DCP Faculty for Oncology and Palliative Care (SIGOPAC)

Welcome to the DCP Faculty for Oncology and Palliative Care

We hope to use this website as a way of linking members with one another and keeping them up-to-date with news and forthcoming meetings.


One in three people will get cancer in their lifetime and one in four of us will die from it. It is therefore fitting that psychologists have turned their attention to this highly challenging disease. Psycho-social oncology is barely 25 years old, yet it has made significant progress in understanding the impact of cancer and its treatment on people's lives. The development of reliable measures of quality of life, improving the detection rates of emotional disorders in cancer, and establishing the clinical efficacy of psychological interventions are but three major achievements. Clinical psychologists such as Dr Maggie Watson, Dr Ann Cull and Professor Leslie Walker have done much to establish the value and credibility of clinically-driven psychological research.

Increasingly, clinical health psychologists are making an impact on the clinical care of people with cancer, their partners and families. From only a small handful of clinical psychologists working in professional isolation a few years ago, there is now an expectation that every cancer service will have access to clinical psychology expertise. The NICE Supportive and Palliative Care Strategy for Cancer Services (2004) formally endorses this expectation.

On 30th October 1996 fourteen clinical psychologists met in Bristol to form a professional support group. Since then it has become a formal Faculty of the Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP) of the British Psychological Society, known as the Faculty for Oncology and Palliative Care. The Faculty has met twice a year ever since, alternating its meetings between London and outside London. A palliative care subgroup holds additional meetings with and alongside the main Faculty membership and also welcomes new members.

The Faculty warmly welcomes non-clinical psychologists, though only Full members of the DCP may vote on Faculty matters. 


  • To promote the highest standards in the application of psychological knowledge to clinical problems in oncology and palliative care.
  • To promote high standards of psychosocial care and quality of life among individuals, families, staff and others coping with cancer, illnesses requiring palliative care and bereavement.
  • To promote a wider understanding of psychological work in oncology and palliative care settings.
  • To share information among, and support the interests of members of the group in their activities in oncology and palliative care.
  • To promote and support advances in psychosocial knowledge and research.
  • To raise awareness of cultural and other differences in oncology and palliative care.
  • Where appropriate, to collaborate with other organisations, group or individuals with similar interests.
  • To disseminate the knowledge and skills of Faculty members among pre- and post-qualification clinical psychologists. 


  • Full membership of the Faculty is open to psychologists who are Full Members of the Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP) and who work in or have an interest or expertise in the field of oncology and palliative care.
  • Affiliate membership is open to General (Pre-Training) and In-Training members of the DCP. Affiliate members may take part in discussions but may not vote. 
  • Associate membership is open to General members of the DCP and non-Division members. Associate members members may take part in discussions but may not vote.

Member announcement list

The Faculty has developed an email announcement list for its membership. By joining this list, you will be kept up to date with information about the Faculty, relevant Society initiatives and forthcoming workshops.