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Promoting Excellence In Psychological Health & Wellbeing

Widening Participation Workstream

31 Mar

Survey findings...


We are very grateful to everyone who was able to contribute to these findings and to those who distributed the survey(s) across their networks. These findings will support the development of the PPN South East Widening Participation workstream. If you would like to find out more about this project, please click here (PPN SE, 2021).


Members of the PPN South East that registered as one of the 6 HEE funded psychological professions were invited to take part in a survey between December 2020 to January 2021. The purpose of the survey was to gain a better understanding of the longstanding challenges and successes in recruitment in terms of diversity of entrants. This included profession specific versus shared challenges and successes in widening participation, identifying areas for further development. The responses received from the survey were intended to inform the widening participation workstream in developing next steps, and how to address some of the barriers identified. The response rate for questionnaire completion was 104 in total, and broken down as follows: Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist (N = 0), Children Wellbeing Practitioner (N = 4), Clinical Psychologist (N = 67), Cognitive Behavioural Therapist (N = 8), Education Mental Health Practitioner (N = 7), Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (N = 18).


Interestingly, there were differing perceptions on the meaning of widening participation into a psychological profession and suggested the value of a shared language on this concept.

Initial common themes identified across the 6 HEE funded psychological professions’ roles  in widening access were:

  • Social and Economic Deprivation (e.g., level of education, access to unpaid voluntary work experience, access to financial resource, travel)
  • Information Availability (e.g., public advertisement, careers advisors, clarity on different career paths in the psychological professions, information on reasonable adjustment procedures)
  • Current Workforce Representation (e.g., visible role models, spokespeople, champions, case studies)
  • Active Engagement (e.g., with public, targeted communities, educational institutions across all levels, career changes in workforce)
  • Peer Connection (e.g., access to networking, mentoring, peer support groups pre and post qualification)
  • Opportunity Accessibility (e.g., relevant work experience in competitive field, clinical supervision, networking)
  • Course Accessibility (e.g., entry requirements, selection process, training demands/examination, reasonable adjustments, part time/ course flexibility)
  • Sharing Good Practice (e.g., communication between institutions, minimise duplication of work, network groups)
  • Career Progression: (e.g., continued career development, continued employability, limits to pay progression)

The importance of speaking to people who are under-represented within and across the 6 HEE funded psychological professions was emphasised to gain an insight into barriers and facilitators faced.

Next Steps

A more detailed report and summary will be written using a thematic analysis approach to indicate themes of widening participation, shared and specific between the 6 HEE funded psychological professions.

A proposed project plan will be presented to the PPN South East Quarterly Board in April 2021 and agreed.   

We will continue to post updates about the progress of the project and if you have any questions or would like to get in touch, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Amy Pound

Senior Assistant Psychologist, PPN South East


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