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Trainee representation at the DECP

When the opportunity arose to be a trainee representative for the Division of Educational and Child Psychology (DECP) I jumped at the chance. I was excited to represent the voice of trainees and perhaps even influence the profession on behalf of trainees.

What TEP Reps do

Fast forward two years and I am now the third year representative that sits on the DECP Committee. This means that a few times a year I travel down to London and sit on the committee. I still feel like I’m amongst celebrities when walking into the BPS offices – my A-level self would be impressed, my past A-level students would be shaking their heads at how terribly unsubtle I am!

Alongside these meetings, I also meet with other trainees who make up our Trainee EP Associate Group (TEPAG). Our TEP rep group is separate from the main committee and is made up of representatives from each university. As well as the meetings, we keep in regular contact via Facebook and have ongoing discussions. Hopefully as a trainee if you are reading this you will be aware of who your reps are and how you can contact them. From these meetings and our ongoing communication, I then feedback the ideas generated to the main committee, along with Sarah Chestnutt, our year two rep.

An example of a few things that our TEP reps have been involved in over the past few years are;

  • Supporting the running and organisation of the annual TEP conference
  • Attending the psychology 4 graduates event
  • Publishing reviews of the conference in the DECP debate
  • Creating TEPNET (a trainee version of EPNET)
  • Establishing our annual ‘a day in the life’ TEP event – where trainee’s present on live cases they are working on in practice

‘A Day in the Life’

The ‘Day in the Life’ event was created last year specifically for trainees and we have just run our second. We felt that it would be beneficial for trainees to have an event based on real life practice. The feedback from the event has been fantastic with trainees stating that it was reassuring to hear that others were facing similar challenges in their daily practice, but also inspiring to gain ideas, resources and models of psychology to use in practice. I think that at times as trainees we feel that we need to be fully formed psychologists already, ready to take on the world of education and for me, it’s important to remind myself that I am still learning and it’s ok to be unsure and seek support as this is how I will learn. I hope that this is what the event instills in others, that we are all still learning but achieving something new and making progress each day.

The day has many trainees showcasing what they have achieved so far and I find it inspiring to be entering into a profession with so many talented, creative and reflective practitioners. We are now hoping to expand this yearly event in order to hold it in a few different locations! So please keep your eyes peeled for this, whether you’d be interested in attending or presenting.

Growing representation

My role on the committee has given me another insight into the profession and has helped me to learn much about the wider context within which we work. Most importantly for me though, I value the opportunity that I’ve been given to work alongside other trainees. It can be difficult as a trainee with so many competing commitments and I am thankful for the trainees who continue to give up their time and represent the voice of their fellow trainees. I also value the space the DECP committee has created to listen to the voices of trainees and supporting us to put our ideas in to practice.

I hope that over the next few years the TEP rep group can continue to grow, represent the voice of trainees and be an established presence amongst trainees across the country. The committee recruit each year for a new year 2 rep, so if you are interested in joining and sitting on the committee then be sure to be on the lookout for advertisements during the summer term. We are also still missing reps from a couple of Universities and would love to hear from you if you would like to join us in our TEPAG group.

If you do have any questions about being a trainee member of the DECP or our TEP group please do not hesitate to get in touch!


About Chloë Bissell

Chloë Bissell is a third year student at the University of Bristol. Her thesis is focused upon the experiences of girls with autism attending a mainstream secondary school. Chloë is currently the third year trainee representative on the DECP Committee.

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One Comment so far:

  1. Linzi Barlow says:

    Hi Chloe!

    I’m a second year at the university of sheffield, and am aware that there is no current TEP rep from my university. How do I state my interest in becoming TEP rep with the DECP?

    Kind regards

    Linzi Barlow

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