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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
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Would you like to become a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner?

Would you like to become a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP)? Would you be interested in developing your clinical competency in the low intensity cognitive behavioural therapy clinical method? If so then read on as the Postgraduate / Graduate Certificate in Low Intensity Psychological Interventions may be for you.

The Postgraduate / Graduate Certificate in Low Intensity Psychological Interventions (PGCert) is the professional training route for Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWP) and is a nationally designed qualification. The training focuses on the effective delivery of low intensity interventions as part of the ‘talking therapies’ development plan for the NHS. The PWP role therefore supports the Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) agenda.
The main aim of the PGCert is to enable workers to develop recognised competencies including core skills and values for inclusive practice with diverse populations.  In addition to generic therapeutic skills it will train workers in a range of low intensity cognitive-behavioural interventions, delivered via a guided self-help approach, to help people recover from common mental health problems.
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The PGCert is a Collaborative Programme run by the Birmingham and Black Country Training Consortium comprising Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust and the UoB. It is delivered by academically qualified and highly experienced clinicians, academically validated by the University of Birmingham (UoB) and is professionally accredited by the British Psychological Society’s (BPS) Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner Accreditation Committee (PWPAC).

The PGCert runs for one calendar year and consists of 27 teaching days, 18 directed learning days, and several other days attendance for assessments. It is assessed via examinations, assignments and observed practice on the programme and in the workplace. The programme team and clinical supervisors are closely involved in assessment of skills.  The three modules are:


Engagement and assessment of patients with common mental health problems


Evidence based low intensity treatment for common mental health disorders


Values, diversity and context

All PWP trainees are employed during their training by NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services. In the Midlands these are currently Birmingham Healthy Minds, Burton Wellbeing Team, Coventry and Warwickshire Solihull IAPT Service, Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, Walsall Talking Therapies, Birmingham Health Exchange, Healthy Minds Stoke on Trent, Kaleidoscope Plus Group, Let’s Talk Hereford, Let’s Talk Together NHS Foundation Trust, Our Roots, Pattigift Therapy, Shropshire IAPT, Chase Emotional Wellbeing Service, Telford and Wrekin IAPT, Walsall Talking Therapies, Wellbeing Matters Tamworth, Wolverhampton Healthy Minds, Women’s Consortium, Worcestershire Healthy Minds Service] services on a one year, at the moment Health Education England supports the training fees. 

Trainee Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner Job Description

Trainee Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner Job Specification

Hello there

As you can see from our webpage we run a clinical training programme for Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWPs). These are front-line staff that can be found in NHS primary care services throughout the UK. If you’ve ever received support with a common mental health problem (like low mood or worry) then you might have worked with a PWP.

We teach all sorts of different types of skills to people we train – but we can only do that from our own perspective as health professionals. To make sure our trainees are as good as they can be, we need help from people like you to offer advice, guidance, and insight. Your involvement would be a real bonus. 

Would you be interested in getting involved?

By getting involved, you could help us find and recruit the trainees with the best people skills and understanding and this would also give you a great insight into the NHS recruitment process. Alongside this there will also be opportunities to develop your confidence through involvement at our teaching days, chatting with the trainees and giving them real-world ideas about the effect their work has on people. The programme also hosts regular meetings throughout the year and you would get the opportunity to shape the way the programme is taught, run, and assessed. 

What are the options?

There are there three main areas you could get involved in, and it is up to you which interests you most and you’d like to be involved in. 

1. Selecting Trainees 

Each year, the team runs a selection day where we assess potential trainees to see whether they would be suitable for the course. As you would expect, we assess their academic abilities but also their people skills and it is here that your help could be invaluable. We do this by inviting potential trainees to take part in a group discussion which is observed by the Programme Lead and a member of the public who has received help in the past.

2. Teaching

We would value your input on teaching days to support trainees to develop their people skills. The kind of things that this might include could be observing trainee role plays and offering your comments on what you thought of their performance. This gives the trainees an opportunity to think about the service they provide from the perspective of people who have received services. 

Naturally you would only be asked to do what you feel comfortable with. So it would be up to you how much or how little you would like to be involved with, we would always aim to be flexible and work with you to accommodate your needs.

3. Meetings 

Twice a year the Programme runs meetings for people involved with the course, like employers and supervisors. It’s a great chance for the team to gain feedback from people involved in regards to teaching, assessments and placements. We would really value your feedback as someone with lived experience of services. Your contributions will be taken into account to improve the quality of the training we provide. 


Payments are made at a level appropriate to your circumstances and as a minimum would always cover any expenses for your involvement with the programme, such as transport.

Getting in touch 

If you’d like any further information please email us at bsmhft.pgcertlipi@nhs.net and we will send you a ‘Request to Contribute’ form to complete and return to us. On receipt of your completed for we plan to arrange meetings with people in July and if you would still like to be involved then you will be invited to an induction session in August. 

Annual selection time frame

  • Closing date for nomination forms is Monday 24 May 2021

  • Closing date for applications is Monday 7 June 2021

  • The applicants' day is either Monday 21 June 2021 or Tuesday 22 June 2021 - all candidates must be available to attend one of these days

  • The course runs from October 2021 - October 2022

The study routes on this Programme are:

  • Postgraduate Certificate (M level 7)


You will require a degree in a relevant subject or equivalent, for example, a registered nurse or allied health professional.

