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Overview of the role

Undertaking assessments and brief interventions based on cognitive behavioural therapy principles with people with mild to moderate anxiety disorders and depression

Psychological wellbeing practitioner (PWP)

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in in the public sector within the NHS England Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) initiative, which is a world leading programme in psychological healthcare. This is an exciting role where practitioners make a difference to people’s lives. Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWP) delivers the service from different venues for example GP surgeries, community healthcare settings and other community based venues, such as job centres.

The broad purpose of the occupation is for PWPs to interact with adult patients in primary care, across a number of different services and variety of environments including being able to practice in diverse cultures. PWPs offer assessments for mild to severe common mental health problems, undertaking assessment of risk and making of safeguarding referrals. They offer evidence based interventions to patients with mild to moderate anxiety and depression as well as other common mental health problems determined by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)*1, the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)*2 manual. PWPs operate within a stepped care service delivery model which operates on the principle of offering the least intrusive effective psychological treatment in the first instance, patients can then be ‘stepped up’ to a more intensive treatment if required. The treatment aids clinical improvement and social inclusion, such as a return to work, meaningful activity or physical wellbeing and is delivered through a variety of methods including individual work courses and group work, which can be via face-to-face, telephone, email or other contact methods including digital platforms.

*1 https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance

*2 https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/the-iapt-manual.pdf

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with a wider psychological therapies team which may include other health professionals such as psychologists, therapists, counsellors, employment specialists, community nurses and administrative staff. They will liaise across a number of different services including general practitioners (GPs), community physical health teams and charitable organisations that provide related support services, for example MIND.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for and accountable for safe, compassionate, person centred evidence based care. PWPs are autonomous practitioners who work within their scope of practice. A PWP is responsible for managing a high volume caseload of people with common mental health problems efficiently and safely utilising clinical skills and case management weekly supervision and other forms of supervision identified as appropriate, e.g. line management. PWPs take responsibility for their own learning and development using reflection and feedback to analyse their own capabilities, appraise alternatives and plan and implement actions.

Typical job titles include:

Psychological wellbeing practitioner (PWP)

Entry requirements

GCSE grade C or above in Maths and English or Functional Skills Level 2 in Maths and English.

Employers and universities will set their own entry requirements which might typically include a requirement for applicants to have previous experience of working in mental health or experience of a setting where they are likely to be exposed to people at increased risk of experiencing mental health difficulties. 


Occupation duties

Duty

KSBs

Duty 1 Provide assessments to identify the common mental health problems of anxiety disorders and depression, including the assessment of risk and safeguarding issues and appropriate onward referral.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10

B1 B2 B3

Duty 2 Provide NICE recommended treatments to patients with mild to moderate symptoms of the common mental health problems of anxiety disorders and depression.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11

B1 B2 B3

Duty 3 Select and deliver treatment to aid recovery, promote social inclusion, and support an appropriate return to work, supporting overall wellbeing that helps with physical and psychological health.

K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K11 K12 K14 K15 K16

S1 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S12 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S18 S19

B1 B2 B3

Duty 4 Provide guided self-help treatment informed by cognitive-behavioural principles, which are patient-centred psychological treatments with an emphasis on self-management and are designed to be less intensive than other psychological treatments.

K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K10 K14 K15 K17

S2 S3 S6 S7 S8 S9 S12 S13 S14

B1 B2 B3

Duty 5 Provide support that enables patients to optimise their use of self-management / recovery information, which is delivered through a variety of methods such as face to face, telephone, or email, as well as other contact methods including digital platforms and group workshops.

K1 K2 K3 K7 K16 K18 K19

S2 S3 S5 S8 S20

B1 B2 B3

Duty 6 Provide information on common medication prescribed for symptoms of anxiety/depression and support patients to optimise their use of such treatments.

K20

S21

B1 B2 B3

Duty 7 Delivering within a “stepped care service delivery model”, to treat patients at the lowest appropriate level in the first instance, only 'stepping up' to intensive/specialist services as clinically required. The level of input is increased or decreased until satisfactory health status is achieved. The outcomes from sessions are routinely collected for clinical, social and employment results as part of a national outcome monitoring system.

K4 K5 K8 K15

S6 S7 S10 S13 S14 S22

B1 B2 B3

Duty 8 Communicate effectively with and signpost to other agencies e.g. employment, occupational and other advice services.

