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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 other London Mental Health Trusts working 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 six Psychology Assistants with the aim of contributing to a more diverse and inclusive future Clinical Psychology workforce. 

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 are looking to recruit 6 candidates for 6 months in a part time paid clinical work experience programme.

Candidates will include those from diverse social and cultural communities currently under-represented in Clinical Psychology. Candidates will bring valuable experience and be supported to develop their careers and flourish as valued members of our services. 

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) or
  • Psychology undergraduates due to graduate in the summer 2021 with a predicted grade of at least a 2:1 (N.B. successful candidates at interview will be provisionally accepted conditionally on gaining at least a 2:1 before the start of the programme) 

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? 

You will be paid on the Agenda for Change pay scale at Band 4. Successful applicants may also join our Bank of staff where they may be given further opportunities for paid work in the Trust.

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?

We will announce the date the application process is open, including all details, links and dates on this page, and your institution/network.

Given the high level of interest in these roles we suggest submitting a prompt application. Applications will close when the maximum number of applicants is reached.

Please see the  ASPIRE Application Guide . This should allow you to begin drafting your application ahead of time. Please follow the guidelines to maximise your chances of being considered for the next stage of shortlisting. 

You can register an account to set up an online application form via this link and the online application form can then be completed via once the post has opened/been advertised.  

Current vacancy: Job vacancy: Assistant Psychologist, South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust, London | (