Chartered Occupational Psychologist (BPS).Please help Watch

OccuPsy
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Hello everyone!

I need some help or guidance in order to determine my next steps upon my return in the UK soon.I have graduated with a BPS accredited MSc in Occupational Psychology (got a Commendation actually) from a mid ranking Uni and I am exploring my options in order to achieve the Chartered status as an Occupational Psychologist.

Unfortunately my personal circumstances were such that I had to return to my home country (Greece) the past 2 years.Unfortunately I was bedridden for the better part of the last couple of years and have lost touch with UK academia and job market.Now all is fine and should be back in the UK sometime in the next 6 months.

My goal is to eventually become a Chartered Occupational Psychologist but have no idea how to go about it.I have checked the BPS site but I am a bit at a loss.

Should I start looking for relevant jobs before applying for the Stage 2 Qualification of the Society (Trainee Occupational Psychologist)?Can I apply even if I am not employed at all? Can I be employed outside Psychology jobs and still manage the 2 year Qualification from the Society?

As you understand I am not at all that confident that I ll land a psychology related job immediately upon my return in the UK but I know for sure that eventually becoming Chartered is what I want and I need to get on with it,now more than ever.

Any help or guidance would be much appreciated.Thank you in advance!
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catoswyn
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(Original post by OccuPsy)
Hello everyone!

I need some help or guidance in order to determine my next steps upon my return in the UK soon.I have graduated with a BPS accredited MSc in Occupational Psychology (got a Commendation actually) from a mid ranking Uni and I am exploring my options in order to achieve the Chartered status as an Occupational Psychologist.

Unfortunately my personal circumstances were such that I had to return to my home country (Greece) the past 2 years.Unfortunately I was bedridden for the better part of the last couple of years and have lost touch with UK academia and job market.Now all is fine and should be back in the UK sometime in the next 6 months.

My goal is to eventually become a Chartered Occupational Psychologist but have no idea how to go about it.I have checked the BPS site but I am a bit at a loss.

Should I start looking for relevant jobs before applying for the Stage 2 Qualification of the Society (Trainee Occupational Psychologist)?Can I apply even if I am not employed at all? Can I be employed outside Psychology jobs and still manage the 2 year Qualification from the Society?

As you understand I am not at all that confident that I ll land a psychology related job immediately upon my return in the UK but I know for sure that eventually becoming Chartered is what I want and I need to get on with it,now more than ever.

Any help or guidance would be much appreciated.Thank you in advance!
I see no one has yet replied. I don't know the answers to all your questions but I have some thoughts.

As I understand it anyone is able to apply for places on the stage 2 qualification if you have the relevant first degree but it is of course competitive. This means you may be lucky and get a place whether you have work experience or not or extra work experience in a related job can strengthen your application.

The situation here is that despite the recession there are still relevant jobs available to strengthen an application if you are willing to take posts that are in areas such as care homes or care in the community. These types of care posts are low qualification in nature and pay approx. £7-£9 per hour.

Posts as assistant occupational therapists and the like may be advertised on various websites such as NHS jobs or local authority pages. They will be few and far between though. Everything is being re-structured here and many people are losing their jobs. This means new jobs are often ring fenced for people who have lost a job and want to apply within the same organisation area. This will settle down I think in future so is not a permanent problem.

Identify the level 2 courses you are interested in and maybe email for advice.

There is nothing to stop you exploring all three routes... applying for a place, trying for lower level related work and looking for higher paid related jobs.

Good luck.

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OccuPsy
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(Original post by catoswyn)

Good luck.
Thank you very much for responding to my post.Unfortunately I dont see how a post as an assistant occupational therapist is pertinent to becoming a chartered occupational psychologist .I know many people tend to mix up Occupational Psychology with Occupational therapy but its ok

Getting a place to the society's Stage 2 qualification as far as Occupational Psychology is concerned is actually not competitive at all.In fact everyone with a BPS accredited MSc would get a place.Whether you finish it or not is the 1 million dollar question

Though you might have a valid point when it comes to how the UK market is during this recession.

