Division of Occupational Psychology


This year's event saw members of the Division come together at the British Medical Association in London to recognise the work and practice of their peers.

The November event is the main awards event in the DOP calendar, and is when the coveted Practitioner of the Year Award is announced. Pictures form the 2013 event are available to view online.

The awards look to celebrate and promote excellence in the practice of Occupational Psychology.

Guest speaking at this year's ceremony was Dr Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Professor of Business Psychology at University College London and a visiting Professor at New York University.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Professor Clive Fletcher

Professor Clive Fletcher is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths' College, University of London, and has held visiting or honorary professorships at a number of other universities in the UK or abroad. After completing his PhD, he worked for some years as a consultant psychologist in the UK Civil Service before taking up his first academic post. He has authored over 200 publications and conference papers, mostly on assessment and appraisal, and was made a Fellow of the British Psychological Society on the grounds of his research contribution at the relatively young age of 37. He is a former Chair of the Occupational Psychology Section and has served on many Society and DOP committees - including co-chairing the current 8 Areas Review Project to revise the OP MSc curriculum. Clive’s work both as an academic and as a practitioner gained respect at the highest levels in Whitehall and he has frequently been consulted on issues of national importance. He also played an influential and long-term role working with the CIPD. In this and other respects, he has been instrumental in projecting occupational psychology across a wide range of public and private sector organisations. His knowledge
and experience in the assessment field is recognised internationally and he has given invited papers at conferences in the USA and throughout Europe.

Academic Contribution to Practice

Professor Fiona Patterson

Professor Fiona Patterson is a leading expert in the field of assessment, selection and innovation in organisations. She is a Research Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge and a Director for the Work Psychology Group, an organisational psychology consulting practice in the UK, providing advice to public and private sector organisations internationally. Having trained initially as a practitioner OP, Fiona’s approach to her academic research is to focus on optimising practical applications, and as such, her research in several domains has had major impact on governmental policy and across many organisational sectors internationally.

Fiona started her career as a practitioner OP in the Ford Motor Company. Having gained Chartership she was then appointed to lead a team at the Boots Corporation Plc. During this time she completed her PhD part-time exploring predictors of employee innovation in the workplace. She then used her research findings to develop a new evidence based psychometric assessment tool, the ‘Innovation Potential Indicator’ which was published by Oxford Psychologists Press in 2000. This tool uniquely emphasises the role of motivation and the social aspects of innovation in organisations. The tool was nominated for a ‘Best of British’ Design Council award for the millennium and it continues to be used by practitioners to this present day for assessment and development applications.

After several years as a practitioner, Fiona took her first academic post at the University of Nottingham where she became Course Director. Here she started her research into selection for the health care professions, initially focusing on GP selection in the UK. This became the start of a long-term award winning research programme that has had a major impact on how health care workers are now selected and assessed. Her research focuses on how best to assess important non-cognitive attributes such as empathy, integrity, communication skills and teamwork, especially in high stakes environments. In partnership with the senior figures in the medical community, her research in the UK has now delivered new selection and assessment methodologies across the whole spectrum of medicine from medical / dental schools admissions (N=25,000 every year) through to selection for foundation training (N=8000 per year) through to recruitment for all medical specialties (N=12,000 per year). Over the past five years, the practical applications of her work have now been adopted transnationally (including health care selection in the Eurozone, Australasia, South East Asia, and the USA). The impact of her research has been fundamental in influencing policy in how doctors are selected and assessed, and more recently in other health care professions including dentistry, veterinary science, and pharmacy.

Fiona’s academic research and publications have had major impact on policy and practice, using robust evidence to inform decisions. Earlier this year, supported by her team, she delivered a major report evaluating assessment and training practices in the residential care home sector, in light of the Winterbourne View and Southern Cross enquiries relating to care workers abusing vulnerable patients. She is currently advising Health Education-England in values-based recruitment issues for the entire NHS workforce in the light of the Francis report concerning care and compassion in health care.

Fiona publishes regularly in the highest-ranking internationally-recognised journals in Psychology (e.g. Journal of Applied Psychology, International Journal of Selection & Assessment) and in Medicine (e.g. British Medical Journal, Medical Education). She is co-author of the leading textbook Work Psychology and has published over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles. She has recently launched a new worldwide research network for selection and assessment for the health care professions with contributors from around the globe.

In recognition of her work in the health care sector, she was appointed as honorary visiting Professor at the University of Nottingham Medical School in 2010. In 2012, for her work in selection and assessment in medicine, Fiona was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of General Practice, which is the highest award the College can bestow. In 2013, she won the Association of Medical Education’s Silver Quill award for her impact of her research publications in Medical Education on policy and practice. Her work has raised the profile of OP and has created significant employment opportunities for our profession. In addition, two of Fiona’s senior team members have recently won Practitioner of the Year awards from the DOP (Anna Koczwara and Vicki Ashworth) in relation to the Work Psychology Group’s consulting practice in health care.

Volunteer of the Year Award

Emma Donaldson-Feilder

Current DOP Role(s):

Convenor OPIPP Working Group, Convenor Health & Wellbeing Working Group, DOP/BPS Representative on Government Behaviour Change Panel and DOP Lead on Consultation Responses

Practitioner of the Year

Kate Firth

The Practitioner of the Year award was awarded to Kate Firth, Chartered Occupational Psychologist at Burnham Business Psychology, who redesigned the selection process for a large development programme at Tesco. Kate’s work improved the effectiveness of identifying the best candidates for the programme, and improved the candidates’ experience.

Also commended was Nancy Doyle, Chartered Occupational Psychologist and Managing Director of Genius WithiN, who designed, supervised and managed a nationwide programme of coaching for neuro-diverse adults. She also self-funded a longitudinal evaluation of the impact by surveying clients and their managers, demonstrating a noticeable impact in the workplace and contributing data towards building an evidence base for this field, which is underresearched and underevaluated.