DEP: 2.6 Placement Learning across the three years

The Programme includes practice placements across the three years of training that are designed to develop skills and competencies in working as an educational psychologist. In Year 1 trainees are linked in pairs to a designated Field Tutor, a practitioner from the field who works with trainees to coach and model the requisite skills and to observe practice, following the University based curriculum. Trainees are introduced to casework with individual pupils, with the aim of achieving initial casework competence in preparation for placements in Years 2 and 3. Shadowing opportunities with other educational psychologists are also provided in Year 1 to allow trainees to experience a range of approaches and develop a greater awareness of the breadth of the role of an educational psychologist.

For Years 2 and 3 collaborating educational psychology services identify a supervision coordinator (Year 2) or supervisor (Year 3), for each trainee who organises agreed placement activities at all levels of practice and provides advice, guidance and feedback.

A total of 55 placement days is provided in Year 1. In Years 2 and 3 trainees undertake placement activities for 130 days in each year. The number of placement days reflects the BPS requirement for at least 300 days experience of the generic work of an educational psychologist. It is consistent with the HCPC requirement that the “number, duration and range of placements must be appropriate to support delivery of the programme and the achievement of the learning outcomes” (p.10; Standards of Education and Training).

The Placement Coordinator has responsibility for ensuring that each placement provides the appropriate experience of practice for the trainee to meet assessment requirements and to demonstrate the required learning outcomes. In Year 1 the academic and professional tutor for Year 1 meets regularly with field tutors to ensure that the learning experiences are appropriate for each trainee and are in line with the curriculum delivery at the University.

In Years 2 and 3 placements are monitored through two triangular reviews each year that include the trainee, supervision coordinator or supervisor and personal tutor. Reports of these reviews are sent to the placement coordinator who will raise any concerns with the programme director.  The reports are also discussed at Programme Board.

In Year 2 academic input focuses on low-incidence needs such as sensory impairment, language difficulty, cognitive limitations, physical or neurological impairment, emotional dysfunction or challenging behaviour. Placement activities complement this University based learning. In Year 3 trainees are expected to develop independent approaches within a supervision framework, increasingly mirroring autonomous professional practice.