Thanks again!!
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*Elizabeth*
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(Original post by OccuPsy)
Hello everyone!

I need some help or guidance in order to determine my next steps upon my return in the UK soon.I have graduated with a BPS accredited MSc in Occupational Psychology (got a Commendation actually) from a mid ranking Uni and I am exploring my options in order to achieve the Chartered status as an Occupational Psychologist.

Unfortunately my personal circumstances were such that I had to return to my home country (Greece) the past 2 years.Unfortunately I was bedridden for the better part of the last couple of years and have lost touch with UK academia and job market.Now all is fine and should be back in the UK sometime in the next 6 months.

My goal is to eventually become a Chartered Occupational Psychologist but have no idea how to go about it.I have checked the BPS site but I am a bit at a loss.

Should I start looking for relevant jobs before applying for the Stage 2 Qualification of the Society (Trainee Occupational Psychologist)?Can I apply even if I am not employed at all? Can I be employed outside Psychology jobs and still manage the 2 year Qualification from the Society?

As you understand I am not at all that confident that I ll land a psychology related job immediately upon my return in the UK but I know for sure that eventually becoming Chartered is what I want and I need to get on with it,now more than ever.

Any help or guidance would be much appreciated.Thank you in advance!
Hey,

I'm a trainee health psychologist on a professional doctorate in health psychology (stage 2) and recently obtained my PhD.

To start, you will need to

1) Complete a BPS accredited undergraduate degree (or postgraduate conversion to obtain GBC or GBR), preferably with a 1st of high 2.1.

For health psychology (and I think with forensic and occupational routes)

2) Complete a BPS accredited MSc in relevant area of psychology (ie health, forensic or occupational). With health psychology, I needed to obtain a Merit in this MSc in order to progress onto stage 2.

Unis differ on their entry requirements here, but it is possible to obtain places.

3) Stage 2

Stage 2 routes lead to chartered status but require placements in relevant settings.

There's two routes to stage 2. Although to obtain chartered status, both routes require supervision from chartered occupational psychologists (in your case) or chartered health psychologists in my case.

a) Professional doctorate accredited by the BPS.

I'm enrolled on a health psychology one at City Uni.

A quick Google search showed there are comparable ones in occupational psychology at UEL etc.

http://www.uel.ac.uk/postgraduate/sp...-occpsychology.

There definitely is some competition involved with these professional doctorates (ie health, forensic, occupational), but unis may differ on their requirements from aspiring trainees.

I applied for stage 2 without my placements finalised, yet various unis offered me places. But, I think it's good to have the placements agreed and set up before applying for stage 2, if only to answer some of their questions during interview!

b) BPS independent route.

Obtaining work experience that shows competency in occupational psychology in accordance with BPS competencies.

Experience

Prior to stage 2, I worked as a health psychology researcher at UCL which REALLY improved my prospects during the stage 2 admission process. I'm also allowed to use experience gained from that position towards my health chartered psychologist training as I was crucially supervised by chartered health psychologists. I would seek out qualified chartered occupational psychologists via the BPS or HPC website and ask their advice and if possible, obtain work experience supervised by occupational psychologists.

Incidentally, I've got two support worker jobs to build my clinical skills in working with vulnerable populations. However, these positions are poorly paid (ie just above minimum wage) but are allowing me to develop some skills and such experience is increasingly relevant for graduate psychologists jobs, especially for the highly competitive assistant psychologist and research assistant positions.

Volunteering is a good way to obtain relevant experience. My stage 2 placements are voluntary positions with various cancer charities and NHS smoking teams. Looking to expand to academic health psychology departments, preferably at my old health psychology job department at UCL. Prior to stage 2, I volunteered as an assistant psychologist for several clinical psychologists which provided me with useful experiences and opportunities to network.

