Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Applications of CBT for Psychosis & Bipolar Disorder - Topup CBT Training

About the Programme

This specialist programme, alongside the Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive & Behaviour Therapies: CBT for Psychosis & Bipolar Disorder (CBTp) pathway, was originally commissioned by NHS England (NHSE) to help support the new targets for Early Intervention (EI) Services to provide NICE concordant Psychological Interventions to people with psychosis & bipolar disorder. We are now able to offer this training to practitioners working with people with psychosis and bipolar disorder across all secondary services.

This part time CBTp Top-up training, which runs over one academic year, is validated by the University of Manchester and is aimed at CBT practitioners who can demonstrate competency in CBT for affective disorders and wish to develop their CBT skills for psychosis & bipolar disorder.

Teaching is on one day per week over one academic year made up of four x 15 credit Units (2 taught and 2 supervised practice). Course content is based on Roth & Pilling’s (2013) competency framework for psychosis and bipolar disorder and Roth & Pilling’s (2015) curriculum for psychological interventions for people with psychosis or bipolar disorder.

Places for the course are allocated by NHSE following an annual scoping exercise with services. Once confirmation has been received from NHSE we will be in a position to circulate application forms to service managers. The start date of the course will be October, and is likely to be a blended programme, combining online provision with some sessions on site. 


Programme Aims

The formal aims of the programme are as follows:

To provide high quality training in the basic skills relevant to cognitive and behavioural therapies for students aiming to work with clients with the disorders relevant to their programme. It aims to do this by presenting the relevant theoretical bases of the therapies alongside research evidence of their effectiveness. It endeavours to enable students to develop an understanding of the links between research in the relevant areas of psychological science and practical applications of these therapies.

To provide training consistent with all key governmental objectives, including training in ‘evidence-based practice’ and the provision of ‘lifelong learning’. As the postgraduate certificate are post-qualification programmes, suitable for health, mental health and social care professionals with suitable knowledge and experience, the programme aims to develop and extend professional competence in all relevant professions.

To be consistent with the National Department of Health priorities for mental health. To create a pool of suitably qualified graduates, trained to standards meeting with the provision of services as specified by the National Service Framework for Mental Health (National Health Service Executive). The National Service Framework promotes the training of staff in Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies and the need for the increased provision of evidence-based psychotherapy to service users. This programme supports the various national ‘Improving Access to Psychological Therapies’ programmes which aim significantly to increase the number of people in the workforces delivering evidence based psychological therapies.

To provide practical support, guidance and supervision in the practice of therapies delivered to clients with disorders relevant to the programme, and to help programme participants to develop the clinical skills necessary for working with their client group.

To ensure that all graduates of the programme meet recognised minimum clinical competence in working using CBT with clients with the relevant disorders.

To equip participants with the knowledge necessary to go on to develop skills in the application of cognitive behavioural theory and therapy to a broader range of clinical presentations

To provide high quality training in the application of CBT to psychosis and bipolar disorder.

To enable students to develop competencies consistent with the competencies framework for psychological interventions with people with psychosis & bipolar disorder developed by Roth & Pilling (2013)

Who Can Apply

Priority will be given to staff working within EI Services, however applications from staff outside EI Services (public sector services which specialise in working with service users with psychosis & bipolar disorder), who have the support from their manager/clinical lead are welcomed.


Participants will be predominantly qualified members of the main mental health professions (Clinical Psychologists, Psychiatric Nurses, Psychiatrists, Mental Health Social Workers, Occupational Therapists in Mental Health, Accredited Counsellors). Please consult the following link for a list of all health, Mental health and social care professions currently accepted by BABCP as a recognised core profession, which will be accepted as entry criteria: Core Professions (


Applicants without one of these recognised core professions will be considered for eligibility via the Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes (KSA) framework based on that developed by the BABCP.  The KSA requirements for this training programme will be sent out to applicants.  An example of KSA requirements can be found on the BABCP website Knowledge Skills and Attitudes (

Training Component

The training component is in the form of lectures, workshops and supervision of clinical practice. Attendance is weekly, on one day per week over the academic year, with 26 teaching days (there are likely to be additional days for supervision only). After the initial two full teaching days, subsequent days will be comprised of weekly supervision in the morning and a weekly skills workshop in the afternoon (Tuesday). These workshops will include those delivered by local, regional and national leaders in the field of CBT for psychosis and bipolar disorder.

Workshops include theoretical and skills development components, combining academic presentations, demonstrations and experiential exercises, and training days include weekly intensive small group video based training supervision delivered by highly experienced BABCP accredited CBTp practitioners

How to Apply

If you are interested in this programme, please liaise with your service manager/clinical lead, who should be aware of the allocation of funding for places available in your service and be able to facilitate access to application forms.

Applications are opened following the outcome of the NHSE scoping exercise with the recruitment process usually occurring between July and September.

For any staff member wishing to apply, please ensure that you have the support of your manager to attend One training of day plus the provision of a minimum of 2 additional days per week for CBT practice with Secondary Service clients presenting with psychosis or bipolar disorder, and that they have signed the declaration before submitting your application.

Contact Us

If you have any queries regarding this course not covered in the information detailed in any of the sections above or in the FAQ section of this website, please email:  In the Subject Line please ensure you put the full title of the course to enable us to forward it to the appropriate programme team.  We will not be able to forward or respond to any emails received without this.

We are happy to answer questions related to the course itself, but unfortunately are unable to provide any general career advice.


As a patient

As a service user, relative or carer using our services, sometimes you may need to turn to someone for help, advice, and support. 

Find resources for carers and service users  Contact the Trust