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Karen Beamish

Membership matters

29 May 2020 | by Karen Beamish

Our Director of Membership and Professional Development, Karen Beamish, gives an update from the Education and Training Board, and on our work with the wider psychological workforce.

While we may all be working from home and having to hold meetings, conversations and event BPS webinars on Zoom, it’s been a busy few weeks in the membership, qualifications and standards directorate.

Our Education and Training Board recently held its third meeting since its inauguration in November 2019, making use of Zoom, with Dr Juliet Foster as its chair.

This board focuses on the future of psychological education, and consists of members with significant expertise in education and training.   

The board is progressing its work on developing resources for psychology teachers, and discussed links between school education and the bridge into university and undergraduate programmes.

It also looked at opportunities to build closer relationships with students, both in terms of how we engage them early in their undergraduate studies and then evolve that relationship as individuals move along their learner journey. 

The member journey initiative currently being undertaken by the society points to this, and will help us to really enhance our value proposition for students, with student ambassadors potentially playing a critical role in evolving student engagement and providing insights and guidance into the BPS, our career support and our student community.

Speaking of our member journey project, I want to thank everyone who took part in the recent digital summits. Having to move these events online at late notice wasn’t ideal, but thanks to the hard work of our partners The Social Kinetic and the contributions of our members, they were a great success.

You can watch a video outlining the progress that we’ve made on our journey so far over on the society’s Youtube channel.

Elsewhere in my directorate, we’ve seen significant progress in our work to improve and grow the way that we represent the wider psychological workforce.

We’ve now formally registered our intent to become a registering organisation approved by the Professional Standards Authority, with further information likely to be available about this scheme in the coming months.

The apprenticeship standard for psychological wellbeing practitioners is now fully signed off at the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education band 10, meaning that providers can draw up to £7,000 from their levy fund to support this training.

We’re also continuing to work closely with stakeholders to develop and consult on standards for educational mental health practitioners and children’s wellbeing practitioners.

This is all positive news, but we can’t ignore the impact that Covid-19 may have on psychological education and training. The board discussed this at its recent meeting, and initial feedback we’ve had from our education partners is optimistic. We’ll now be doing whatever work we can to support our providers, trainees and students in preparing for the new academic year.

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