DCP: Section 2: Placement Information

The identification and allocation of placements is guided by the following:

The Health and Care Professions Council Standards of Education and Training (SET 5 Practice Placements)

The British Psychological Society Standards for Accreditation

The Programme keeps a register of Clinical Psychologists, supervisors, placement locations and employing Trusts Supervisors are asked to notify the Clinical Director if details change. In addition, placement supervisors are encouraged to complete the Placement Register Profroma this is used to inform the placement planning process.

Employing Trust and Honorary contracts

All Trainees are employed by Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.  Trainees will usually be on placed in NHS services within Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight. These placements are covered by a Practice Placement Agreement (PPA) which has been agreed by the Commissioners of training, the University of Southampton and NHS Placement Providers within Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight. The PPA details the responsibilities of the host Trust, practice placement supervisors and education providers in relation to ensuring an appropriate learning environment. Trainees on placement in local trusts covered by the PPA do not require an honorary contract.

Where trainees are placed outside the usual catchment area or with a private or voluntary organization, the employing organisation be required to issue an honorary contract.

Monitoring Placement Quality

The quality of placements used by the Southampton Doctoral Programme in Clinical Psychology is monitored via online audits using the Learner Voice tool. The Clinical Director and Deputy Clinical Director are responsible for collating this data, feedback the findings to the Placement and developing an action plan where needed. This process is overseen by the Placements Monitoring Group (PMG), which is a subgroup of the Programme Board, with members representing clinicians, trainees and Learning Environment Leads from Trusts providing placements.

Initial Assessment of Placement Provision

Prior to using a placement for the first time or when there are significant changes to placement, a member of the clinical tutor team will visit the placement to ensure that the key requirements of the HCPC and BPS with regard to Practice Placements are met.

Placement Planning and Allocation – Core Placements

All trainees are allocated to a training base (Dorset, North Hampshire and South Hampshire/Isle of Wight).  The Placement Tutor, together with Clinical Director, will source and allocate Core placements according to the following criteria:

  • clinical specialty training needs
  • proximity to the trainees allocated training base
  • supervisor requirements of the trainee (mobility, previous experience, capacity to manage demands of placement)
  • special considerations (for example trainee health, caring responsibilities, mobility)
  • During the placement sourcing process, typically 3 months prior to the placement start date, the Programme will ensure that the allocated placement supervisor has current HCPC registration.  All supervisors who are either new to supervising a trainee or taking a trainee from the University of Southampton for the first time must complete the Programme’s Introductory Supervisor Training.

Isle of Wight Placements

If you are placed on the Isle of Wight, trainees have prepared a helpful document to assist you.

Placement Planning and Allocation – Third Year Placements

The 3rd years begins with a Research Placement (Oct to Dec) to enable trainees protected time to focus solely on their thesis, with the final clinical placement starting in January.  Trainees are expected to participate in deciding on their Year 3 placements, so that they are tailored to meet their outstanding training needs and career goals The Specialist Skills module (see Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Handbook) is designed to support the 3rd year placement process. Towards the middle of Year 2, the Programme will provide guidance to trainees about choosing their placement and they are also encouraged to discuss placement options with their Personal Clinical Tutor and the Specialist Skills Module Coordinator. Year 3 placements are not regarded either as elective or specialist; any placement may be suitable to meet the trainees’ needs and the Programme team reserve the right to send a trainee to a placement which will meet a gap in their competencies.

Where more than one trainee requests the same Year 3 placement, they will be asked to make a written statement of interest, stating their reasons for requesting the placement. Consideration will be given to outstanding gaps in the competency log, future career interests, links to research and special considerations such as the trainee’s health and caring commitments. A panel comprising the Clinical Director, the proposed placement supervisor and NHS representative from the Programme Board will determine how to allocate the placement using the relevant guidelines.

Placement Dates 

2021 Intake Placement 1 (PSYC8013)   17.11.21 – 14.04.22
Placement 2 (PSYC8014)   03.05.22 – 22.09.22
2020 Intake Placement 3 (PSYC8015)   16.11.21 – 14.04.22
Placement 4 (PSYC8016) 03.05.22 – 22.09.22
2019 Intake Placement (PSYC8035) 04.01.22 – 22.09.22

The core placements comprise at least 63 placement days and the minimum number of days which must be completed on these placements is 47. This allows the trainees to take up to approximately 16 placement days as leave (e.g., annual, sick, carer’s, etc..) should this be required.

The third year placement is 38 weeks long, initially three days a week but increasing to four days a week during the summer. For the 2018 cohort, this final placement comprises 120 days including deductions for research week (3 placement days), viva (1 day), teaching day (1 day – SSM presentations) and research conference in June (2 days). Trainees are required to complete a minimum of 90 placement days allowing 30 days to be taken as leave (e.g., annual, sick carers etc..).

It is important to note that failure to meet the minimum placement days constitutes placement failure.

Submission of End of Placement Documentation

A further component of passing the placement is the submission of all completed placement documentation within two weeks of the end of placement. The only exception to this is in the 3rd year where all placement documentation must be submitted by the end of contact date. It is the trainee’s responsibility to ensure all paperwork is submitted to the Clinical Psychology Admin Team (clinicalpsychology-fels@soton.ac.uk ).

The Trainee needs to submit the documentation required in order to meet this requirement is as follows:

  • A copy of the Learner’s Voice feedback, completed online, given to the placement supervisor
  • End of Placement form with both Supervisor’s and Trainee’s signature
  • All relevant sections as detailed in the Clinical Competency Log.
  • Please rate competencies as detailed in the excel log book and note that you are rating the trainee based on their skills in the current placement and NOT across placements. 
  • Record of days on placement
  • Three formal observations forms

If trainees anticipate that they will not be able to submit their documentation before the deadline, for example due to sickness or absence of their supervisor, they should inform the Clinical Director and request an extension under special considerations.

If trainees fail to submit their documentation by the deadline, or an agreed extension this may be recorded as a placement failure and a new submission date will be agreed with the trainee. Should the trainee fail to submit by the second deadline this will count as a placement failure.

Placement Paperwork Submission Dates

2021 Intake Placement 1 29th April 2022
2021 Intake Placement 2 7th October 2022
2020 Intake Placement 3 29th April 2022
2020 Intake Placement 4 7th October 2022
2019 Intake Placement 5 24th September 2022

Third years may decide to submit their documentation before the submission date in order to be ready for Award earlier in September (dates to be announced).  In order to do so, trainees will need to use annual leave in order to complete their placement and submit documentation at least a week before the Award dates.






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