Society

Including fellowship citations, adoption support regulations and ethics column.

Fellowship citations

Professor John Arnold
PROFESSOR Arnold joined the faculty at Loughborough University in 1996 and two years later was appointed Professor of Organisational Behaviour in the University Business School.
In 2003 he became editor of the Journal of Occupational and Organisational Behaviour, where he has introduced review articles relating to the practical application of the papers published and is aiming to ensure the journal receives recognition worldwide. He served for two years as chair of the BPS Occupational Psychology Conference Committee and is currently a member of the BPS Journals Committee.
Professor Arnold’s publications have been cited 278 times in the Social Science Citation Index. His contributions include serving as editor and major contributor to four editions of Work Psychology.
An abiding theme in his work, beginning with his doctoral thesis, has been the adjustment of the individual to the world of work, including career choices and development, and coping with work and organisational change. The quality of his research has received practical recognition in the form of grants totalling £515,000.
John Arnold has remained strongly concerned to ensure that his academic work translates into practical application and has developed effective policies and practices for career management in both the private and public sectors. They include recent work on the careers of nurses and allied health professionals, which has been used by the Department of Health in shaping a programme for staff recruitment and retention.
His recognition overseas includes Visiting Fellow, University of South Wales (1993) and Distinguished Visitor, University of Auckland (2004).

Dr Lorraine Bell
THE Fellowships Committee is pleased to confer the status of Fellow on Dr Lorraine Bell, a consultant clinical psychologist with Portsmouth Primary Care Trust and Hampshire Partnership NHS Trust. Dr Bell was given this award for her exceptional contribution to three professionally challenging areas – eating disorders (ED), user empowerment and borderline personality disorder.
Lorraine Bell’s work in eating disorders has developed from her initial establishment
of one of the first multidisciplinary teams to focus on ED in 1994. The expertise developed in this clinical setting was soon recognised and she was invited to join the National Institute for Clinical Excellence working group on eating disorders leading to their publication of treatment guidelines in 2004. She has planned, organised and presented at a number of national day conferences since then on this topic.
Prior to this Dr Bell was influential in the empowerment of mental health service users for two decades. In 1987 she published ‘Survivors speak out’ as a chapter in Good Practices in Mental Health; from this, she developed the national self-advocacy group for people with mental health problems, adopting her chapter title as their organisational title. For three years to 1990 she was on the South-West Regional Council of MIND.
More recently Lorraine Bell has developed and published the first self-help manual for borderline personality disorder (BPD). This initiative has led to a number of teaching opportunities to disseminate her psychological perspective on BPD to multidisciplinary audiences throughout the UK. She is currently working on developing a two-week residential training in the psychological treatment of patients diagnosed with BPD.
The committee recognises Dr Bell’s outstanding contribution in developing and disseminating innovations in applied psychology that have had significant impact on local and national provision in the fields of mental health and well-being.

BPS acts on new adoption support regulations

ON 30 December last year the Adoption Support Services Regulations 2005 came into force (see tinyurl.com/q5s5k). The regulations require private organisations and individuals offering adoption support services to register with the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI), the independent inspectorate for all social care services. The regulations apply only in England. The extent to which psychologists in private practice will come under these regulations is not yet fully understood.
It seems that the Society was not invited to contribute to the consultation over the regulations and had no other warning about the new statutory regime coming into being. It was only by chance that a member discovered the new legislation and thought to alert the Society. In response to this, Martin Crawshaw, Chair of the Professional Practice Board, has written to about 150 chartered members whose listing in the Directory referred to dealing with adoption issues. The letter, sent on 13 March, warned about the new legal requirements and suggested where to get more information.
The Society’s understanding is that the requirement to register covers not only adoption agencies, but also private persons or organisations that offer support to people involved in the adoption process Such support could include:
l    counselling in relation to adoption
l    advice and information about adoption
l    therapeutic services for children who have been adopted
l    relationship support between adopted children and adoptive parents.

