The Division of Occupational Psychology

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DOP at ECP23

Occupational Psychology: Engaging Employees and Organisations to Build a Safe and Sustainable World

Our day-long nested event offers a varied programme of talks and interactive sessions around the theme: engaging employees and organisations to build a safe and sustainable world.  This presents an opportunity for us as psychologists to reflect critically, examine assumptions and consider how we can apply our science to meet the challenges we currently face, and those which will confront us in the future.


The sessions will also be of interest to public policy decision makers and practitioners specializing in Human Resources and other related fields.

In addition to invited speakers and interactive sessions, the programme includes a symposium, and sessions with short oral papers about wellbeing at work, performance at work and leadership.


The event on 5 July will be convened by Dr Andrew Clements.

Wednesday 5 July 2023


Keynote title: “SARChl Chair Creation of Decent Work and Sustainable Livelihood”

Convenor: Dr Andrew Clements
Format: Keynote

Speaker: Professor Ines Meyer

Speaker Bio

Ines offers an idea that may be provocative to occupational psychologists, namely that human needs should be prioritised over economic needs. This keynote challenges us to question our assumptions about the nature and future of work. By attending this keynote psychologists can be better placed to contribute to the critical debates taking place now, and in the future.



Since the 1990s economic growth has been the chosen path to inclusive prosperity in South Africa, and greater participation in the labour market is seen as key to socioeconomic upliftment. Implicitly, what seems to count primarily is that employment is created, not as much what this employment looks like.


To date, this strategy has shown limited success: Poverty in South Africa has increased between 2011 and 2016, and directly affects over half the population. Poverty is not restricted to the unemployed. Low-income earners also get trapped in poverty cycles when have to rely on loans to cover basic needs or unexpected expenses.


An increase in labour participation rates without at least equal focus on what the created employment looks like can thus result in less sustainable livelihoods. Such employment would not qualify as decent as decent work is characterised by respect for human dignity, the securing of an adequate livelihood and supporting individuals and their families to fully develop their capacities and talents.


This suggests the need for a shift – or at least more nuance – in how we see the link between work, income and inclusive prosperity. This is what the Research Chair seeks to contribute towards.


The initial five-year research programme is embedded in the broader area of developing innovative ways in which to see work, the purpose of work, and the role of work, employers and employees in society. The programme is grounded in Sen’s (1999) proposition that prosperity is the degree to which individuals perceive to have choice about various aspects of their lives.


What makes the research novel is the assumption that, first, it is insufficient to determine wage levels based on economic factors alone without considering psychological variables; second, that a wage level allowing for a decent life, i.e. a living wage, can be empirically determined via these psychological variables; and third, that paying such living wages benefits individuals, organisations, and communities.

Keynote title: “The consequences of precarity: Understanding poverty as a stressor”

Convenor: Dr Andrew Clements
Format: Keynote

Speaker: Professor Eva Selenko

Speaker Bio

Eva will discuss poverty as a major life stressor, and methods of addressing poverty.  This will be of interest to occupational psychologists because the work that individuals attain (or its absence) shapes the resources available to them. This keynote will offer opportunities to think about the role organisations have in employees’ quality of life, and support psychologists in being better advocates for employees.



Money worries consistently rank among the top stressors in adult life across the globe, according to representative national surveys and the cost-of-living crisis only exacerbated these. People under financial strain eat less well, live less comfortably, often have worse jobs and are exposed to more hassles. Still, poverty is often seen as an individual issue, occasionally blamed on individual characteristics or choices.


This talk will argue that poverty is a major stressor in peoples’ lives, embedded in a social context, with pervasive effects on psychological functioning. