Advice for clinicians on the coronavirus is here and HEE updates here. If you are a member of the public looking for health advice, go to the NHS website. And if you are looking for the latest advice about the government response to the outbreak, go to the gov.uk website.

Promoting Excellence In Psychological Health & Wellbeing

Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP)

As a psychological wellbeing practitioner (PWP) working within improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT) services you will undertake a comprehensive patient-centred assessment and support a range of low intensity interventions informed by cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Low-Intensity CBT interventions represent a new evidence-based ‘health technology’ in the form of written or computerised guided-self-help for the treatment of adults with anxiety and depression disorders.

To enhance access and help patients from different backgrounds engage with these interventions, you would offer the choice of face-to-face, on-line or telephone-based support, or direct to other agencies such as GP practices, health care or community settings as appropriate. Across these settings you would work collaboratively with a range of professionals working in health, mental health, social care, employment advisors and with community organisations. Regular supervision would enable you to clinically develop in your role as a PWP and ensure the patient receives the very best treatment.

Read more about this career path
Required Training for this Role icon

Required Training for this Role

Training would help you understand Low-Intensity CBT, the theoretical rationale underpinning the interventions, and has a large focus on developing competency in assessment and intervention support. Two psychological wellbeing practitioner (PWP) training routes accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) are available:

Apprenticeships
A fantastic opportunity for those without an honours degree that are passionate about improving the lives of people with common mental health difficulties, have relevant life experience, and are looking to make a career change or contribute to the local community.

Specific University Programmes
Accredited programmes are offered by several Universities under various course titles. Commonly these programmes may either represent the accredited improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT) PWP training programme on its own, or form part of a wider degree programme offered at undergraduate or postgraduate level on a self-funded basis.

The PWP training programme consists of 45 days provided within an academic year, with 25 delivered by the University and 20 representing University directed learning days in the workplace. Whilst in training you will be employed by an IAPT service and spend the majority of your time working with patients. Typically this would involve a working week split into 2 days in training and 3 days working in service. Please search NHS Jobs (see useful links) for trainee PWP vacancies being advertised by IAPT services.

 

Entry Requirements to Train for this Role icon

Entry Requirements to Train for this Role

Qualifications icon

Qualifications

The Apprenticeship route is open to applicants with academic qualifications at Level 5, (e.g. foundation degree, Diploma of Higher Education [DipHE], Higher National Diploma [HND], National Vocational Qualification [NVQ]), with maths and English at GCSE grade C or above, or Functional Skills Level 2. There are also several university programmes offering entry with a Level 5 qualification, however the majority require an honours degree at Level 6, to study for a Level 7 Post Graduate Certificate. If you don't have a degree but can demonstrate equivalent academic skills you may still be considered for postgraduate certificate level training.  

Experience icon

Experience

Psychological wellbeing practitioner (PWP) training positions are open to people with excellent interpersonal skills that can demonstrate experience working in settings where they have engaged with people experiencing mental health difficulties.

Salary icon

Salary Expectations

Psychological wellbeing practitioner (PWP) trainees and apprentices are typically appointed at Band 4 or equivalent on the NHS Agenda for Change pay scales, with progression to Band 5 or equivalent on qualification. Typically, Senior PWPs are paid at Band 6 with potential progression to Band 8 with increasing responsibilities.

Future career options icon

Future Career Options

The success of the psychological wellbeing practitioner (PWP) role is resulting in increased numbers of Senior PWP roles with management or supervisory responsibilities within improving access to psychological therapies services alongside opportunities to specialise or champion under-represented groups. These include patients with long-term physical health conditions, perinatal mental health, older adults, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups and other communities. As a PWP it is an expectation that you will work in the role for a minimum of two years before you can progress into another funded psychological professional training.

Registering and accrediting bodies icon

Registering or Accrediting Body

There is currently no individual accreditation or registration scheme for psychological wellbeing practitioners, although this is being actively pursued at present and it is intended that this will be implemented retrospectively.

Professional organisations icon

Professional Organisation

Psychological wellbeing practitioners (PWPs) can join the British Psychological Society (BPS) or British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP). These organisations are currently considering opportunities to establish PWP practitioner accreditation processes.