Postgraduate taught 

Clinical Psychology DClinPsy

FAQs about Aligned Training Pathways

FAQs about Aligned Training Pathways

What is an aligned training pathway?

Aligned Training Pathways are an initiative developed by NHS-­-Education for Scotland (NES) to promote the recruitment of clinical psychologists to underserved areas of practice. Every year, a number of places on the Glasgow DClinPsy are “aligned” to specific areas of (e.g. Child & Adolescent Mental Health, Older Adults, Forensic).

Is this different to the standard DClinPsy?

No. Aligned Trainees complete the same degree as other candidates. There is no difference in the final qualification that is awarded and this is not considered a specialist training pathway. Instead, aligned training provides a structured opportunity for Trainees to have increased focus on an area of clinical psychology practice of interest to them.

What are the practical implications of opting into an aligned training pathway?

Alignment affects the choices that are made in relation to the discretionary parts of training such as the topic of research project work or the configuration of clinical placement experience. The nature and timing of these experiences will be determined by a combination of the trainee’s learning needs and local service delivery priorities. As an example, an aligned Trainee will typically complete their final specialist placement in a setting directly relevant to their area of alignment.. Trainees will also be expected to conduct at least part of their research training addressing a topic that is relevant to their alignment. This is contingent on a suitable research topic and access to appropriate supervision being available.

When do I have to decide whether I want to be considered for an aligned training place?

If you are shortlisted for interview you will be asked to complete a form indicating whether you want to be considered for an aligned training place.

Can I withdraw from an aligned training pathway or switch pathways once I have commenced the doctorate?

No. Aligned training places are specified at each intake and this alignment is taken into account when planning a Trainee’s entire training programme. However, the over-­-riding principle is that the Training pathway remains flexible enough to ensure that all Trainees acquire the skills and knowledge required to meet the requirements of the HCPC and BPS.

How does being an aligned trainee affect the teaching I receive?

There is no difference in the teaching delivered to aligned Trainees. All Trainees in each cohort attend classes and training workshops together.

How does being an aligned trainee affect my research options?

At least part of the research training for aligned Trainees should address a topic relevant to the aligned area of practice provided that suitable topics and supervisors are available. This can mean that either the service based evaluation project, systematic review, or major research project could be conducted addressing a topic relevant to the alignment area and/or using a research participant sample drawn from the alignment area.

How does being an aligned trainee affect my placement options?

All Trainees, whether aligned or not, have to acquire sufficient placement experience across a diverse range of populations, age groups, and settings in order to meet the standards of proficiency stipulated by the HCPC and professional bodies such as the BPS. Where there is some discretion over the choice of placement setting or clinical population, aligned Trainees will be linked to placement options that are related to their area of alignment. This can occur throughout the three years of the DClinPsy but is especially relevant to the configuration of specialist placement experience in the final year.

Where can I find out more information?

If you are an applicant to the Glasgow DClinPsy and are successful in gaining an intake interview, you are encouraged to ask questions about alignment when you attend the interview. You will be asked to confirm your alignment preference at the interview stage of the selection process. Trainees who have commenced the DClinPsy can find out more about alignment from the most recent version of the Programme Handbook or by asking the Programme team.