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NELFT NHS Foundation Trust provides a range of community health and mental health services across the north east London Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Havering, Redbridge, Waltham Forest, Essex and Kent and Medway.

Read the latest NELFT news, including information on our services, new trust staff, research and development of our services.

Partnership With Health Education England Aspiring Psychologist Programme 2023

Text reads: Psychology graduates, we need you! Apply for our aspiring Psychologists Programme in North East London, Essex and Kent. Join us in our mission to make Psychology a more accessible, diverse profession.

NELFT have partnered with Health Education England for the Aspiring Psychologist Programme 2023.

As part of this scheme, we will offer 28 (full and part time) paid work experience opportunities to Psychology Graduates from underrepresented backgrounds in Psychology. Part of the NHS Long Term Plan is to improve the diversity of our workforce to better represent communities we serve. We therefore particularly welcome applications from ethnic minorities, those from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds including first-generation graduates and care leaves and those who have caring responsibilities.

How does the Scheme Work?

The Aspiring Psychologists Scheme is part of a nationally funded programme by Health Education England and aims to improve equity of access to psychology training. Some psychology graduates experience a range of barriers which reduce the chances of making a successful application to undertake postgraduate training in psychological professions.

These posts are part of a specifically designed programme to provide valuable experience, insight and preparation for the next step to a substantive role within the Psychology Profession. Graduates who join the programme at NELFT, will have access to high calibre clinical supervision and regular forums which supports junior Psychological Professionals to the next stage of their careers. On completion of the programme, we hope you will be in a strong position to apply for a substantive post in a relevant Assistant Psychologist role or equivalent.

NELFT will be offering each successful candidate two 6-month placements in a range of settings, including:

  • Adult Inpatient Units
  • Refugee Services
  • Eating Disorders Services
  • Perinatal Services
  • Psychosis pathway for secondary care adult mental health
  • Community Psychology within the Mental Health and Wellbeing Service
  • Psychotherapy Services
  • Adolescent Inpatient Units
  • CAMHS Mental Health Support Services

Working Hours

Ten of the contracts will be offered at full time (1.0wte) band 4 for 12 months and offered as two 6 month placements.

The remaining eighteen contracts will be offered part time (0.25wte) band 4 (9.375 hours per week). These will also be offered as two 6 month placements.

Eligibility Criteria

  • hold a lower Second-Class Honours degree or higher in psychology.
  • not hold or be studying for a Master’s degree (with the exception of a Master’s degree completed as a conversion degree for applicants with a non-psychology undergraduate degree OR a combined undergraduate MSc degree)
  • not be salaried or a post-graduate trainee in a university programme
  • unrestricted right to work in UK or Current Employee on WP
  • not have held any substantial prior paid assistant psychology post, research assistant or similar employment. Previous paid work experience at a very limited period or employment (such as sessions for less than the equivalent of four weeks in total) as a research assistant/assistant psychologist, will be accepted.
  • meet the criteria of being excluded from entering the profession through unpaid work experience. This could be for several reasons, such as:
    1. family being on a low income or supported by benefits
    2. receiving grants, bursaries or awards via your university student support service or government maintenance grants
    3. being a care leaver or student not supported by family or parents
    4. having caring responsibilities


Judith Friedman, Clinical Director of Psychological Professions said:

“Psychological Professions at NELFT are really excited to be creating this important new role for aspiring Psychologists.

As a Trust, we are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion, having previously won an Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (ENEI) Award and recently been shortlisted for best Ethnic Minority Staff Network (EMN) by The Health Service Journal and our EMN LEAP programme shortlisted for a Nursing Times award.

We provide healthcare services to communities across North East London, Essex and Kent and we are keen to ensure that our colleagues represent the diversity of service users. We acknowledge our wider responsibility to address social inequalities in healthcare and this new programme is an exciting step towards this. “

How to apply

Applications must be made via TRAC. There is likely to be a high level of interest in these posts, so we suggest submitting a prompt application. Applications will close when the maximum number of applicants is reached.

Click here to apply.

We look forward to welcoming our first cohort of the Aspiring Psychologists Programme in 2023 and working closely with our partners to make Psychology a more accessible, diverse profession.

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