What’s in a name? The HCPC’s role in sport and exercise psychology

There is still considerable confusion in the UK regarding the regulation of the use of protected titles and the role of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Recently I was fortunate enough to attend a meeting with HCPC organised by the BPS Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology that provided the opportunity to ask specific questions and to clarify a range of issues. As such, I feel I have much greater clarity regarding the role of HCPC and the regulation of the

What should we be teaching trainee sport, exercise and performance psychologists?

As we approach the start of a new academic year in many UK University’s and the running of many Masters degrees in sport and exercise psychology, it is a perfect time to ask the question ‘what should we be teaching trainees’? The first and most obvious answer is psychology. The majority of Masters courses in the United Kingdom (UK) are accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). In order to gain BPS accreditation you need to demonstrate that you cover a range of sp

Why qualified is best!

One of the challenges facing the field of sport and exercise psychology is the lack of clarity regarding why you should employ a qualified practitioner (other than the suggestion you really should). We spend a lot of time talking about qualification systems, but not enough time telling the public what a qualified practitioner gives you that other practitioners might not. Illustration depicting a sign with a qualification concept. The first (and potentially most important) rea

Collaboration the key to good PR

Having left another meeting with potential clients lamenting the fact that I had to again explain what being ‘qualified’ as a sport psychologist actually means, I think it is time for action. There is still much undermining of the profession that is taking place due to poor communication and dare I say it marketing. In the UK, as in other countries the dilution of the key messages that occurs through too many different organisations having a stake is constraining the professi

Psychology or sport science? The international dilemma.

Increasingly I am beginning to appreciate that the discussions in the UK about whether sport psychologists should emerge from a psychology or sport science tradition reflect an international debate. In the UK the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the British Association for Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) have been engaged in this debate. The UK government inadvertently got involved in the mid 2000s when looking to protect the title ‘psychologist’ but this has not r

But they said they were a sport psychologist!

It continues to be a frustration of my’n that the profession (sport & exercise psychology) in the UK continues to lack any real clarity for the end user. In physiotherapy or medicine it is very straight-forward. Physiotherapist job adverts, for example, ask for membership of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and registration with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC).  Doctor vacancies require certification by the the General Medical Council (GMC). On the face of

Professional sport, interns and exploitation

I observed with interest the publication last week of the British Association for Sport & Exercise Sciences (BASES) position statement on graduate internships in sport. In the last decade, particularly in the UK there has been a growing trend for, in the main but not exclusively, professional sport to offer graduate intern opportunities within the disciplines of sport science. This trend has also been reflected within applied sport psychology. Professional sports clubs became