Staff Grade (Grade II) Clinical or Counselling Psychologist - Irish Prison Service

Job Title: Staff Grade (Grade II) Clinical or Counselling Psychologist - Irish Prison Service
Contract Type: Temporary
Location: Ireland
Salary: Competitive
Job Published: October 18, 2021 14:23

Job Description

Locum Staff Grade (Grade II) Clinical or Counselling Psychologist required for split post.  This exciting and unique opportunity will involve working three days each week in the National Violence Reduction Unit, Portlaoise, Co. Laois (Location 1) and a further two days each week at another prison base of their choice (Location 2).  Location and set days to be agreed between the successful applicant and the Principal Psychologist / Head of Service.

Available options for Location 2 include:



  • East (Dublin)
  1. Mountjoy
  2. Arbour Hill
  3. Wheatfield
  4. Cloverhill Remand Prison
  • Midlands
  1. Midlands
  2. Portlaoise
  • West
  1. Castlerea
  • South West
  1. Limerick
  2. Cork

The National Violence Reduction Unit (NVRU) is in operation since 2018. It is based in the Midlands Prison, but operates separately as a National Unit.

It is a co-led unit, jointly managed by an Assistant Governor (Operational Lead) and Senior Psychologist (Clinical Lead). The NVRU was established in order to provide an enhanced, psychologically informed service to those people in custody who are typically experiencing high levels of psychological / mental distress and who display high levels of violence in particular circumstances. The men who are accommodated on the NVRU present with some of the most complex and challenging forensic and clinical needs within the prison estate, and require an eclectic and intensive degree of psychological assessment, support and intervention.

A key feature of the NVRU is the significantly enhanced role of the Psychology Service in the day to day management of the Unit. The NVRU is psychologically informed on multiple levels: the physical environment, staff selection and training, provision of reflective space for the team (supervision), the centrality of relational security, as well as the provision of psychological assessment and intervention to clients residing on the unit.

The appointed Grade II Psychologist will support the ongoing development and running of the NVRU.  All people in custody suitable for referral to the NVRU undergo a comprehensive four-month long period of assessment, completed by the Senior Psychologist and the multi-disciplinary team (MDT). Those selected to the NVRU will have a Care and Management Plan (CMP) developed on the basis of this assessment phase. The Grade II Psychologist will be responsible for the delivery of bespoke, multi-modal evidence based psychological interventions as recommended in each individuals CMPs.  They will provide a specialist contribution to the multi-disciplinary CMP for each person in the NVRU, ensuring that recommendations and interventions are linked to the person’s psychological formulation. The Psychologist Grade II will also be involved in the supervision and support of operational staff, and support the development of a culture within the NVRU that supports a joint operational / psychological approach to working with the most complex people in the Irish prison estate.

The Grade II Psychologist will receive supervision, support and line management by the Senior Psychologist for the NVRU. An administrative office, consulting rooms and fully networked computer facilities, the Psychology Service’s online case tracking system, email and access to specialist computer programmes are available in the NVRU.

The Psychologist working on the NVRU have significant opportunities to engage in CPD. Mentalisation Based Therapy approaches are a key feature of the Unit, both in terms of psychological intervention and systemically. The Psychologist will also have an opportunity to engage in assessment and intervention in separate areas of the prison estate in order to ensure a balanced experience of psychological assessment, formulation and treatment.

Essential qualifications and competencies

Candidates must:

(a) Be eligible for graduate membership of the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) or the British Psychological Society (BPS).


(b) (i) Hold a postgraduate professional qualification in Clinical Psychology recognised by PSI. (Applicants with qualifications obtained outside of Ireland must obtain a statement of equivalence in Clinical Psychology from the Department of Health);


(b) (ii) Hold a postgraduate professional qualification in Counselling Psychology recognised by PSI. (Applicants with qualifications obtained outside of Ireland must obtain a statement of equivalence in Counselling Psychology from the Department of Health)

(Potential applicants who are considering relocating to Ireland and may have queries or concerns relating to the current Irish validation process should feel free to contact the IPS Psychology Service through CPL Healthcare to discuss and seek support on the process).

In addition to the above, the following are desirable but not essential requirements:

  • Experience in addressing emotional, mental health and / or offence-related difficulties with a forensic or inpatient population
  • Experience of providing consultation, education, guidance and support to multidisciplinary colleagues.
  • Further therapeutic or research qualifications

For further information, please contact Brian Murray on +353 1 482 5421 / +353 872226752 or email