Look out for areas and organizations that occupational psychologist work in ie human resources, etc etc and try and obtain some experience there. Or maybe researcher or assistant psychologist positions specializing in business/organisational issues and work stress?!

Whilst I'm applying for graduate psychologist jobs (ie research assistant, research associate, assistant psychologist etc), given the crap job market at the moment, I'm also working on my publications to improve my employability and continuing with relevant placements to improve my prospects. I'm hoping my completed PhD will improve my chances in a very competitive psychology graduate market.

Best of luck
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OccuPsy
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(Original post by *Elizabeth*)

Experience

Prior to stage 2, I worked as a health psychology researcher at UCL which REALLY improved my prospects during the stage 2 admission process. I'm also allowed to use experience gained from that position towards my health chartered psychologist training as I was crucially supervised by chartered health psychologists. I would seek out qualified chartered occupational psychologists via the BPS or HPC website and ask their advice and if possible, obtain work experience supervised by occupational psychologists.

Incidentally, I've got two support worker jobs to build my clinical skills in working with vulnerable populations. However, these positions are poorly paid (ie just above minimum wage) but are allowing me to develop some skills and such experience is increasingly relevant for graduate psychologists jobs, especially for the highly competitive assistant psychologist and research assistant positions.

Volunteering is a good way to obtain relevant experience. My stage 2 placements are voluntary positions with various cancer charities and NHS smoking teams. Looking to expand to academic health psychology departments, preferably at my old health psychology job department at UCL. Prior to stage 2, I volunteered as an assistant psychologist for several clinical psychologists which provided me with useful experiences and opportunities to network.

Look out for areas and organizations that occupational psychologist work in ie human resources, etc etc and try and obtain some experience there. Or maybe researcher or assistant psychologist positions specializing in business/organisational issues and work stress?!

Whilst I'm applying for graduate psychologist jobs (ie research assistant, research associate, assistant psychologist etc), given the crap job market at the moment, I'm also working on my publications to improve my employability and continuing with relevant placements to improve my prospects. I'm hoping my completed PhD will improve my chances in a very competitive psychology graduate market.

Best of luck

Hey Elizabeth and thank you for your response.I am quoting the most relevant part since I have done the whole stage 1 thing.

I did not know health psychology was that competitive!wow.Yes I am inclined to start looking for jobs around HR,training,career counseling etc once I return to the UK.I am just a bit worried as to how I am going to manage and find something in this market.My professional experience in Psychology so far is substantial but highly irrelevant to Occupational Psychology...this is the most stressing bit.

I ve ruled out the doctorate route.Actually the doctorate from UEL is the only professional doctorate out there for Occupational Psychologists but for some reason they want you to be Chartered first (what?confused)....I havent found anything else.

So I am thinking of doing the independent route.However I am not sure that I would be able to do it in 2 years (this is how long it takes for Trainee Occupational Psychologists) since I will have to factor in the very real possibility of working irrelevant jobs outside Psychology at least in the begging of my migration (worst case scenario).Do you know if there is any limitation on the number of years it might take for someone to complete Stage 2?Can I extend it to 3-4-5 years according to my personal circumstances?

Btw I have also emailed last week the officer in BPS who is responsible for Trainee Occupational Psychologists and have not heard from her (it's been a week now).Do you know how long it takes for them to respond?

Again thank you very much for your time and I really appreciate your input!
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*Elizabeth*
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(Original post by OccuPsy)
Hey Elizabeth and thank you for your response.I am quoting the most relevant part since I have done the whole stage 1 thing.

I did not know health psychology was that competitive!wow.Yes I am inclined to start looking for jobs around HR,training,career counseling etc once I return to the UK.I am just a bit worried as to how I am going to manage and find something in this market.My professional experience in Psychology so far is substantial but highly irrelevant to Occupational Psychology...this is the most stressing bit.