K1 K2 K3 K18 K19

S1 S2 S3 S5 S10 S19 S20

B1 B2 B3

Duty 9 Accurately record interviews and questionnaire assessments using paper and electronic record keeping systems in a timely manner.

K3 K13 K21

S3 S4 S18

Duty 10 Manage a caseload of people with common mental health problems efficiently and safely.

K6 K14 K21 K22 K23 K24

S1 S10 S11 S16 S17 S19 S23 S24 S25

B1 B2 B3

Duty 11 Handle personal and sensitive information in line with local and national policies.

K13 K25

S3 S18 S26

B1 B2 B3

Duty 12 Use a range of assessments to aid problem recognition and definition e.g. psychometric assessment, problem focused assessment and intervention planning assessment.

K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K15

S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S13 S14 S16 S17 S18 S19

B1 B2 B3

Duty 13 Use both clinical skills and case management supervision meetings to assist the delivery of low-intensity interventions.

K22 K23 K24

S10 S11 S16 S22 S23 S24 S25

B1 B2 B3

Duty 14 Adhere to the employer's code of conduct and policies, including values and standards.

K9 K13 K16 K25

S9 S13 S16 S25

B1 B2 B3


KSBs

Knowledge

K1: The significance of effective communication within the workplace setting. Back to Duty

K2: How to build partnerships and therapeutic relationships that take into account individual differences and needs including language preferences. Back to Duty

K3: The policies and guidelines that relate to the handling of confidential information and the importance of recording accurate patient records securely and how to escalate matters if data protection breaches occur. Back to Duty

K4: The principles, purposes and different types of assessments, undertaken with people with common mental health problems. Back to Duty

K5: Patterns of symptoms consistent with diagnostic categories and psychological models. Back to Duty

K6: Process of ongoing risk assessment, safeguarding and any policies that support this. Back to Duty

K7: The importance of actively involving people in their own care. Back to Duty

K8: The stepped care model in IAPT services and NICE guidelines for depression and anxiety disorders. Back to Duty

K9: Understand how to respond to people’s need sensitively with regards to individual differences. Back to Duty

K10: The boundaries of the role and how low intensity interventions differ from other methods of psychological treatment. Back to Duty

K11: How to work within a team and other agencies with additional specific roles which cannot be fulfilled by the PWP alone. Back to Duty

K12: How to manage risk and promote health and well-being while aiming to empower choices that promote self-care and safety. Back to Duty

K13: Understand the importance of gaining informed consent. Back to Duty

K14: The principles of patient-centred care and support, and why it makes a difference to how people feel. Back to Duty

K15: How to competently use behaviour change models and strategies in the delivery of low-intensity psychological interventions. Back to Duty

K16: How to practice in a non-judgemental, caring and sensitive manner. Back to Duty

K17: How to maintain a therapeutic alliance with patients during their treatment programme, including dealing with issues and events that interfere with the therapeutic relationship that threaten the alliance. Back to Duty

K18: How to adapt and use communication skills to deliver low-intensity treatments using a range of methods including face-to-face, telephone, presentations and other electronic communication. Back to Duty

K19: The importance of signposting patients, with informed consent, to other services and the services that are available locally. Back to Duty

K20: The principles and implementation of medication management. Back to Duty

K21: The importance of timely record keeping. Back to Duty

K22: The principles of caseload management. Back to Duty

K23: The structure of both clinical skills and case management supervision and the difference between the two forms of supervision. Back to Duty

K24: Models of critical reflection, self-reflection, and use of feedback, to enhance the quality of patient care you provide personally and as part of the team. Back to Duty

K25: A range of codes of conduct and employers’ policies relevant to the role. Back to Duty

Skills

S1: Communicate effectively with individuals verbally and in writing to build successful caring relationships with patients and colleagues, whilst also keeping information confidential. Back to Duty

S2: Respond to peoples’ needs sensitively with regards to all aspects of diversity. Back to Duty

S3: Handle personal and sensitive information in line with local and national policies and legislation. Keep information secure and ensure that any information audits are compliant with such policies and legislation. Back to Duty

S4: Accurately record interviews and questionnaire assessments using paper and electronic recording keeping systems in a timely manner. Back to Duty

S5: Communicate effectively with and signpost to other agencies with informed consent. For example, employment, occupational and other advice services. Back to Duty

