Liam Healy & Associates

chartered occupational psychologists

What Does an Occupational Psychologist Do?

The services of occupational psychologists are in increasing demand. The expertise of a Chartered Occupational Psychologist lies in identifying and realising the full potential of people. Chartered Occupational Psychologists are concerned with the performance of people at work and in training, with developing an understanding of how organisations function and how individuals and groups behave at work.

Organisations are deeply concerned about the need to recruit, retain and realise the potential of their human resources on which success depends. Occupational psychologists are the best qualified group to advise on human resource strategies and solutions.

No listing of the fields of occupational psychology is ever perfect or complete, as any area where psychology can contribute to the understanding and assistance of human beings at work (and increasingly on the borderlines before and after work, and between work and leisure) may raise the need for investigation, or may find an application for some advance in the wider field of psychology.

Members of the BPS Division of Occupational Psychology are required to establish their competence in several areas.

  • identifying abilities and developing potential - through using tests and job-relevant exercises at selection, and in career counselling.
  • motivating people - in designing payment and reward systems, and advising on health and safety issues.
  • assessing performance both on and off the job - in designing appraisal systems, advising on stress management.
  • helping people and organisations adapt to change - advising on how to change attitudes and behaviours to improve customer service.
  • designing effective organisations - advising on the best type of management systems, identifying effective human resources strategies, and designing jobs to fit peoples' skills.

The modern route to qualify as a Chartered Occupational Psychologist involves having a first degree in Psychology, then a Masters degree, followed by intensive assessed practical training under the supervision of an existing Chartered Occupational Psychologist. Chartered Occupational Psychologists are also required to maintain active Continuing Professional Development activities.

Any unqualified or unregulated individual can offer career guidance services under the title of 'work', 'organisational', 'career' or 'business' psychologist. However, the title 'Occupational Psychologist' is protected in law and only those who have reached the qualification threshold for registration with the HPC, and hold current HPC Registration are allowed to use it and offer Occupational Psychology services to the public.