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Factors predicting the short-listing and selection of trainee clinical psychologists: A prospective National Cohort Study

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2004
<mark>Journal</mark>Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
Issue number2
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)111-125
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Concerns have frequently been raised about equal opportunities in the short-listing and selection procedures used by clinical psychology training courses, although little evidence exists. The aim of the study is to identify factors predicting short-listing and selection to clinical psychology training courses. A prospective study of one national cohort of applicants to UK clinical psychology training (the 2000 entry cohort of 1538 applicants) was carried out. Application forms (n = 1538), references (n = 1538) and postal questionnaires (n = 396) were used to collect demographic, biographical, academic and work experience information. Relationships between these variables and shortlisting or selection to training were examined using univariate odds ratios and effect sizes, and multivariate logistic regressions. Factors most strongly predictive of short-listing and selection were proxies for academic ability (post-16 education at school, degree class, involvement in postgraduate education, authoring publications), relevant educational qualifications (a degree eligible for registration into the BPS), relevant vocational experience (a greater number and range of psychology assistant posts), and positive ratings from academic and clinical psychologist experience-related referees. Shortlisting and selection to clinical psychology training relies on proxy factors related to academic ability, education, vocational experience and ratings from referees. There is little evidence of direct discrimination, although certain subgroups of applicants may be disadvantaged in their opportunities to gain relevant academic qualifications and vocational experience. Copyright (C) 2004 John Wiley Sons, Ltd.