Consultant Clinical Psychologist (Operations) Ref. 2285

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Specialist Roles
Cheltenham (opportunities to work some hours flexibly from different locations and at home)
£57,570 - £69,018 plus concessionary payment of £2,771


As one of Britain’s intelligence agencies, we unlock the complex world of communications to make a real difference to the safety of the nation. We work closely with our partners in the intelligence community to safeguard Britain’s people, interests, and businesses from various threats. Think serious organised crime, such as people and drugs trafficking, or terrorism and cyber-attacks. It’s challenging and varied work that you won’t find anywhere else.

At GCHQ, diversity and inclusion are critical to our mission. To protect the UK, we need a truly diverse workforce that reflects the society we serve. This includes diversity in every sense of the word: those with different backgrounds, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, ways of thinking and those with disabilities or neurodiverse conditions. We therefore welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including those from groups that are under-represented in our workforce.

We have an excellent benefits package which includes 25 days holiday as standard (pro rata) increasing to 30 days after five years, various flexible working patterns and/or part time working options available generous pension contributions and parental leave, and three days volunteering leave.


The role involves working as part of a multidisciplinary team to provide consultancy in an operational setting against threats such as serious and organised crime and terrorism. Using your expertise in clinical psychology you will undertake complex analysis in situations of incomplete information and provide interpretations, formulations and risk assessments. You will provide peer-support mentoring and supervision to colleagues, where appropriate and you will manage your work in accordance with ethical guidelines. Consultations will require synthesising a broad range of information into reports which include clearly formulated risk assurance recommendations. 

Additionally, clinical advice and guidance will need to be provided on potential risk mitigation. Risk assurance opinions and risk mitigation will need to be communicated in written and verbal form. Work will be carried out with support and supervision and in collaboration with the multi-disciplinary team.

This is a demanding role that involves working in high pressure environments and may involve exposure to emotional and distressing situations. Your advice will be used to have a real impact and so a high level of competence and rigorous quality assurance processes are required.

Whilst the core role is specialist assessment, you will also require high level consultancy and training skills. Training is provided via a range of packages that are co-developed by all Psychologist trainers, reviewed and shaped in response to feedback and emerging research knowledge and best practice.

You will be competent working both as an integral part of psychologist and multidisciplinary teams, and autonomously as required. You will be able to provide mentoring, supervision and, consultation (where appropriate) to other practitioner psychologists/behavioural scientist and customer groups. You will also apply your extensive research and audit skills to contributing to quality improvement and practice-based research projects across the service and address research gaps.

You will work with multidisciplinary teams; the Heads of Psychology and Behavioural Science, and a variety of stakeholders, customers and customer groups so that you are very familiar with organisational objectives and how these drive the tasks of different areas, giving them insight into potential tensions between competing objectives across teams and how these might impact on individuals and groups.  This wider context will inform and shape their risk and recommendations.

You will ensure regular communication and engagement with the Head of Corporate Psychology/Consultant Psychologist Leads and other key stakeholders, identifying themes and issues arising that could benefit from psychological consultancy, and evaluating and adapting input in response to feedback and changing requirements.

 Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

•    Maintenance of Developed Vetting clearance
•    Working with multidisciplinary team to develop appropriate processes and services
•    Engagement with Head of Psychology/Behavioural Science to identify themes and issues arising of relevance
•    Consultation to customer teams
•    Direct clinical evaluations and recommendations
•    The development/review of psychologically informed training sessions, and facilitation and evaluation of the same.
•    Participation in and/or consultancy on personnel selection procedures
•    Translating evidence from research to continually improve the service and undertake small scale classified research projects to inform and develop best practice; provide recommendations to relevant stakeholders and help shape Service development
•    Engagement with the wider behavioural science cadre to ensure cross-fertilisation of ideas and skills
•    Active engagement in regular peer supervision and ethical practice reflection
•    Active engagement in CPD, to meet HCPC as well as local requirements
•    Potential Line Management (as required) of more junior/less experienced psychologists/ behavioural scientists
•    Participation in UK and International conferences including presentation/facilitation roles
•    Identification of broader Behavioural Science research requirements to inform and develop best practice across domains and provision of recommendations to relevant stakeholders to shape service development.


