British Psychological Society (BPS)

The Society and its members develop, promote and apply psychology for the public good. They enhance the efficiency and usefulness of psychologists by setting high standards of professional education and knowledge. They cover all areas of psychological research and practice.

Results

  • 7,800 learners in the first year v a target of 1,000
  • Learners spent an average of 53 minutes in each module v a target of 40 minutes
  • 91% learners rated the course overall as good or excellent
 
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The client

As part of Fulfilling and Rewarding Lives strategy, the Department of Health asked the BPS to develop a series of online learning modules aimed at raising awareness of adult autism among psychologists. The BPS wanted to reach a very wide and diverse audience; they wanted to modules to deliver more than just knowledge, changing people’s attitudes and behaviour towards those with autism. Ultimately they wanted to help psychologists and front line staff understand how to adapt the way they work and communicate.

"Not only has taking part in this course raised individual awareness of autism, but it has also impacted on the wider provision of autism training, being recommended and taken up in Health Authorities and schools.”

Peter Bannister, BPS President

The brief

The introduction of the Autism Act (2009) led to the development of a strategy, Fulfilling and Rewarding Lives, which was aimed at increasing the awareness and understanding of autism across public services and the public.

As part of this the Department of Health commissioned the BPS to develop a series of online learning modules aimed at raising awareness of adult autism among psychologists. The BPS wanted to reach a very wide and diverse audience; they wanted to modules to deliver more than just knowledge, changing people’s attitudes and behaviour towards those with autism. Ultimately they wanted to help psychologists and front line staff understand how to adapt the way they work and communicate.

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Our solution

"5 star course! Comprehensive knowledge of autism provided, with a user-friendly website and plenty of interactive tasks to keep you absorbed!”

BPS learner

We developed 3 modules - building awareness, supporting adults with autism and working with adults with autism. We worked with two Chartered members of the BPS to develop the content and were supported by a review group. The modules were designed to practice what they preach, being autism friendly in design and content; this was tested by adults autism as well as the practitioners. Learners could follow the suggested route through each module or jump to a specific topic.

Technical requirements were also taken into account with the modules designed to work on older browsers and in reduced bandwidth environments.

"The scenarios where I was asked to put myself ‘in the shoes’ of someone with autism or their carer were particularly helpful.”

BPS learner

"I am now more aware of autism and how it affects people’s lives and ultimately I will be more aware of the way I communicate with these individuals.”

BPS learner

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