DOP Awards 2009
Practitioner of the Year
Dr Anna Koczwara
GP Appraisal Skills research project won top prize at the annual Division of Occupational Psychology award ceremony and the title of Occupational Psychology Practitioner of the Year for winner Dr Anna Koczwara.
The research, conducted by Dr Koczwara, originally arose from the findings of the Shipman Enquiry. Dr Koczwara’s outstanding work has directly led to helping practising GPs develop skills to appraise their colleagues more effectively. Doctors, as a result of the research, feel sufficiently confident and competent to take on the appraiser role when conducting the annual peer review process for relicensing practising doctors.
Dr Koczwara, of the Work Psychology Group, designed and implemented a development centre process using psychometric feedback to support doctors. The work, included information on interpersonal awareness, senses of self, bespoke simulation, written portfolio and reflection exercises. The use of trained actors and observers helped further develop the practice of appraiser skills.
"The process will ultimately have a positive impact upon patient safety, as doctors reflect upon performance and developmental needs. Ongoing validation work has shown that participants have gained confidence in appraisee impact awareness and of running appraisals effectively, and that learning has been transferred into the workplace," said the awards judging panel, from the Division of Occupational Psychology, British Psychological Society (BPS).
Development - Dr Anna Koczwara
In addition to Practitioner of the Year, the research also won the category prize for Development. Double award winner Dr Koczwara said: "I am really encouraged by this award. I believe the project has actively supported GPs and at the same time shown the benefits of Occupational Psychology in a critical context."
The Division of Occupational Psychology, part of the British Psychological Society, also awarded a special lifetime achievement prize and three other awards in the Health & Well-being, Assessment and Organisational Change categories to nominees.
Organisational Change - Hayley Lewis
The award for Organisational Change went to Hayley Lewis, of the London Borough of Croydon, whose Leadership Academy project was set up to develop leadership talent and sustained community engagement in the Borough. The programme, driven by the need to deliver services more efficiently and innovatively, was developed with the ethos that leadership talent can exist anywhere in the organisation. It has led to the creation of four stream leadership roles: experienced leader; managerial leader; team leader; and potential leader. Places on the scheme are competitive and delegates continually embed their developing leadership skills by working on real-life business projects. These projects are now becoming part of the Council’s expanding work programme, which is already having an impact on the community.
Assessment - Stuart Duff
In the Assessment category, Stuart Duff for Pearn Kandola Business Psychologists became an award winner for research in global recruitment for Total; the world’s third largest oil and gas exploration business. The work involved recruiting for upstream exploration, exploitation and transportation activities. These activities let to the creation of a number of major challenges, including consistency of global recruitment practices, validity of assessment processes, reducing costs of recruitment and, importantly, managing the impact of a highly diverse multi-cultural applicant group.
In the course of their work, Pearn Kandola introduced new, cultural specific assessment solutions in countries such as Nigeria, and used expertise and research in cross-cultural psychology to create a bespoke range of tools that are now used to screen and assess global engineers. The project has resulted in a significant reduction in the costs of recruitment, through improved screening and interviews and shortening advertising to placement times.
Health & Well-Being - Chris Rawlinson
Health & Well-being award winner, Chris Rawlinson of Assessment & Development Consultants Ltd, achieved success through his research work on ‘Maximising Your Potential’ development programme for the Learning & Skills Council (LSC). The programme was set up to help LSC employees feel resilient, supported and energised in the face of major change as LSC is phased out in April 2010. The programme comprised three workshop modules, following an initial consultation, a research and analysis phase and a pilot phase. Since the launch in May, more than 1,000 employees have found the positive psychology programme helped in developing employees’ positive views about their own well-being and career development.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Division of Occupational Psychology’s (DOP) special Lifetime Achievement Award, which was won by past Chair, Sylvia Downs. The distinguished and much coveted award was set up to recognise long-term contributions to Occupational Psychology. Sylvia Downs, as the second female DOP Chairperson of the Division, has charted a pioneering trail of achievements, from the initial setting up of the British Psychological Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology to starting her own publishing company with her husband and grandson.
Sylvia’s long and distinguished career included working with the Institutes of Child Health & Education, the Industrial Training Research Unit in Cambridge and the setting up of her own research unit on behalf of the Manpower Services Commission at the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology. Sylvia has also been involved in working with the Devon County Council Equality and Diversity Group, where contributions in self-assessment and competence were made. Sylvia has also been Visiting Professor at Queen’s University Belfast, the Open College of New Zealand and City University Business School.
As one of the first women researchers and leaders, Sylvia continues to be a truly inspirational role model. Ironically, lifetime achievement award winner Sylvia Downs’s professional career may have taken a somewhat different path had she not accidentally fallen into psychology. For such a quirk of fate, we have a lot to thank Sylvia for.
An article on Sylvia Downs appeared in the June 2010 edition of The Psychologist.