  • Graduate Certificate Route (H level 6)

If you do not have a degree you may study at H level and you will require at least 2 advanced level GCEs or equivalent, such as a BTEC, (GNVQ or NVQ at levels 3 or 4).

For those applicants whose first language is not English, or for those whose first degree was not taught in English, the minimum requirements for TOEFL/IELTS are: 100 for internet-based TOEFL with no less than 23 in any band, 600 for paper-based TOEFL (TWE4) or 7.0 for IELTS with no less than 6.5 in any band.


Clinical Experience Required

You will also need a minimum of 12 months of direct clinical experience of working with people who have common mental health problems; this may be one-to-one or in a group setting.


3 years part-time voluntary experience with an established charity (such as MIND, Samaritans) offering interventions to people experiencing common mental health issues.

Our programme of continuing professional development (CPD) has been running since 2014 and was originally aimed at providing further learning opportunities for Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners qualifying from our professional training programme. However given its popularity, and in line with the Five Year Forward View (2014), we have broadened this programme to include topics of wider appeal such as, Motivational Interviewing, Personality Disorder, Tree of Life, Compassion Focussed Therapy. Our CPD training programme is open to all.

Download the latest Continuing Professional Development Workshops leaflet

Alison Dundas is the Senior Clinical Educator for the Post Graduate Certificate in Low Intensity Psychological Interventions; the professional training route for IAPT Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners.Over the years she has amassed a wealth of clinical experiences based on a range of occupational opportunities including Adult Mental Health Services (both Primary and Secondary). Alison is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

Alison Dundas
Alison Dundas

Maria Ferrins-Brown is Consultant Counselling Psychologist and Programme Lead for the Post Graduate Certificate in Low Intensity Psychological Interventions and its associated continuing professional development (CPD) training programme. Maria has considerable knowledge and expertise, both from her professional training and extensive clinical experience gained working in Primary Care and IAPT services.  She is HCPC registered. 

Maria Ferrins-Brown
Maria Ferrins-Brown

Amanda Gatherer is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Chief Psychologist at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust. Amanda has extensive experience of working in mental health both in primary and secondary / specialist care. As the former Regional Clinical Advisor to IAPT in the West Midlands and the current Course Director to the Midlands PWP training programme, she is well aware of the challenges of delivering IAPT services effectively and safely.
Amanda Gatherer
Amanda Gatherer

Kerry Hendley is Senior Programme Coordinator for the Post Graduate Certificate in Low Intensity Psychological Interventions and has been with the Programme since its inception in 2008.  Kerry brings to this role extensive experience having previously worked in the private sector as a Secretary to the Area Director and Managing Director of a national house builder, before joining an IAPT service working as a Personal Assistant to  IAPT Service Managers.

Kerry Hendley
Kerry Hendley

Nisajida Nazreen joined the Post Graduate Certificate in Low Intensity Psychological Intervention training programme as a Clinical Educator in 2013. Her role involves teaching as well as supporting trainees as a personal tutor. She has a wealth of clinical experience, having worked clinically in different mental health services including an Older Adult CMHT, Early Intervention service, as well as an IAPT service. Nisajida is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Nisajadi Nazreen
Nisajida Nazreen

Cassandra Sawdon-Smith is a Clinical Educator for the Post Graduate Certificate in Low Intensity Psychological Interventions. She currently works part time as a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner, maintaining an active caseload of patients with mild-to-moderate anxiety and depression. She has previously worked in the Somerset County Council Youth Offending Team and Children’s Social Care. She originally graduated in 2015 from University of Exeter’s new Applied Psychology (Clinical) programme as part of its first cohort.

Cassandra Sawdon-Smith
Cassandra Sawdon-Smith

Sam Molyneux is a Clinical Educator for the Postgraduate Certificate in Low Intensity Psychological Interventions. Completing his Integrative Masters in Psychology and Psychological Practice in 2016, he brings years of accumulated experience in IAPT, inpatient mental health and learning disability settings. He continues to work for a local IAPT service as a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner alongside his teaching and tutoring of trainees on the course.

Sam M
Sam Molyneux

Stefanie Rubbert completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology with associated Health Studies at the University of Worcester in 2006. Following this she completed a Masters in Applied Psychology. Over the years she has worked in various different posts, including Learning Disabilities and Adult Mental Health Services. In 2014 Stefanie completed her Post Graduate Certificate in Low Intensity Psychological Interventions. Stefanie has also completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Children and Young People’s IAPT. Stefanie currently works as a Clinical Educator and programme tutor on the Midlands Post Graduate Certificate in Low Intensity Psychological Interventions training programme in collaboration with the University of Birmingham.

Stefanie Rubbert
Stefanie Rubbert

Amy Southgate is a Clinical Educator for the Postgraduate Certificate in Low Intensity Psychological Interventions. She graduated from the University of Exeter’s Applied Psychology (Clinical) course in 2016 as a qualified Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner. She then went onto study her Masters in Psychological Research Methods. Amy has worked as a PWP in Somerset, South Yorkshire and Birmingham. Alongside her role as Clinical Educator, she also works as a researcher within the psychological therapy field. 

Amy Southgate
Amy Southgate

If you would like further information on the PGCert PWP training programme please call 0121 301 1272 or email the team at bsmhft.pgcertlipi@nhs.net  

Other useful information can be found via the links below: