Personal and Professional Development 3

The details
Health and Social Care (School of)
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Postgraduate: Level 8
Friday 01 September 2023
Saturday 31 August 2024
07 September 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

DOCTC84036 Clinical Psychology (D Clin Psych)

Module description

This module runs throughout the third year of training on the DClinPsych and comprises of the following components
Reflective group
Clinical seminars
Diversity topic area
Professional issues topic area
Clinical seminars and the reflective group focus on further developing and consolidating trainees competencies and their sense of their professional role and identity as they near the completion of their training. The diversity topic focuses on diversity issues relevant to the third year of training. The professional issues topic area is focused on competencies relating to moving to qualified status at the end of the DClinPsych programme.

Module aims

The third year Personal and Professional Development module aims to facilitate trainees’ transition to qualified practice and considers the post-qualification trajectory of reflective practice and personal and professional development. There is also a focus on enabling trainees to recognise their strengths as well as areas for further development in the context of applying for posts in the course of the third year of training. Trainees are also led to reflect on distinctive aspects of their training and how to make the most of employment opportunities.

The various components of the module have the following aims:

Reflective group (Year 3)
The reflective practitioner group provides a forum for reflective discussion and dialogue throughout the experience of training. The aims of the group are:
• to integrate learning experience through the training
• to promote self-reflection and personal awareness;
• to promote learning about working with and within groups/teams, including within this group in the here and now;
• to provide a forum for reflection on issues relating to the interface between the experiences of individuals in the year group, the year group as a whole, the course and the wider context.
In the third year of training, trainees would have established competencies in self-reflective practice and in supporting their peers in such reflection upon practice. The third year group focuses on issues relation to transition to qualified status, transitioning to qualified status and managing transitions and endings more broadly.

Clinical seminars (Year 3)
The aim of these seminars is to build on the skills developed during the first and second year of training by giving trainees a space to continue to reflect on and develop their knowledge and application of differing theoretical models to their clinical experiences. Particular emphasis will be on coherent case presentation, integrated formulation and therapy skills and peer supervision. There is a focus on systemic issues as relevant to the placement. Given the diverse nature of the placements trainees undertake in the third year, the seminar provides an opportunity for trainees to learn from one another’s experience about other services and diverse ways of working.

In addition to considering the distinctive contribution of particular therapeutic models, the clinical seminars in the third year further develop trainees’ competence in integrating different approaches in practice within challenging contexts. Trainees whose turn it is to present their clinical work can chose how the seminars are designed, to meet their particular learning needs based on feedback from previous work and placements. This could include a peer–marked case presentation using course paperwork, model-based small groups discussing alternative formulations to a case for example, CBT vs Psychdynamic vs systemic, or a series of question and answer sessions around particularly challenging aspects of a case, to support thinking about formulation and the development of ideas for intervention. Theory and practice links are made throughout and explicit references to guidelines and academic papers are encouraged as a part of the discussion, so that it is clear where ideas have come from. One of the benefits of this way of working is that as trainees are becoming more established in their specialist placements, the group benefits from a wide range of perspectives leading to valuable discussions and broader learning.

Diversity topic area (Year 3)
This topic area has the following general aims and objectives:
• To equip trainees with an understanding of the clinical, professional and research skills which are applicable to working with people from a diverse range of backgrounds reflecting the demographic characteristics of the population.
• To develop trainees’ understanding of clinical practices which meet wider policy agenda, such as social inclusion.
• To develop trainees’ understanding of the influence of power, cultural differences and practices in ways which empower the service user.
The primary focus of the 3rd year diversity topic is to provide trainees with an opportunity to reflect on their increasing capacity to work skilfully with issues relating to diversity within their specialist placements and beyond by further focusing on theory-practice links. The ethical, clinical and professional implications of these developments will also be focused on and trainees will have the opportunity to consider how they will continue their development in relation to managing diversity issues on qualifying.

Professional issues (Year 3)
The third year introduces further more complex materials in relation to the development of the professional role of clinical psychologists, following on from previous modules. The third year mainly aims at preparing trainees for the transition from training to qualification. This topic area includes the following aims:

- To develop trainees’ capacity for continued self-directed professional development in accordance with BPS and HCPC guidance.
- To consolidate trainees’ understanding of issues relating to ethical and autonomous practice through consideration of complex ethical and professional challenges and situations.
- To develop trainees’ capacity for indirect working and consultation on the basis of best practice guidance and relevant theoretical frameworks.
- To provide trainees with exposure to a range of alternative methodologies and practices supporting organisational and personal development

Module learning outcomes

Reflective group (Year 3):
By the end of the 3rd year of training, trainees will demonstrate:
• Proficiency in understanding group dynamics and for formulating such group processes
• The capacity to facilitate their own reflection on practice and that of their peers
• A clear understanding of their personal and professional identity and how this impacts on their clinical practice
• A capacity for reflecting on endings and transitions in the context of completing the DClinPsych training programme.
• An understanding of the importance of context and personal history for all work with clients.
• Increased capacity for reflecting on all aspects of the training experience.
• Reflect on continuing development needs and those of others

