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Title: The effects of changing regulatory competency assessment on the professional identity of UK regulated psychologists : a Foucauldian analysis
Author: Hanna, Bridget
ISNI:       0000 0004 5989 7369
Awarding Body: Glasgow Caledonian University
Current Institution: Glasgow Caledonian University
Date of Award: 2016
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The regulation of professionals has been promoted as protecting the public from incompetent practice. This research evidences that regulatory processes themselves have unintended effects through professional identity that undermine this aim. This thesis, submitted as part of a Professional Doctorate, is based around two key journal articles and a set of chapters which form an overarching framework to support them. 2 Utilising a Foucauldian theory-as-method approach, the research examines identity constructions of 21 UK Practitioner Psychologists. Archaeological excavation provides a regulatory backdrop. Critical discourse analysis is used to examine competency assessment and its effects on the production of subjectivities through governmentality. Documentary analysis examines the enactment of complaints and incompetence within the regulatory framework. This multi› methodological approach demonstrates that subjectivity effects emerge not only from the competencies themselves but also from the procedures and organisations in which they are enacted. Previous research suggests that both regulation and assessment have the ability to shape the subjectivities of professionals. This research demonstrates that when regulatory processes become mandatory but are inconsistent with professional beliefs, professional identity is conflicted. The concept of instrumental regulation is created and introduced to explain this form of subjectivity effect. There is a backwash effect of regulatory assessment on professional identity. Competences themselves are not neutral and act to shape professional practice and identity in unintended ways. Indeed, this form of assessment may actively hinder proft:ssional practice. This research has implications for those involved in regulation, the organisations which employ them and finally, for professionals and the professions themselves. Policy makers and regulators should ensure that regulatory processes and procedures support regulatory aims. Organisations need to mitigate their unacknowledged responsibility in the creation of competence and incompetence. Professionals need to understand how regulatory change and assessment could work to create different conceptualisations of their profession. Potential spaces for action are identified to mitigate unintended consequences and offer future possibilities for the creation of professional identities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Prof.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available