Psychology Careers

The role of the Psychologist in the SPS is both diverse and dynamic. Whilst there are a range of core tasks that underpin the role, the nature of the work and those we work with are such that very rarely are any two days the same. There are three specific Psychology roles within the service: Forensic Psychologist in Training; Psychology Manager; and Head of Psychology.


Forensic Psychologist in Training

This is the entry-level for newly qualified psychologists. In this role you learn the ‘ropes’ of what it is to be a Forensic Psychologist in a prison. Working as part of a team, you will provide support to your Head of Psychology by carrying out a range of tasks that, over time, will include:


  • Conducting and supporting the selection process for our suite of offending behaviour programmes;
  • Delivering and, when appropriate, supervising these programmes;
  • Assisting others with the standard processes that exist for risk assessment. Over time, to conduct risk assessments as required and commissioned by the local Risk Management Team;
  • Representing psychology at various multi-disciplinary meetings;
  • Contributing to local projects as directed by the Head of Psychology. Where necessary, contributions to National objectives may also be warranted.

The SPS is committed to supporting trainees pursue the route to independent practitioner status, whether via Registration, e.g. by completing the Postgraduate Diploma in Forensic Psychology at Cardiff Metropolitan University, or Chartership (Stage 2 of the Qualification in Forensic Psychology). Trainees are able to choose the route they want to pursue, and funding is provided, upon successful completion of their probationary year.


Psychology Manager

The role of the Psychology Manager includes retaining involvement in many of the core tasks of a prison psychologist, but comes with greater responsibility, including line managing one or more Forensic Psychologists in Training. Working as a Psychology Manager is not dependent on having achieved independent practitioner status, although significant progress on either route is required.


Head of Psychology

The Head of Psychology is responsible for the management and delivery of psychological services within a particular establishment. In addition, the post holder is responsible for providing supervision to trainees within their team who are pursuing Registration or Chartership.


If you share our Values and you would like a career which allows you to make a positive impact on the lives of Scotland’s citizens, visit our Current Vacancies page to view our current vacancies and to register for job alerts.