Qualifications & minimal requirements:
•    HCPC Registration
•    Honours Degree in Psychology or equivalent
•    D Clin Psych (or equivalent qualification) conferring eligibility for chartership with BPS
•    Significant experience of working at Principal Psychology Level (NHS Band 8b or equivalent) or Consultant Level (NHS Band 8c/8d).

Additionally, the post holder may bring specialist skills in one or more of the following areas:
•    Forensic mental health
•    Occupational assessment in complex organisations
•    Forensic risk assessment/risk management
•    Neuropsychological assessment
•    Behavioural disorders and addictions
•    Personality disorders
•    Organisational consultancy
•    Psychometric assessment
•    Working with military personnel
•    Group level behaviour interventions
•    Quality Improvement interventions
•    Service development
Personal qualities:
•    A keenness to work as part of a team, and yet confidence to work autonomously
•    A natural gravitas and credibility when presenting a psychological perspective to non-psychologists
•    A customer-focus; enhanced listening, empathy and written and verbal communication skills
•    A resilience for working under pressure and turning around assessments and advice within short time scales without sacrificing quality or professional rigour.
•    A commitment to evidence-based practice and psychological codes of conduct, alongside a pragmatism for delivering client solutions
•    Openness to adapting approaches to meets the needs of the service e.g. in light of new evidence
•    A commitment to developing and improving mechanisms and processes to ensure quality, evidence-base and evaluation of outcomes are embedded in the service
•    A commitment to questioning and critical appraisal of evidence and processes to continuously improve the service
•    A willingness and ability to consider occasional travel and be away from home for short periods of time
•    Energy, curiosity, emotional intelligence and excellent decision-making skills
•    A commitment to ongoing personal and professional development and a demonstrable strong commitment to ethical, evidence-based practice.

To be eligible to apply, you must be a British Citizen. One of your parents must be a British Citizen or must have the nationality or citizenship from our approved list of countries (for more info visit our website). If you hold dual nationality, of which one component is British, you will nonetheless be considered. (for more info visit our website). Candidates must normally have been resident in the UK for seven out of the last ten years. This is particularly important if you were born outside the UK. You can apply at the age of 17 years and 6 months, if successful you will not be offered a start date prior to your 18th birthday. Discretion is vital. You should not discuss your application, other than with your partner or a close family member. Please note, you should only launch your application from within the UK. If you are based overseas, you should wait until you visit the UK to launch an application. Applying from outside of the UK will impact on our ability to progress your application. Further information on our eligibility criteria can be found on the Applying section.


At GCHQ, we’re proud to offer an inclusive and supportive working environment that encourages open minds and attitudes. As an organisation that values and nurtures talent, we are committed to helping you fulfil your potential. You’re not expected to come to us with a wealth of knowledge or skills on day one.

Successful applicants will receive training and mentoring to support them in the role.


Be prepared to dedicate 60-90 minutes towards completing your application. We are conscious this might be more time than you expected, so our system will allow you to save your application at any time and come back to it later. But remember to submit your full application before the closing date.

If you meet the minimum eligibility and application sift criteria, the next steps of this selection process are:

•    CV Sift
•    Telephone interview
•    Panel interview/Assessment

The closing date for this role is the 21st June

Interviews will likely be held in August and September 2021. Further details of interview arrangements will be provided to those who successfully reach these stages.


As a Disability Confident employer, we will ensure that a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for this position will be offered an interview. This is known as the Offer of Interview (OOI). To secure an interview for this role, candidates applying under this scheme must meet the following minimum criteria:

•    HCPC Registration
•    Honours Degree in Psychology or equivalent
•    D Clin Psych (or equivalent qualification) conferring eligibility for chartership with BPS
•    Significant experience of working at Principal Psychology Level (NHS Band 8b or equivalent) or Consultant Level (NHS Band 8c/8d)
•    There will be an application sift; where you will be asked a series of questions relating to this vacancy where you will be required to meet the minimum set pass mark
•    On successful completion of an application form sift you will be invited to a telephone interview and then an Interview/Assessment.

If you successfully complete the required stages, and are successful at interview, you will receive a job offer conditional on you completing our developed vetting (DV) process, which enables you to obtain the level of security clearance required to undertake this role.

Please be aware that we withhold the right to bring forward the closing date for this role from the original closing date once a certain number of applications have been received. Please be mindful of this and submit your application at your earliest convenience to avoid disappointment.