Many psychologists in private practice will be currently offering these and other services that come within the scope of the regulations. Registering with the CSCI, we are informed, can take four or five months, and can cost hundreds of pounds, depending on the size of the applicant organisation. The Society is deeply concerned about the impact of the regulations on its members and on the provision of essential services. And it is not clear how an unregistered psychologist should deal with
a client who presents with a general difficulty that turns out after a couple of sessions to result from adoption problems.
On 21 March BPS President Graham Powell wrote to Tim Gardner of the Adoption Support Team at the DfES. The letter points out that psychologists are trained to offer a range of specialist skills, training and interventions to all those involved in the adoption process, and that the regulations could potentially affect any psychologist who undertakes any form of adoption support in the course of their practice. Graham makes a strong complaint about the Society’s not having been informed about the introduction of the regulations and expresses concern about delays and costs in the process of registration, which he says may cause psychologists to stop working in the area at all. Indeed, one member has already asked for adoption counselling to be deleted from their list of services offered in the Directory.
The letter also raises concerns about what happens to clients currently receiving services from psychologists who have been asked to stop until registration is complete. And Graham expresses surprise that psychologists are being asked to register at all, given that the services in question are the same as offered to a wide range of clients and that psychology is already regulated under Society’s Royal Charter.
Graham Powell’s letter formally asks for (a) the provision services by psychologists to be allowed to continue pending registration and (b) reconsideration of whether psychologists should be required to register at all.
At the time of going to press no reply has been received. The Professional Practice Board will post more information on the Society’s website as soon as it becomes known.

Selected news from the boards

Psychology Education Board (9 March 2006)
l    Office support. Restructuring within the Membership and Qualifications Directorate has led to the creation of a new Board Support and Policy Team, which would enable more interaction between the Membership and Professional Training Board and PEB, as well as a higher level of support and service for both boards.
l    Career information. A review of the Society’s careers information is under way, in collaboration with Blackwell Publishing.
l    National Science Learning Centre. The board welcomed Jeremy Airey from the National Science Learning Centre (NSLC), and was pleased to note that that the objectives of the NSLC appear to be very much in line with its own – namely, to influence current policies concerning pre-tertiary psychology education, to improve training and support for psychology teachers and to encourage interface between schools and higher education institutions. It was agreed that there appeared to be many opportunities for collaboration, and the board looked forward to working more closely with the NSLC in future.
l    School psychology teachers. It was agreed that the considerable anecdotal evidence concerning the lack of training, support and resources for school psychology teachers needs to be substantiated by some firm statistics. The board was supportive of the suggestion that the Society provide assistance with conducting a more comprehensive survey, and a working group was established to progress this.
l    Events. It was agreed that the ‘Future Directions in Psychology Teaching’ event that took place in December [see News, February] had provided
a useful forum to discuss the issues surrounding psychology teaching and learning at pre-tertiary and higher education levels. The board was advised that a follow-up workshop/event would be arranged in due course.
l    Teacher training. It was agreed that the lack of teacher training for psychology graduates continued to be a major concern. As the Teacher Training and Development Agency was generally unsupportive in this area,
it was suggested that the board, in partnership with the Higher Education Academy and the NSLC, should possibly seek to persuade the higher education sector of the need to provide specialist courses.
Reports of Board of Trustees and Representative Council meetings are available to members on the BPS website – www.bps.org.uk/members/members_home.cfm

Ethics Column No.5

Ethical decision making
The new Code of Ethics and Conduct (sent out to members with last month’s Psychologist) provides a framework for ethical decision making for all members. However, given the range of situations in which members work, the Code can only act as a guide to professional judgements. One section of the Code addresses decision making directly, and we hope this will be useful in preventing and resolving any difficulties that arise.
The Ethics Committee receives reports from the Regulatory Affairs team outlining briefly and anonymously the queries dealt with during the period. It
is hoped that some qualitative analysis can be conducted over time to look in more detail at the issues. It is easy to see that some themes are emerging and, again, these are identified in the ‘Decision making’ section of the new Code.
One of the most frequent themes relates to multiple relationships where the psychologist owes an allegiance to several different stakeholders and to confidentiality. One example of this situation might involve testing. The psychologist conducts a test on one or more people on behalf of a human resources department within an organisation. Similar situations can arise in research with children, parents and schools, in therapeutic settings with clients, staff and organisations and even in providing courses to students where funding and educational bodies may have different requirements. Experienced psychologists will ensure that each of the stakeholders understands the activity, the desired outcomes and rules, and limits to the confidentiality on offer. Without this clarification beforehand expectations can be confused or unrealistic.
Obviously most of these situations have legal, regulatory and other frameworks that guide the planning and conducting of professional activity,
of which members should be fully aware. If unexpected events occur, then the psychologist has to think through the costs and benefits both short-and longer-term for the stakeholders involved. The rights, responsibilities and welfare of all have to be taken into account, and alternative decisions considered. Discussion with a peer or a more experienced colleague will be useful for generating ideas to add to the analysis. People who have carried out similar work will also be helpful. This should enable the psychologist to make a decision.
If there are particular difficulties the member can contact the Society’s Regulatory Affairs team on 0116 254 9568 or at [email protected]. The team will help with the ‘thinking through’ process but will not be able to make the decision. The team may be able to point members to sources of further advice or just help to reduce anxiety so that a decision becomes clearer.

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