DCP: Section 4: Support for Trainees
Mentors are a source of guidance and support for trainees, distinct from course staff and supervisors as they do not have an evaluative or employment function. Mentors only work with one trainee per cohort (they may decide to mentor more than one trainee from different years) and should not be involved in providing supervision for the trainee they mentor. The Programme will aim to avoid allocating a trainee to the same service as their mentor but if this is unavoidable, they are required to find a temporary alternative for the duration. Mentors fulfil a range of functions for trainees, including advice and support on managing the demands of training, personal development and careers advice.
Up to and including the 2019 cohort
Trainees up to and including the 2019 cohort are expected to identify a local clinician to act as their mentor (please see the Guidelines for full information). This offers trainees the opportunity to choose a mentor who they feel they get on with and who they may share experiences with.
Potential mentors are asked to provide a short profile including information about their role, location and availability, and these profiles will be made available to trainees on Blackboard. Once a trainee has found a mentor they are asked to notify their Personal Clinical Tutor who will support the process of mentor allocation. Trainees may approach a clinician who is not on the mentor list but it is suggested that this is someone from within the locality in order that they are aware of the Programme requirements.
2020 cohort onwards
Even though the autonomy of the previous scheme was appreciated by some trainees, others (particularly those new to the area) struggled to identify a mentor in the first year of their training. The Programme has therefore moved to a new scheme, where trainees are allocated a mentor. This allocation will be made by the Programme team who will use the available information about trainees as well as mentors, to align as closely as possible according to region, experience and availability.
Trainees are asked to meet their mentor once or twice per placement and they are entitled to ask their supervisor to approve an absence from placement to do so. However, a wide variety of mentoring arrangements exist. Trainees may meet their supervisors outside placement time or keep in touch via phone or email and we ask placement supervisors to give support to any reasonable request.
If you are interested in becoming a mentor or have any questions about the scheme, please contact the Clinical Psychology Administrator.
When candidates accept a place on the Programme they are matched with a trainee in the year above to act as their ‘buddy’. The buddy may provide support and advice before the trainee starts and also and during training.
Support Available via University
Trainees seeking impartial support are able to refer themselves to the University of Southampton Counselling Service which provides an open access service.
The University of Southampton Students Union advice and information service also provides support with a range of difficulties which may be encountered by trainees.
Support Available via Employers
Trainees can access the Employer Assistance Scheme offered via Somerset Foundation NHS Trust (see Trust intranet). This support can be accessed via their Line Manager (Dr Margo Ononaiye).
Advice for Third Years
When you are applying for a job it is always challenging to decide how to structure the application. There really is no right or wrong way to complete an application although it can be helpful to structure your application using the job/person specification headers to showcase your experiences rather than go placement by placement and listing your skills. Your aim is always to demonstrate your transferable skills in relation to the needs of the job you are applying for using concrete examples where appropriate. Please note that the Programme Team are not able to read your applications as they really should come directly from you as the applicant.
The university has some useful resources here for PGR students including application advice (please scroll down the website page) – https://sotonac.sharepoint.com/teams/PGRDevelopmentHub/SitePages/Career-support.aspx
In terms of referees, you would normally put your Personal Clinical Tutor as your educational reference. You can choose your clinical references from the appropriate previous placement supervisors. If the application requires a reference from your line manager then please add Dr Margo Ononaiye’s details. It is important to seek permission from your chosen referees before applying.