DOP Awards 2010
Practitioner of the Year
A culture change programme designed to transition middle managers in the Traffic Officer Service from a supervisory to management role, building a demonstrable culture of co-operation, reflection, learning and performance management has won the UK’s top prize for occupational psychology.
The British Psychological Society (BPS), Division of Occupational Psychology (DOP), awarded occupational psychologist Ingrid Hickman its coveted 2010 Practitioner of the Year Award for her vital part in the design and evaluation of the programme, which was developed to ensure that the Traffic Officer Service adopts managerial approaches that support its officers to safely and efficiently provide vital 24-7 services to drivers on England’s motorway network.
The programme, Building Operational Capability, innovatively combined Stake’s Responsive Evaluation model and diary studies more usually employed to advance academic research, resulting in a discourse which enabled attitudinal and behavioural change to take place at an accelerated pace, according to the panel of judges. Evidence of the organisational benefits of the programme were clearly demonstrated, an essential criteria in times when every penny spent on development must count.
"I am delighted to receive this award, which is a recognition by the profession of the value and real change that this programme has delivered for people in the workplace," said award winner Ingrid Hickman.
Recognition of Excellence Award
The judges also gave a ‘Recognition Of Excellence’ Award to occupational psychologist Dawn Johansen, who developed a graded selection scheme for recruiting soldiers to the British army. With over 10,000 recruited soldiers per year, and up to 2,000 a month attending selection centres, the requirement was to design a method of grading candidates during selection of Army personnel.
Previous research was used to develop a model of success which identified four key elements: commitment; effort; suitability; and ability. Noting that selection relied on assessments of ability (‘can do’) the Individual Development and Selection Tool (IDST) was designed to measure attitudinal (‘will do’) aspects. The results obtained on the IDST are combined with the objective test data to produce scores on the elements of the model and the overall score is then used to allocate places in training with those with the highest scores being offered training places first.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Professor Gerry Randell
Professor Gerry Randell, Emeritus Professor of the University of Bradford, has taken the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in this year’s Division of Occupational Psychology Annual Awards scheme.
Professor Randell has been Emeritus professor of the University of Bradford since retiring from the Chair of Organisational Behaviour at the Bradford Management Centre in 1997. His long and successful career has many highlights, among them editorship of the International Review of Applied Psychology, President of the 20th International Congress of Applied Psychology in Edinburgh in 1982, and adviser to the governments of Algeria and Singapore on the teaching and application of psychology within their universities. In addition, his book ‘Staff Appraisal: A first Step To Effective Leadership’ has been through four editions and translated into Spanish.
Academic Contribution to Practice
Dr Kamal Birdi
Dr Kamal Birdi, Senior Lecturer in Occupational Psychology and Director of the MSc in Occupational Psychology at the Institute of Work Psychology, University of Sheffield, has won the 2010 Academic Contribution to Practice Award, being given this year for the first time.
Dr Kamal Birdi has been based at the Institute of Work Psychology in Sheffield since 1991 and registered as a chartered occupational psychologist since 1999. Over the last 19 years he has focused on conducting in-depth research in two key areas, workplace learning and creativity/innovation, and has striven to translate research findings into better practice for organisations, policy makers and the public.
During work on his PhD, focused on assessing and identifying the factors influencing training and development effectiveness, Dr Birdi developed a new training evaluation framework called the Taxonomy of Training and Development Outcomes (TOTADO), aimed at improving evaluation practice. Since 2000, Kamal has been using TOTADO as a means of helping practitioners develop their evaluation strategies.
The new Academic Contribution to Practice Award has been established to recognise and reward what DOP regards as ‘significant influence by an academic researcher to applied practice’.
Professor Jo Silvester
Keynote speaker Professor Jo Silvester, Professor of Occupational Psychology at City University and Director for the Centre for Performance at Work, focused on ’The Psychology of Politicians at Work’ and drew on her recent research with the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties to redesign selection processes for prospective Parliamentary candidates. "There are no job descriptions or performance standards in politics. There is also no clear understanding of what is meant by an effective politician. I am asking why politicians are so different from other types of workers and exploring whether practices more commonly used to improve employee performance might also be usefully applied to politics," she said. Professor Silvester drew on fresh evidence from the 2005 and 2010 general elections suggesting that individual differences predict electoral outcome.