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Atrium Prison Counselling Service (APCS) Honorary Practitioner/Trainee Recruitment and Induction Guidance.

Atrium Prison Counselling Service (APCS) Honorary Practitioner/Trainee Recruitment and Induction Guidance

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The Atrium Prison Counselling Service (APCS) is contracted by NHS Healthcare Trusts to provide Brief Term Solutions Focused Counselling to inmates, within Forensic Prison settings.

In each of our operational sites the Atrium Prison Counselling Service (APCS), offers a Trainee placement for honorary practitioner Counsellors, Psychotherapists and Counselling Psychologists. To be eligible for the placement Trainees need to meet specific training requirements.

Trainee Requirements
  • A minimum of 150 hours of evidenced clinical experience
  • To be currently studying Counselling, Psychotherapy, Counselling Psychology at one of BACP, UKCP or BPS accredited Training Courses (see list below)
  • To be a registered student member of either BACP, UKCP or BPS
  • To have a current DBS
  • To have their own Personal Indemnity Insurance
  • To have previous experience or a proven interest in working in Forensic and/or Institutionalised settings
  • Proven experience and understanding of managing risk
  • Excellent organisational and administrative skills
  • Ability to work well alone and as part of a remote team
  • Resilience and flexibility
  • To have no previous criminal history
  • Ability to commit to a minimum 2-year placement period
Placement Offer
  • 1 day per week at one of the APCS prison sites (8.15am to 5pm)
  • To work with a maximum of 3 clients per week (Assessment and ongoing 121 sessions)
  • To work with appropriate level of risk and complexity as a Trainee (No High Risk, Complex or High-Profile
  • Clients. Including but not limited to Clients on an open ACCT, 1st Time in prison, and on remand/convicted on a Murder charge)
  • To only assess clients who have already been paper triaged by the Senior APCS member of the team
  • To work alongside experienced qualified Atrium Therapists
  • To work as part of Multi Agency/Disciplinary Mental Health Teams
  • Specialist induction and ongoing training
  • Specialist Individual Supervision (Remotely 1.5 hrs per fortnight)
  • Monthly 1hr Placement review meeting with Placement Manager, to focus on development of theory into practice and placement learning outcome progress
  • Completion of placement contracts and reports in partnership with APCS Placement Manager/Clinical Supervisor
  • Ability to meet ‘Mental Health Familiarisation’ as part of placement
  • Opportunity to work in prison setting
  • Opportunity to work within NHS
  • Optional FastTrack to paid APCS contract role post qualification
Recruitment Process

Recruitment campaigns for Trainee Honorary Practitioner roles for APCS is carried out by the Placement Manager. This includes:

  • Advertising the role on Indeed and on placement boards within Training Institutes
  • Keeping a record of all applicants and applicant decisions
  • Providing weekly recruitment campaign updates to APCS Clinical Director and Clinical Lead
  • CV sifting and notifying unsuccessful applicants that they have not been successful in their application
  • Setting up and completing initial phone interviews
  • Notifying the APCS Clinical Lead of applicant details and CVs, who have been successful at phone interview and put forward for 2nd stage in person interview with the APCS Clinical Lead
  • At the end of recruitment campaign submit all recruitment records to the Atrium Head of Admin to be stored centrally
Induction Process

Successful applicants who are offered a placement by the APCS Clinical Lead will be required to complete the APCS vetting and security process before being able to start their induction. Please refer to the ‘APCS Vetting Process document’ for guidance.

Trainee Inductions should follow the same process as the induction for Qualified APCS, with the following additional requirements:

  • Qualified APCS staff who are inducting Trainees should always hold in mind the level of experience of
  • Trainees, and that the priority focus for trainees is learning practice. This means that there is a greater need for patience, best practice modelling and explanations of not only how but why we work in the way we do.
  • Trainee inductions may take longer than inductions for qualified staff.
  • Trainees will learn predominantly through observation and shadowing. They will need to sit in on a minimum of 3 assessments before being asked to undertake their own observed assessments.
  • Feedback during inductions will be especially important for Trainees as part of their learning. Qualified APCS staff who are inducting Trainees should always hold in mind how, when and where they feedback to Trainees.
  • Guidance on delivering effective and appropriate feedback to Trainees can be provided by the APCS Clinical Supervisor.
BACP, UKCP or BPS accredited Training Courses
Created by: Becky Hall Clinical Supervisor and Placement Manager Reviewed by: Becky Hall Clinical Supervisor and Placement Manager
Date Created: 17/03/22 Date last reviewed: 09/08/22
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