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How to apply

The application process

Depending on the role you’re applying for, the application process can take up to 5 months to complete, from starting your application to your first day on the job.

How long it takes depends on how quickly we can arrange an assessment date and how long your pre-employment checks take.

However, it can take longer depending on the availability of roles, and you may be placed on a merit list until a position becomes available.

Applying for a qualified psychologist role

For a qualified psychologist role, you’ll need to submit an application online, including a statement of suitability and your current CV.

As well as providing some personal details, you’ll be asked some eligibility questions such as your nationality and right to work in the UK, and will also need to answer a number of questions related to the position you’ll be working in.

If you pass this stage, you’ll be invited to an interview.

Applying for a trainee psychologist role

Applications for trainee forensic psychologist roles usually open once a year.

You’ll need to submit application online, which should take no more than 20 minutes to complete, and include your qualification certificates.

As well as providing some personal details, you’ll be asked some eligibility questions such as your nationality and right to work in the UK.

The application process will include:

  • an online situational judgement test
  • a behaviour based assessment
  • an online assessment centre

Progression through this process will depend on your performance at each individual stage.

Applying for a non-forensic trainee psychologist role

From time to time, we recruit trainee psychologists for non-forensic roles. For these roles you will need the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) and the relevant Master’s qualification to enter the supervised practice stage of your training. Each psychology discipline has a slightly different training route. For example, a counselling psychologist might complete a doctorate.

If you live outside the UK, you’ll need to demonstrate that you’re meeting the necessary standards with the British Psychological Society to enrol on to a stage 2 training route.

Complete your pre-employment checks

If your application is successful and there’s a role available, we’ll start your pre-employment checks. These will include security, identity and past employment checks..

If there isn’t a role available you’ll be put on a merit list for up to 12 months, if there are no roles available after 12 months, you’ll need to re-apply.

Before you start as a qualified psychologist, you’ll need to provide proof of your Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration. You’ll need to reapply if you’re unable to provide this within 3 months of getting a provisional offer.

Find your HMPPS psychologist job

Want to be part of a team that helps offenders lead better lives? Our psychologists are people just like you.

Search jobs and apply

If there are no current vacancies at the sites you’d be interested in working at, you can register your interest (opens in a new tab) and we’ll let you know when positions become available.