Shortlisting from the Clearing House Application Form: is it fit for purpose?

Simpson, Jane and Hemmings, Rachel and Daiches, Anna and Amor, Cathy (2010) Shortlisting from the Clearing House Application Form: is it fit for purpose? Psychology, Learning and Teaching, 9 (2). pp. 32-36.

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Although many clinical psychology courses are now making use of validated selection tools, changes in selection processes are almost entirely focused on the post-shortlisting part of the process. The large numbers of applicants who regularly apply to get on courses has led to a traditional reliance on information supplied on the application forms used by the Clearing House (the organisation responsible for coordinating all applications to British clinical psychology training courses), including the academic and clinical references. Training courses tend to outline minimum entry requirements which are, typically, a 2(i) degree or better, a minimum of six to 12 months’ relevant experience, graduate basis for registration with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and European Union citizenship. These minimum entry requirements enable a first phase screening process to take place. Following this phase a closer analysis of the application form takes place, with most courses assigning candidates scores along various criteria. These criteria are not always explicitly outlined by courses, but courses seem to try to quantify applicants in similar areas. For example, candidates can be rated on qualifications, motivation, realism, experience and references. However, the shortlisting process depends fundamentally on the belief that the information we collect via the application form predicts the best trainees. For example, previous clinical experience is rated highly and usually gains the applicants extra points. Similarly, further academic qualifications such as masters are also privileged. However, the question remains as to how shortlisting can be based on these assumptions when so little evidence exists. While the notion that a standard or baseline is probably important, where is the evidence that these sorts of experiences should be given added value? This article argues that evidence from occupational psychology and our own empirical research at Lancaster suggests the shortlisting component of our selection criteria needs a radical evaluation and overhaul to make it fit for purpose.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Psychology, Learning and Teaching
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? clinical psychologypsychology(all)educationbf psychology ??
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Deposited On:
01 Aug 2012 11:03
Last Modified:
28 Nov 2023 11:15