I ve ruled out the doctorate route.Actually the doctorate from UEL is the only professional doctorate out there for Occupational Psychologists but for some reason they want you to be Chartered first (what?confused)....I havent found anything else.

So I am thinking of doing the independent route.However I am not sure that I would be able to do it in 2 years (this is how long it takes for Trainee Occupational Psychologists) since I will have to factor in the very real possibility of working irrelevant jobs outside Psychology at least in the begging of my migration (worst case scenario).Do you know if there is any limitation on the number of years it might take for someone to complete Stage 2?Can I extend it to 3-4-5 years according to my personal circumstances?

Btw I have also emailed last week the officer in BPS who is responsible for Trainee Occupational Psychologists and have not heard from her (it's been a week now).Do you know how long it takes for them to respond?

Again thank you very much for your time and I really appreciate your input!
Hey

You're welcome, happy to help

Sounds like you've got some great experience behind you already which I'm sure will put you in a good position.

I'm not familiar with the OP route I'm afraid. Does the MSc allow you to practice as an OP? Looking at the website, I think the professional doctorate in OP is specialised within research. So allowing MSc OP graduates and/or qualified OPs to build extensive research skills. Actually my professional doctorate in HP is similarly specialised within research and is actually down as a research degree (but it's not a PhD).

I think the versatility of psychology is something which appeals to me. I think the basics to key concepts regardless of specialism can be applied to other specialisms within psychology. So even if you've got extensive experience in psychology which appears to be irrelevant to OP, I'm sure there's a way which can apply to OP. Also, I think its beneficial to have skills and experience within other fields as it opens up other potential career paths, interests and job opportunities.

For example, I've got a job interview at Rethink as a mental health recovery worker next week. Although this position is within mental health and differs from health psychology and perhaps more relevant to clinical psychology, I'm still keen in this position to develop more skills in working with people and given the cross applicability of recovery within health psychology and possibility of working with substance misuse, chronic health conditions, adherence issues as well as chance to practice cognitive behavioural therapy skills. Furthermore, this position involves working in a house to support people recovering from mental health problems and I'm wondering if this position will enable some experience in terms of motivating someone to search for jobs? which perhaps brings in the relevance to OP. It's a leap, but given the association with poor job satisfaction or work stress and poor mental health, I think such a recovery position may enable insights into OP. At least in terms of psychopathological outcomes if there is weak human resources/supervisory support in place. Other positions within substance misuse fields etc perhaps sheds light on similar experiences- ie links with substance misuse and poor working practices.

I can only comment from my health psych doctorate, but there's definite flexibility to complete in 2-4 years and I think that applies to the independent route as well. I simply cannot afford to complete stage 2 within 2 years full time, so it will take about 3-4 years part time to complete it. Most of the trainees started off as full time and planned to finish within two years, but I think most of them are looking at 3 years. Unlike the clinical psychology doctorate, the stage 2 doctorate courses are self funded, so the limitation in terms of expense and time is placed on the trainee.

No idea why their taking time in getting back to you? People maybe returning from Christmas breaks? Snow delays? Who knows?! Hope you hear something soon

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OccuPsy
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Thanks for the response Elizabeth.No unfortunately the MSc does not allows us to practice as OP.My understanding is that there is no doctorate route actually for OP .The nature of OP would explain it up to a certain extent.

You are right, the versatility of skills acquired in Psychology jobs is significant and we could use it in various ways and jobs.Let's hope it will go well while I am job hunting!

Also I didnt know that you can do stage 2 part time!This is a relief.In any case I think I will email them again next week and see how it goes.

Once again thank you very much for your input!
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elenizen
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Hi!

I am aware this post is a bit old. I am at a similar situation as you were a couple of years ago. I studied psychology, I got the relevant degrees and I work as a research officer at a university in the UK and I would like to become a chartered Occupational Psychologist but I need to find a relevant job first. I am afraid that I might need to start from scratch (junior position) as my current job has nothing to do with occupational psychology. How did you proceed?

Best

Eleni
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