S6: Use a range of assessments to aid problem recognition and definition e.g. psychometric assessment, problem focused assessment and intervention planning assessment. Back to Duty

S7: Recognise patterns of symptoms of conditions such as anxiety disorders and depression and determine the patient need and level of ongoing risk to themselves and others. Back to Duty

S8: Work collaboratively with patients’ to provide patient-centred care and enable shared decision making. Back to Duty

S9: Recognise, respect and engage with people from a diverse demographic that includes personal, family, social and spiritual values held by communities served by the service. Back to Duty

S10: Recognise the limitations to your competence and role and direct people to resources appropriate to their needs, including step-up to high-intensity therapy and onward referral. Back to Duty

S11: Manage a caseload of patients with common mental health problems efficiently and safely. Back to Duty

S12: Build a therapeutic alliance with patients to manage emotional distress in sessions and understand patient’s perspectives. Back to Duty

S13: Collaboratively use behaviour change models to help identify patient goals and choice of low-intensity intervention. Back to Duty

S14: Effectively plan and deliver evidenced based low-intensity psychological treatments. For example, recommended treatments for problem solving, panic and sleep management and to review treatment plans continually. Back to Duty

S15: Use clinical skills supervision to assist the delivery of low-intensity interventions and case management supervision for individual case discussion and skills development Back to Duty

S16: Practice autonomously within your scope of practice and be responsible and accountable for safe, compassionate, patient-centred, evidence based practice. Back to Duty

S17: Work within your own practice boundaries and levels of competence. Back to Duty

S18: Work with patients who have consented and agreed to be treated. Back to Duty

S19: Establish and maintain appropriate professional and personal boundaries with patients. Back to Duty

S20: Communicate using a range of methods including face-to-face, telephone, presentations and electronic mediums. Back to Duty

S21: Support patients using medication to help them optimise medication use and minimise adverse effects in liaison with the patient’s GP. Back to Duty

S22: Work collaboratively with patients' to provide patient-centred care and enable shared decision making. Back to Duty

S23: Use clinical skills supervision to assist the delivery of low-intensity interventions and case management supervision for individual case discussion and skills development. Back to Duty

S24: Reflect on your practice, keeping your knowledge and skills updated and respond to appraisal/feedback appropriately. Back to Duty

S25: Respond professionally to supervisor feedback and implement feedback in a timely manner to ensure high quality patient care. Back to Duty

S26: Adhere to employers ethical local and national policies and procedures. Back to Duty

Behaviors

B1: You will treat people with dignity, respecting diversity, beliefs, culture, needs, values, privacy and preferences. Back to Duty

B2: You will show respect and empathy for those you will work with, have the courage to challenge areas of concern and work to evidence based best practice. Back to Duty

B3: You will be adaptable, reliable and consistent, demonstrate competence, resilience and responsibility. Back to Duty


Qualifications

English & Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Other mandatory qualifications

Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP)

Level: 6 (non-integrated degree)


Additional details


Regulated Standard

This is a Regulated occupation.

Regulator Body:

British Psychological Society (BPS)

British Psychological Society, Training provider must be approved by regulator body does not require approval by regulator body

Occupational Level:

6

Duration (months):

12

Review

This standard will be reviewed after three years.

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 6
Degree: non-degree qualification
Reference: ST0568
Version: 1
Date updated: 19/12/2019
Approved for delivery: 22 March 2019
Route: Health and science
Typical duration: 12 months
Maximum funding: £6000
Regulated Standard:
This is a regulated occupation
Regulator Body:British Psychological Society (BPS)
Trailblazer contact(s): ann.carter1@nhs.net
Employers involved in creating the standard: Avon & Wiltshire MH Trust, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust, ELFT, Essex Partnership Trust, MHM, Warrington Primary Care Psychological Service, Norfolk and Suffolk FT, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Oxfordshire Health NHS Trust, Salford, Sunderland Counselling.
EQA Provider: The British Psychological Society (TBC)
This EQA provider is currently going through the approval process with the Institute for Apprenticeships so is unable to help with any queries relating to this standard at the present time. If you need support in relation to any of the content on this page please contact the Institute for Apprenticeships.

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Version log

Version Date updated Change Previous version
1 19/12/2019 Updated structure Previous version
1 22/03/2019 Assessment plan first published

Not available

1 15/03/2019 Standard first published

Not available

1 12/03/2018 Initial creation

Not available