Education and Training

In line with one of its key aims, the BAP provides a broad range of education and training for health care professionals and researchers. This is provided in various formats to cater for needs and learning styles.

Education aimed at health care providers

BAP clinical educational material is primarily aimed at providing continuing professional development (CPD) for psychiatrists, including trainees. However the material is also relevant for General Practitioners (especially those with a special interest in mental health), Mental Health Pharmacists and nurses and pharmacists with prescribing responsibilities.

The centre piece of BAP Clinical education is the Masterclasses. The relationship between these are the other educational meetings and material is shown in the figure below.

Relationships between educational components

If you prefer face to face teaching, then the Masterclasses provide an update on a broad range of subjects with the option of registering for one to three days on the course run twice a year in London. In addition to didactic lectures there are extensive opportunities for questions during a number of panel discussion sessions. For those looking for highly specialised teaching with even more opportunity for discussion in small groups, there are a range of Clinical Certificate modules to choose from. BAP face to face educational events are extremely popular and almost always sell out well ahead of time. A new BAP initiative is the introduction of an ‘Applied Clinical Science Stream’ to the Association’s annual scientific conference. This is designed to provide a mixture of CPD and the science around the management of mental illness, focusing on topical issues.

For those after an easy to use and cost effective means of staying up to date there is the BAP Online CPD Resource. This provides the most systematic and comprehensive coverage of psychopharmacology of any of the BAP’s educational initiatives. For people who prefer a more traditional medium there is the prize winning textbook ‘Fundamentals in Clinical Psychopharmacology’ now in its fourth edition. This is particularly aimed at supporting the development of a solid pharmacological basis to prescribing. As such it can act as a foundation for all of the other clinical educational options.

BAP guidelines provide readable summaries of the current evidence base and succinct recommendations for clinical practice. Whenever possible, on the production/revision of a guideline, BAP organises a BAP Guideline Meeting to review the new document and discuss how this relates to other BAP and NICE guidelines, a great way of keeping on top of changing recommendations for clinical practice.

Education aimed at researchers

The cornerstone of training for non-clinical psychopharmacologists is the Certificate. This provides training in a range of topics as well as providing career advice. It is particularly appropriate for PhD students but also Research Associations and Post-doctoral researchers, particularly if switching research area. BAP also runs a specific in vivo Training Initiative in response to concerns around dwindling expertise in animal behavioural pharmacology and related research. This is complemented by the InVivoStat Statistical Analysis course designed for all pre-clinical researchers.