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The key purpose of this document is to guide members of the profession and training providers in ensuring that trainee clinical psychologists, upon qualifying, are able to meet the needs of individuals with learning disabilities and their carers in whatever setting or context they come into contact with them.
This document has been prepared by a working group on behalf of the British Psychological Society's Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP) Faculty for Learning Disabilities.
This revision of the original guidance issued in 2005 recognises that clinical psychologists are now likely to provide support to individuals with learning disabilities and their carers both within specialist health services and within mainstream health and social care. Hence, the guidance sets out the knowledge and skills that clinical psychologists should acquire over the course of their training that will enable them to provide person-centered, effective, safe and dignified assessments and interventions for adults with learning disabilities, their carers and the systems supporting them.
The Faculty believes that it is the responsibility of each training course in conjunction with regional Faculty groups and supervisors to work jointly towards these aims and to use the present guidance to these effects. This guidance is in line with the current Accreditation Guidance for Clinical Psychology Programmes (BPS, 2010), which notes that:
- Programmes should refer to the minimum standards which are identified and revised from time to time by the Division of Clinical Psychology's Faculties for guidance in relation to the expected capabilities which a trainee should gain to fit them for work with specific populations and groups (p.13).
- National standards as set out by the DCP's Faculties must also guide training patterns for each cohort of trainees (Section A3.5).
- The development of the (teaching programme's) syllabus should be informed by consultation with DCP Faculties (Section B6).
- The national standards, as set out by the Division of Clinical Psychology's Faculties, will provide the reference information for the minimum supervised practice commensurate with competence in an area of work. Based on this reference information programmes must develop, in consultation with local psychologists, their own guidelines on required experience, recommending an appropriate amount of clinical work. Programmes must identify gaps in placement experiences provided, both individual and across the trainee cohort, and plan how they will structure the pattern of clinical training to overcome any deficiencies (Section C2).
This document has been approved by the DCP Professional Stands Unit (PSU) and is published and disseminated by the British Psychological Society.