Clinical seminars (Year 3)
By the end of this module, trainees will be able to:
• Clearly summarise and communicate complex clinical material to an audience and consider how such presentations may need to be tailored to different audiences.
• Reflect critically on supervision processes and develop an understanding of peer supervision within the context of a range of other supportive and supervisory processes.
• Demonstrate and advanced reflective awareness of core clinical competencies (i.e. engagement, assessment, formulation, intervention, evaluation) in relation to working with a broad range of clients and within settings ranging from core placements to specialist placements.
• Demonstrate and advanced, critical awareness of professional and ethical issues (e.g. impact of organisations on clients; issues of power; consent; risk; confidentiality) that arise in the context of working with vulnerable clients and complex systems.
• Be proficient at making theory-practice links, and integrating complex information from a broad range of often divergent perspectives into a coherent framework through critical reflection on differences in approaches suggested by clinical placement supervisors, peers, seminar leaders and others.
• Tailor communication to diverse audiences (e.g. clients, colleagues, services), including proficiency in producing case-related materials suitable for Clinical Activity Reports (CAR’s), Clinical Process Reports (CPRs) and Clinical Presentations (Orals).
• Understand how models, therapist concerns and supervision guide formulation and intervention
• Understand the issues relating to working within multidisciplinary teams and other care systems, as clinical psychologist
• Reflect critically on ways of evaluating the outcome and impact of a range of interventions and approaches.
• Demonstrate a greater insight into the socio-cultural factors involved in clinical practice, including demonstrating a greater understanding of the how the socio-political reality impact on clinical work and on the ways in which diversity-related issues permeate all clinical work.

Diversity topic area (Year 3):
By the end of this module, trainees will:
• Engage critically and reflectively with issues of diversity (ranging from individuals to wider organisational and health systems) which affect the role, identity and practice of clinical psychologists
• Be proficient in recognising their own background on their practice and demonstrate competencies in addressing the impact of such diversity-related issues as they make the transition to qualified status.
• Have advanced skills necessary to work with people who have different needs to the mainstream population.
• Be capable of working with complex clients who have different needs to the mainstream population, within specialist settings requiring an advanced understanding of relevant cultural issues and addressing the impact their own background may have on such work.

Personal and Professional Development (Year 3):
By the end of this module, trainees will:
• Be able to draw on leadership models and other relevant frameworks to better understand how they may further develop leadership competencies post-qualification
• Be able to reflect critically on organisational change processes and understand the role of clinical psychologists in influencing such processes for the benefit of service users.
• Understand models of clinical and managerial supervision and be able to apply such models to their supervision of others (as appropriate)
• Draw on appropriate frameworks for understanding the role of clinical psychologists within teams and broader service contexts and for influencing / effecting meaningful change within such contexts
• Have formulated a plan for future continued professional development following completion of the training programme
• Have an advanced understanding of models of consultation and indirect working, consolidating experience and learning of such work throughout the training
• Have an advanced understanding of the frameworks and principles that underpin ethical practice in challenging and complex contexts and situations

Module information

The personal and professional development module in the third year of the DClinPsych builds on the personal and professional development modules in the first and second year of training. In the third year, the personal and professional development module offers trainees the opportunity to consolidate aspects of their professional identity and role as well as competencies associated with personal and professional development required for transition to qualified status on successful completion of the programme. Themes relating to continuing professional development and the management of transitions and endings are also addressed.

Overall, Personal and Professional development modules in the third year are aimed at supporting trainees in the final phase of their development as clinical psychologists on a training programme, who:
* Monitor, audit, evaluate and improve their own practice and that of others (for instance through supervision)
* Manage their continued professional development and fitness to practice.
* Practice with an awareness of the clinical, professional and social context in which they work.
* Practice reflectively, using reflective strategies and processes including supervision and continuing professional development to reflect on and improve their practice and to manage the emotional and physical impact of their work.
* Have a greater understanding of group processes and peer supervision networks through the experience of the reflective group
* Demonstrate the acquisition of leadership related competencies and values of relevance to clinical psychology

HS784 follows on from HS764 and HS774 in providing trainees with opportunities to reflect on their practice and the development of their personal and professional roles and identities as clinical psychologists. It aims to facilitate trainees' transition to qualified status and incorporates teaching and learning relating to ongoing personal and professional development post-qualification. This is achieved through the combination of reflective group, clinical seminars, the diversity topic teaching and the personal and professional development topic teaching.

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures, independent learning, tutorials


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Personal and Professional Development Portfolio 3  28/08/2024  100% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Module is either passed or marked as not completed.


Module is either passed or marked as not completed.

Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Richard Pratt, email: richard.pratt@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Joseph Rehling, email: jr18520@essex.ac.uk.
External contributors
E: dcpadmin@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Ms Lizette Nolte
Available via Moodle
Of 90 hours, 0 (0%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
90 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information

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