision and case analysis and the groups then swap over.
  • 29th June: APs. Evidence based teaching presentations in the afternoon (APs). Highgate. JH (EP) and SF (TEP) to facilitate.
  • 6th July: SAPs and APs. End of year meal.

EdPsychs recruit for potential APs on an ongoing basis. Competition is intense as it is a coveted role. To be eligible to apply you must: 

  • Have a First Class Honours or 2.1 Honours in Psychology by the time the August 2017 induction begins
  • Have at least a year of experience working in UK schools
  • Have excellent social skills and verbal communication skills
  • Meet the core criteria presented in the application form (presented below)

The interview process comprises three stages across three separate sessions:

  • An initial 25-minute screener interview where you will explain why you would like to be an AP, what experience you can bring to the role and how children learn in the classroom from a psychological perspective. You will be interviewed by a panel of EPs and APs.
  • A more formal interview where you will answer 14 core questions on psychology, the Code of Practice, educational psychology, the role of an EP in schools and the evidence base around advancing quality first teaching in schools. You will be given the questions in advance of the interview. You will be interviewed by a panel of EPs and APs.
  • A second formal interview where you will advance a professional 20-minute presentation, answer questions on your presentation and explain the cognitive psychology underpinning its structure (we will provide you with templates and a model example so you are clear on the standard expected). You will be interviewed by a panel of EPs and APs.

If you are successful, we will introduce you to potential schools, and if you like each other we will offer you a contract of employment with EdPsychs Ltd. 

Many potential APs ask about the doctoral application process in educational psychology.

EdPsychs do not train you to be an EP. This is the role of the doctoral programmes, and you will develop your own practice and thinking about the type of EP you would like to be across many years of working alongside different EPs on the doctoral programme, in local authorities and in your wider work as a professional psychologist.

The AP role with EdPsychs then is about learning to support an EP and SENCo in a school to better embed psychology within that school and to use evidence based psychological approaches to better support the whole school community.

However, most of our APs would like to be an EP at some point. The AP role with EdPsychs Ltd allows you to gain experience working with many different EPs and associated professionals on a day to day basis, and it will ensure that you are effectively applying robust psychological approaches in your work. We also ensure that APs work collaboratively together for the greater benefit of all. APs help each other to improve their expertise and professional practice, attend BPS events and immerse themselves in the world of professional applied psychology.

In 2015-16, five of our APs applied for the doctoral courses, all received interviews and three secured a place on a doctoral programme.

In 2016-17, ten of our APs applied for the doctoral courses, all bar one received interviews (they averaged almost two interviews apiece) and the doctoral interviews are still in process at time of writing.

Again, EdPsychs will not prepare you for the application process as this is not our role. However, APs seem to find the experience of working with EdPsychs and supporting educational psychologists in schools as a very valuable, challenging and rewarding experience, and we hope that you will too.

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