Progressing with my chosen supervisor was relatively straight-forward. They handled the meetings, communicated well, sent documents and advised what I needed to do and when.
The enrolment process for QSEP with the BPS was a bit more taxing. It wasn’t that it was difficult to follow or to achieve, but rather, costs for things that are not originally laid out for you unexpectedly kept cropping up. So just when I thought I had saved money and covered all necessary costs there would be £40 here and £20 there.
For enrolment on to QSEP, of course you had to meet certain requirements and send trough a lot of evidence. The BPS provide a checklist to support you with this which is as follows:
- Signed contract from supervisors
- Enrolment form
- Equal opportunities form
- Health declaration
- 2 academic references
- Direct debit mandate
- Plan of training
- DBS certificate
I was told that the most time consuming aspect of the enrolment process was completing the plan of training. Apparently, it is not uncommon for many people to take up to 3 months to have this completed and submitted.
I completed and submitted my entire checklist within 3 weeks.
Why not? Why would I waste 3 months writing my plan of training and taking my time when I will be paying for supervision for those 3 months and not really being supervised on anything since I hadn’t started to engage in any activities yet? It seemed like a waste of time and money to spend such a long time on the enrolment process in general and the plan of training in particular.
You’re probably wondering what a plan of training is and what it entails. At the end of this post I will run through each item on the checklist.
The rest of the forms e.g. health declaration, equal opportunities form etc. were simple and self-explanatory. The irritation came from having to do a DBS through the BPS which costs more than doing it through your local council. A cost that is not outlined or explained until you come to do it. Of course an enhanced DBS check can take many weeks to return, so keep this in mind when trying to move swiftly through this process. This also cost £85.
Once I had all my forms in order and I was ready to submit, I was then informed I would have to pay a £90 admin fee. I’m not entirely sure what this cost covers and again, wasn’t made aware of it until I came to submitting my forms.
Another thing to consider during enrolment is indemnity insurance. This is not mentioned in the checklist or, to my knowledge, in the handbook either. However, it is something you will need to purchase in order to be legally covered to practice. This cost me around £55 for the year.
I had submitted my enrolment on to QSEP by mid December but didn’t receive approval until nearly 2 months later. During this period between submission and receiving approval, any work you undertake or activities you engage in can be counted as part of your hours toward the course. So for example, let’s say you submit in February but do not receive approval until April, any workshops, talks, consulting, articles you write, reading etc. can be logged in your practice diary and counted as hours toward your requirements.
Once approved you are ready to crack on and officially call yourself a Sport and Exercise psychologist in training (a protected title).
You will need some forms and documents to get you started which, is another thing that wasn’t explicitly mentioned by the BPS. They sort of just mention that when you make your submissions they need to include a reflective log for example. But is this in a specific format? Is this a document that is sent to me? What do they want to see in it?Eventually, I got mine through other candidates in my group supervision. I had spoken to a few of them separately just for general chat, to understand more about the course and the supervisors and they were always willing to help and send through anything I needed.
Other candidates are your friends, not food.
Here I have gone into detail on the above list:
Signed contract from supervisors
This is an agreement between you and your supervisor which, states that both parties agree to adhere to standards of conduct, adhere to the payment structure and other legal requirements.
This is one of two (the other being the plan of training) extensive forms. This document outlines the key roles and requirements you are to fulfil during your time on the course. You can find these key roles in the handbook. It also includes other information like risk assessments and an audit of applied settings.
Equal Opportunities Form
Just like any other equal opportunities form, this document asks you to state your ethnic origin, gender and if you have any disabilities
This form asks you to state any health conditions or concerns you may have that could impact your ability to complete the course.
Similar to a job application, you need to provide 2 references from people who can vouch for your capabilities and your character. This could be a University tutor perhaps, or even your supervisor.
Direct Debit Mandate
This is to disclose how you will pay the course fees and which account they will be debited from
Plan of Training
Your plan of training is the second extensive document. This asks you to outline how you will fulfil each key role. For example, who you will contact and build relationships with, who you plan to work for/with, how will distribute psychological knowledge, how you will market your services and contribute to your own growth and development.
This is an enhanced check to ensure you do not have any convictions and are able to work with vulnerable people and sensitive information without concern.
As with most of this, the process may differ from person to person depending on how long you take to complete tasks etc. However, this is the general gist of the process. Getting started as soon as you have secured your supervisor is a good idea as it takes weeks for certain people to get back to you e.g. DBS and enrolment approval.
Please note, this process is in relation to the BPS route and other routes of training i.e. BASES/SEPAR, may vary.
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