As you may be aware The Innovation Agency (North West Coast Academic Health Science Network) has been leading a project to improve workforce supply in psychological professions, which has been funded by Health Education England (HEE). The project has included a ‘test of concept’ to introduce a graduate entry role into the NHS for psychology graduates, known as a Trainee Associate Psychological Practitioner (TAPP/APP). A Post Graduate Diploma Associate Psychological Practitioner (PGDip APP) has been developed and delivered by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). Two cohorts have been funded by HEE, with cohort 1 successfully graduating as APPs in January 2022. A full clinical and service evaluation demonstrated positive impacts for patients, staff and services. The second cohort commenced in March 2022 and a comprehensive evaluation is also underway. Salaries are funded by the employing organisation with HEE covering the academic programme and supervision and support costs. Employers include mental health and learning disability trusts, physical healthcare Trusts and Primary Care Networks (PCNs).

 

HEE has recently announced their intention to provide a further £1.6 M to support a third TAPP cohort, of which £1.5 M is available to directly fund TAPPs. It has been agreed that for cohort 3, the course will be delivered at post graduate certificate level (PGCert APP) as this aligns better to other national role developments. The British Psychological Society (BPS) has also agreed to work with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to accredit the course and, as such, will focus upon the primary care pathway (including primary care level interventions, delivered in different service settings) for this test of concept, reflecting the high levels of demand for the role.

 

It is proposed that the funding will be made available to support TAPP roles delivering psychological work at steps 1 and 2 across a range of care pathways, to divide equally amongst the three Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) in the North West Region. £15 K will be made available for each TAPP, to cover the academic costs, supervision and placement support, meaning that up to 100 TAPP placements will be funded.

 

NHSEI has recently published an FAQ document regarding the Primary Care Mental Health Practitioner role, which is eligible for reimbursement as part of The Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS). T/APPs are now working into ARRS designated roles across the North West. It includes the following excerpt- ‘local partners may wish to explore other types of roles that fulfil the same criteria. In addition, certain non-registered psychological professions roles (including those on voluntary and accredited registers) may be included when under the direct supervision of a registered psychological professional’. This means that employers may be able to get the salary costs of a TAPP covered under ARRS.

 

At this stage we are inviting Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from a range of settings within scope across the three ICS footprints in the North West. Please see the below additional information regarding roles, employment and supervision arrangements. It is essential that employers are able to support the band 4 salary costs for the duration of the TAPP training and have a substantive band 5 role available upon qualification. The course will be delivered by UCLan and will commence in March 2023 for a 12 month duration.

 

As it is likely that demand for the TAPPs may outstrip availability, a prioritisation process will be coordinated by the project team. It is anticipated that recruitment will be undertaken throughout October to December 2022 and the project team will help support and coordinate this process. We require that TAPPs will be employed by March 2023 to allow local induction, prior to commencement of the course in March.

  

In addition, if you have any questions or queries please don’t hesitate to contact Debbie Nixon (Project Director) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and, or Dr Miranda Budd at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Clinical Lead) should you have any questions or if you would like to discuss any of the above information further. 

 

Additional Information:

What are (T)APPs?

(T)APPs are (Trainee) Associate Psychological Practitioners. (T)APPs are a new workforce supply of Mental Health Practitioners (MHPs). They are psychology graduates, working towards completing a postgraduate certificate (PGcertAPP) at The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Curriculum Summary/ Core Competencies

The TAPPs work in clinical settings 4 days a week. They are trained in seven core competency areas: 1) Communication & relationships; 2) Patient care; 3) Analytical & clinical judgemental skills; 4) Strategic planning & organisation; 5) Policy & service development; 6) Information resource governance and 7) Research, development & service evaluation.

What support will the T/APP need?

Clinical Supervision

The TAPPs require one hour of weekly clinical supervision with an accredited psychological professional (e.g., a CBT therapist, Clinical Psychologist). HEE provide £5000 support costs to cover this supervision requirement. As a service, you may wish to source your own clinical supervisor.

 

Various models of Psychological Clinical Supervisors are being set-up across the different ICS areas and we would recommend that you link with your local Mental Health & LD trust/ Mental health department to discuss these options. Within LSCFT we are establishing a Supervision Hub. So if you would like to ‘source’ a supervisor this is something we can help with. This supervision hub is being set-up as we recognise the challenges some services would have in providing this supervision.

 

In-service mentor

We strongly recommend that TAPPs are allocated an in-service/ team mentor to help them settle in. The mentor doesn’t have to be a clinical staff member, but someone who will support the TAPP during their induction and help to set up their working timetable. For this support, HEE provide an additional £5000 support envelope.

 

As a service, you can choose to be involved in/ lead on the recruitment process if you wish.

*Definition of step 1 and step 2 levels in mental health care:

Step 1= Mild mental health symptoms, step 2= Mild to moderate mental health symptoms. Step 3= Moderate to severe and would require longer term support.

 

To allow adequate time for EOIs, deadline is Friday 21st October 2022.

 

EOI’s in scope

We would like to receive a broad spread of EOI’s for TAPPs working with patients at a step 1 and step 2 level, in relation to mental health need. Within a stepped care model, the added value TAPPs bring can be applied across a range of care pathways.

This means that TAPPs can work in a variety of services, locations and teams, as long as the mental health intervention they provide is within their training remit (i.e., at step 1 and/or step 2). Examples include:

Primary care: Primary Care Networks (PCNs)/ General Practice/ Community Settings (for example)

Mental health & Learning Disabilities Trusts: Living Well Services/ Older Adult Services/ Community Learning disability Services (for example)

Hospital & Community Settings: Stroke/ Neuro/ Pain Management/ Sexual Health/ Cancer (for example)

 

If you would like to discuss an EOI with a member of the team, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (TAPP team admin support) to arrange a meeting to discuss.