Postgraduate Certificate in Low Intensity Psychological Interventions (PWP) - Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners Training


The programme is designed to train PWPs to deliver competent guided self-help at Step 2 of the IAPT Stepped Care Model, for individuals experiencing common mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and panic. Trainees who complete the Postgraduate Certificate will hold posts as IAPT PWPs in their organisations and work in IAPT Services.

Programme Content

The PWP teaching programme is delivered within a competency-based framework and trainees will lean core competencies for the PWP role.

The design of the academic programme reflects the IAPT stepped care service context, in which trainees work during their training year. The Programme contains two core modules and is structured to follow the national PWP curriculum guidance (reviewed in 2014/15).

The overall aims of the programme are for students to have:-

  1. The skills, knowledge, values and competence in understanding behaviour change theory and how to use the COM-B model to inform low intensity assessments and interventions.
  2. The skills, knowledge, values and competence to effectively assess patients with common mental health problems
  3. The skills, knowledge, values and competence to deliver PWP evidence-based self-help interventions
  4. To effectively signpost patients to other services where appropriate.
  5. The skills, knowledge and values to work effectively with patients from a diverse range of backgrounds, understanding and respecting the impact of difference and diversity upon their lives and mental health
  6. The skills, knowledge and values to work within a diverse social, work and healthcare context
  7. Skills in managing personal learning agenda and associated self-care

Structure of the Programme

The Postgraduate Certificate is a full-time programme, consisting of 1 day per week attendance at University for teaching and 4 days per week working in the service employer.

The programme begins in October with a 1-week introductory teaching block where trainees are required to attend University for the full 5 days, consisting of academic teaching, grounding in clinical skills, awareness of the PWP model and programme acclimatisation. The main purpose of the introductory block is to prepare trainees for the Assessment Observed Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) that takes place before trainees commence their clinical work.

After the introductory block, trainees will attend University for teaching on a Friday.

The programme is comprised of two core modules, which are delivered according to the PWP National Curriculum; Module 1: Low Intensity Psychological Interventions for Mental Health and Module 2: Values, Diversity and Context. Delivery entails 30 days of face-to-face teaching and 15 days of practice-based learning.

Assessment is via Assessment and Treatment OSCE’s and accompanying Reflective Commentaries, a clinical Treatment tape of a client with a diversity need and accompanying Reflective Commentary, a Supervision Process Analysis and a final Practice Portfolio. Trainees clinical and organisational competency is also assessed though a report completed by their service supervisor at two points throughout the programme.

Criteria and how to apply

All places on the programme are tied to a trainee job in an IAPT service therefore in order to access training, applicants must apply for and secure a PWP trainee post within the NHS or specified Third Sector organisation. Such posts are advertised on the NHS jobs website. The University is unable to accept applications for the course directly.

Recruitment is carried out jointly by the IAPT services and the University course team, through a 2-stage interview selection process. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by the associated IAPT service and, if selected as a preferred candidate, will be invited to attend a University selection interview (including a role play and written task) to confirm a place on the programme. Recruitment takes place between April – August (approximately) prior to the Programme beginning in October.

The programme is of 1-year duration and attendance on the programme is a requirement of the trainee posts. Trainees need to pass the course to continue in employment. Further information and examples of person specifications/job descriptions can be found on the NHS health careers website.

The University criteria for eligibility for the IAPT programmes can be downloaded from the box on the right hand side.

All places on the course are funded therefore we do not accept self-funding applications.

Enquires can be directed to the IAPT Administrator at