Responsibilities of Psychology and Psychological Therapy Managers


therapy leadershipThis article has the purpose of covering the responsibilities of psychology management dealing with multi-professional therapy managers along with clinical directors. It covers what is involved with professional management and service management. It highlights the responsibility for advising and managing any therapy profession in specific areas that general managers might not have expertise. There will be clarification on the therapy managers specific responsibilities of the service where it might be unclear.

Involves All Aspects of the Therapy managing Team

This particular type of service management will involve all the aspects of managing which includes the following:

  • Any strategic direction for the service of the therapy managers
  • Responsible for operational policies
  • They will be involved in the clinical governance of the service provided by therapy managers
  • Responsible for the workload allocations
  • Supervise the staff in relation to the work they do within the therapy management service

Professional Therapy Management Ensures Professional Standards are Followed

When it comes to professional management it is a service that ensures that the professional standards of therapy managers are always improving and the quality of their work is at a high level. This includes:

  • The appointment of staff that is skilled, competent, and highly professional
  • Making sure that there is professional clinical governance and that the standards are met and there is always improvement in the quality of the service
  • Ensures that there is always profession specific supervision regarding clinical therapy
  • Make sure that there will be continued professional development

Hiring, Appraisal, & Discipline Issues

Therapy managers will have the responsibility to appraise, handle discipline issues as well as the hiring of qualified therapy supervisors for therapy supervision. They often use the term “line management” when it comes to the responsibilities of hiring and firing. Often there will be a little vagueness when it comes to this service and the therapy manager and whether or not they have the responsibility of firing and hiring of supervisors and often this is a responsibility that’s shared.

Different Understandings of Service Management Responsibilities

Since there can be different views and understandings of the service management responsibilities it can be helpful to start with specific responsibilities for all parties involved. When it comes to the difference in responsibilities of team managers and psychology therapy managers in relationship to the therapists working on a multi-professional team often it is suggested that it’s best that the professional manager is in charge of the line management issues to make things less complicated.

What Job Descriptions Should Include

When it comes to the job descriptions for therapy managers, it should be posted that the professional manager and not the service manager will be responsible for the line management. This will help to cut down on any confusion. However, the exact wording will very often vary depending on the overall balance of the responsibilities required at the time of the job posting. An example would be if the therapy manager who takes on the line management responsibility for a therapist that might be working on a couple of different teams, the job posting should list the responsibilities of the relationship of the line management that’s arranged for both of the teams.

Job Differences Between Service Manager & Therapy Manager

Service/Team Manager

Recruitment – They contribute to agreeing and writing job descriptions, recruitment procedures and the overall selection of the candidates.

Induction – Is the lead for induction by the agreement that’s between the service/team managers and the psychology manager, with contributions from the other. Whether the therapist is going to work full-time on a team then the service/team manager will generally be the one responsible for the induction. The psychologist will most often work on more than one team and the psychology manager is usually responsible.

Work Allocation – Service/team manager will be responsible for the allocation of work that’s within the service or the team.

Standards/Quality Monitoring/Clinical Governance – Is responsible for the monitoring and ensuring the work of the psychologist stays within the standards and policies of the service or team.

IPR/Appraisal – This is where the psychologist is on a team full-time and the team/service manager and the psychology manager will work together to carry out their annual Appraisal/IPR. When the psychologist works on more than one team, the psychology manager will lead the annual Appraisal/IPR and will ensure that the relevant service/team managers will agree and contribute to the IPR objectives.

CPD and Training – They will contribute to the setting of CPD goals that is part of the IPR process along with the facilitation and scheduling of CPD.

Annual Leave Monitoring – This is a key responsibility of the service/team manager to agree on an annual leave. They need to ensure that there is absence monitoring and reporting through an agreement between the team/service manager and the psychology manager. When a psychologist works on a team full-time, the team/service manager usually is responsible for the leave arrangements. If the psychologist works on more than one team, it’s the psychology manager that will be responsible.

Disciplinary Actions – The service/team manager will ensure that matters that could require disciplinary procedures be brought to the attention of psychology managers. This liaises with the psychology manager going forward with discipline procedures when they relate to the actual performance of the therapist on the team.

Psychology/Therapy Manager

Recruitment – They take the lead in recruiting and ensuring that the service/team manager agrees with the job therapy supervisiondescription and the procedures for selecting candidates.

Work Allocation – Here they will advise the team/service manager on the parameters of the appropriate type of work/roles are for the psychologist that’s on the team.

Standards/Quality Monitoring/Clinical Governance – They can be responsible for the standards, clinical governance, and quality monitoring of any specialist that works on the team and that’s within the clinical governance of the arrangements for the team.

CPD and Training – They will be responsible for agreeing with annual CPD plans.  Make sure to ensure that the psychologist undertakes the agreed CPD including their involvement of the service/team when dealing with scheduling of CPD and setting the goals for CPD.

Disciplinary Actions – Will be responsible for any disciplinary procedures that may be needed. Along with any involvement of the team/service manager when needed.

In principle, these responsibilities can be explained further in the job descriptions that they might post. Most of the time, however, the summary of the line management and the reporting of arrangements of the teams should be good enough.

Learning Outcomes of RAPPS

Understanding and Application

  1. Need to make sure to have knowledge of the context of outcomes. This should include legal, ethical, and professional. This should be where the supervision is given and there should be an understanding of the overall responsibility.
  2. Should have an understanding of how important modeling of the professional role is. This includes the management boundaries, time protection, accountability, and confidentiality.
  3. Make sure there is knowledge about the developmental models of actual learning. Also should know how it might have an impact on the supervision process.
  4. One needs to know a number of different supervision frameworks that can be used for better managing and understand the supervision process.
  5. There needs to be an understanding of how important it is to have a safe environment when trying to facilitate learning and the different factors that can affect the development of any supervisory relationships.
  6. Those involved need to have the experience and the skills in knowing how to develop and maintain supervisory relationships.
  7. There is a need to have some knowledge of the structure of all supervised professional experiences. This should include the assessment procedures of different levels of qualifications. Also, the changing expectations of the role of supervisors.
  8. Skills and experience are needed in negotiating and contracting with the therapists being supervised.
  9. Must have an understanding of the transferability of skills into the supervision process and if there are differences and similarities.
  10. Need to understand the process of failure, assessment, skills, and experience when evaluating therapists.
  11. There is a need for experience and skills when it comes to the art of criticism that is constructive, critical feedback when needed, and on-going feedback that is positive.
  12. Knowledge of different methods in order to obtain information and to be able to give all types of feedback. This can include:
    • Self-reporting
    • Audio recordings
    • Video recordings
    • Colleague reports
    • Client reports
  1. Need to be experienced and have the skills in using a variety of different approaches and methods.
  2. Should be knowledgeable about different ethical issues regarding supervision. They also should understand how this can affect the supervision process which includes differentials.
  3. Must be able to understand the different issues there may be revolving around diversity and differences in supervision.
  4. Need to be aware of the continual development of supervision skills and a need for any further reflections or supervision training.
  5. There needs to be knowledge of different processes and techniques in the evaluation of supervision that includes feedback.

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