Selection Procedure

At Trent we recognise that candidates have a range of strengths and interests that trainees grow and develop over the course of the programme and that qualified practitioners need a broad portfolio of competences. Therefore, our selection procedure involves exercises and interviews assessing your academic ability, clinical acumen, personal awareness, reflective qualities, written analytic skills and interpersonal competence and confidence. Over the course of your busy selection day we give you the opportunity to demonstrate your particular strengths and to tell us about your experience in a supportive yet challenging environment. We make sure that during the day you have many opportunities to socialise and share experiences with other candidates, to meet current trainees and staff, and to enjoy plenty of space to take time out and gather your thoughts. Even though selection days can be tiring, candidates in previous years have told us that most people found ours fair, balanced and even enjoyable.

The purpose of selection is to find the best candidates both for the academic programme and for the partner NHS Trusts. All offers of a place on the course are dependent on satisfactory criminal record and health checks.

Pre-selection Written Screening Exercise and Short-Listing

Candidates who meet the essential criteria (see person specification) will be invited to attend a pre-selection written screening exercise. The pre-selection written screening exercise is a computer-based task that aims to assess writing ability, communication skills, and broader critical thinking.

The application forms and references of candidates who have passed the written test will then be rated and ranked by a short-listing panel, comprised of programme staff and clinicians from our partner Trusts, who assess applications for evidence of academic ability, relevant experience, motivation, aptitude, and suitability for training, related to the selection criteria. The highest ranked candidates who have passed the written test will be invited for interview.

The date for the pre-selection written screening exercise is fixed and will take place on Saturday 18 February 2017 at the University of Lincoln.

Applicants who require special arrangements in order to participate will be required to supply supporting evidence.

All applicants are required to bring photographic proof of identity with them on the day of the screening; if this cannot be supplied they will not be eligible to sit the exercise.

Communication with applicants about the pre-selection written screening exercise will be by email. Therefore, applicants are advised to regularly check the email address used for their Clearing House application, including their junk folder, to avoid missing any important communication from us.

Selection Interviews

Interview panels consider personal, professional, clinical and academic abilities. Each panel will rate candidates on scales related to the person specification, entry requirements etc. During selection candidates are asked if they have a strong preference for a “Home” Trust, but this information is not used in rating the candidates.

Ranking the Candidates

Candidates’ scores from all interviews and the pre-selection written exercise will be combined and the candidates placed in rank order. The successful candidates will be those who attain the highest ranked scores overall.

Allocating Candidates a Training Contract

The highest ranked candidates will be offered a place on the programme and a training contract with a particular “Home” Trust consistent with any stated “strong preferences”. Currently training contracts are the same irrespective of the Home Trust and all candidates will be enrolled at both universities. Normally, trainees based in Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation NHS Trust will be registered for the degree of DClinPsy with the University of Lincoln and undertake their foundation placement in Lincolnshire. Trainees based in Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust or Nottingham Healthcare NHS Trust will be registered with Nottingham University and undertake their foundation placements in Derbyshire or Nottinghamshire.

In a situation where there are more expressed “strong preferences” for one of the geographical areas than there are training contracts available, the highest ranked candidates will have their preferences met first and other candidates will be allocated to the remaining geographical area. Thus, although a candidate’s preferences will be taken into account, all applicants must be willing to be based in and undertake foundation placements with any one of the 3 NHS Trusts and to be registered with either university.

Reserve List

A number of less highly ranked but acceptable candidates will be placed on a reserve list. Any remaining vacant programme places will be filled by working down the reserve list in order, regardless of any stated location preferences.


Feedback will only be given to candidates selected for interview and only on completion of the selection process.

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