(Original post by OccuPsy)
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'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.
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.
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