Finding a Psychologist

Athletes with Intellectual Impairment

For some athletes to provide IQ and Adaptive Behaviour evidence, new assessments will need to be carried out by a professional psychologist who is registered with the HCPC.

Important: We strongly advise that you do not instruct a new psychologist or carry out new assessments without first getting guidance on whether or not new assessments are needed. 

Applicants can secure a psychologist in different ways

  • Speak to school or college services: If still in school or college, ask support services to carry out the assessment or make the referral.  In some areas this is made possible by the school or college embracing how the individuals sport is enabling their personal development.
  • Engage a Private Psychologist:  You can search for a local practitioner who carries out the assessments from the Virtus approved list. Use internet searches, or use the search function on the British Psychological Society website. The fees for engaging a private psychologist can be £350 upwards. You can check if a psychologist meets recognised professional standards on the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC) website.
  • ‘Access to Psychology’ scheme: Speak to SportExcel UK about a referral and ask for a referral form. (See below)
  • Speak to your NGB or Home Country Disability Organisation: The NGB may already have a psychologist they work with, or if in Scotland, speak to Scottish Disability Sport.

Access to Psychology Scheme

SportExcel UK launched an access scheme to help reduce the barriers to engaging a psychologist.  This is managed in collaboration with the British Paralympic Association.

Psychologists who wish to support athletes as they progress in sport, have registered their interest. Subject to availability, they will carry out assessments for a reduced fee.

The scheme is in its infancy, so we do not yet have psychologists across the whole of the UK. Appointments are subject to a psychologists availability and are not guaranteed.

If you are interested in a referral to the Access Scheme, contact

Process – How to make a request for a psychologist appointment (October 2022) Updated March 23

Flow Chart – Access to Psychologist Appointment System – Flow chart (SPORTEXCEL-BPA) Oct 2022 Updated March 23

Find out more about the evidence needed, and download the guidance notes here.

Are you a Psychologist and want to support the Access Scheme?

If you are an educational or clinical psychologist registered with the HCPC, and wish to find out how you can support athletes with intellectual impairment through the Access Scheme, please contact SportExcel UK.

Your support could make all the difference! Your expertise will enable our talented British athletes across the UK to excel in national and international sport!

Read more about our earlier recruitment drive and roles.