Division of Counselling Psychology


Dr Maureen McIntosh (Chair Elect) and Dr Helen Nicholas (Chair) have written an article summarising current initiatives to address member concerns in the area of employment and employability.

Much of the hard work occurs at the policy level but has a direct effect on the employment opportunities of members (eg listing NHS jobs by competency so that all applied psychologists can apply for roles). More details can be found in their article entitled "Dispelling the myths about Counselling Psychologists and challenging discrimination".

Advertising of Psychology Posts

In 2010, the BPS issued a guidance letter on the advertising of NHS posts based more around the competences of applied psychologists rather than their particular job title:

2010 BPS letter joint advertising of posts

Employment Support

The Division and BPS has summarised some of the employment support available to members in a concise leaflet which is currently being updated. See the column on the left for a list of useful links.

Clinical Coding

The BPS has put together a helpful leaflet summarising the way that changes to clinical coding may affect members.


Most psychologists in clinical practice belong to Unite (Download details on joining, a summary of their services or go to Unite website). Uniquely, Unite has a dedicated Occupational Professional Committee (OPC) for Applied Psychologists as part of its organisational structure. Unite’s Health National Industrial Sector Committee has a psychology representative, Antony Vassalos, who chairs the OPC for applied psychologists. (Download details or go to Unite website) to represent the employment interests of psychologists with regards to pay, terms and conditions of employment. 

It is important that the extent of counselling psychology membership is evident in Unite as unions act for the members they have. It is important that you complete the Unite union membership form as follows so that you are recorded as a counselling psychologist for workforce planning purposes: 
Sector: choose the option ‘Health’ 
Type of work: choose the option ‘COUNSELLING PSYCHOLOGIST (HS)’ 
Under Category choose the option that reflects your employment pattern. Trainees should select ‘Student in full time education’ which will give you the preferential student membership rate. Trainees should use this coding route and not ‘Trainee Psychologist’ to ensure trainees for counselling psychology are identified

The other main union in the NHS is: http://www.unison.org.uk/at-work/health-care/

Most psychologists in academic work belong to the University and College Union (UCU; www.ucu.org.uk/join).'