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The Aspiring Clinical Psychologists Programme. All information about the ASPIRE programme is available on this web page. We are not able to answer individual queries. Please read the guidance provided carefully, so that you can successfully apply for one of the ASPIRE paid work experience posts.


The ASPIRE programme is a collaboration with Health Education England to improve the diversity of the Clinical Psychology workforce. The current Clinical Psychology workforce has an under-representation of people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups and of people from these backgrounds who are financially disadvantaged.

At South West London and St George’s NHS Mental Health Trust we recognise the many benefits of having a diverse workforce in Clinical Psychology and we will be recruiting Psychology Assistants with the aim of contributing to a more diverse and inclusive future Clinical Psychology workforce. Assistants will work in various areas across the trust, such as the Child and adolescent service, eating disorders service, perinatal team, and adult service. 

What is the ASPIRE Programme?

We recognise that there are many psychology graduates seeking work experience as Assistant Psychologists as part of the process of preparing to apply for Clinical Psychology training.  The ASPIRE Programme provides opportunities for aspiring Clinical Psychologists who experience barriers to entering paid work as an Assistant Psychologist.

We are therefore seeking psychology graduates who are committed to contributing to this key priority of developing a more equal, diverse and inclusive Clinical Psychology workforce.

We particularly welcome applications from people of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds and financially disadvantaged backgrounds to take part in our ASPIRE Programme. We will confirm the number of candidates we are recruiting soon. However, the contract is for 6 months in a part time paid clinical work experience programme.

How does the ASPIRE programme work? 

The ASPIRE programme provides paid clinical experience as an Assistant Psychologist for individuals who are looking to pursue a career as a Clinical Psychologist but have struggled to find paid work experience to support their career path towards this aim. The posts are part of a specifically designed programme to provide valuable experience, insight and preparation to develop confidence in making an application to train on a Clinical Psychology Doctorate programme.   

There will be an emphasis on gaining clinical experience and working within an established competency and ethical practice framework. As a member of the Psychology team, you will be invited to attend meetings and join training events. Experience can also include involvement in audit, research and service evaluation. 

In addition to this, the programme will include a professional development programme supported by staff in senior professional and clinical roles. This will focus on key clinical and professional knowledge, skills and competencies.

You will be allocated a qualified Clinical Psychologist as supervisor to offer clinical oversight and to guide and mentor you. In addition, they will help develop and nurture competencies such as reflective practice, leadership qualities, application of knowledge, theory and applied research. 

There will be an intentional focus in relation to diversity and the benefits this brings to the services we provide. We will support successful applicants in identifying and addressing barriers they experience in pursuing a successful application for clinical training.

On completion we hope you will be in a strong position to apply for a substantive post in a relevant Assistant Psychologist role or equivalent and will go on to make an application for clinical training.

Evaluation at the end of the work placement will be via clinical and reflective practice logs with an end of placement presentation to your supervisor. The presentation will be an opportunity to demonstrate your learning and reflections with a clear route map to a career in clinical psychology.  

Who is eligible for the ASPIRE programme? 

Graduates with a Psychology undergraduate degree (minimum 2:1) 

We particularly welcome applicants who would have otherwise found themselves excluded from entering the profession through unpaid work experience. You may have had to move into a paid job after graduating and so have not been able to apply for unpaid work experience roles or have not been able to secure a paid Assistant Psychologist role.

We particularly welcome applications from people of Black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds and who have not experienced financial privilege.     

How much will I be paid? 

We particularly welcome applications from people of Black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds and who have not experienced financial privilege.    

How many hours will I need to commit? 

You will be employed part-time (three days per week) paid at Agenda for Change Band 4 for six months. We will endeavour to make this time as flexible as possible to support other responsibilities. There is an additional opportunity to supplement your income with Bank duties if you should require..

How do I apply?

This post has now closed. We are hoping to recruit again at the end of 2023. Please keep checking the NHS job website (NHS Jobs) for updates closer to the time. You can sign up to the mailing list so that you can be informed of future opportunities: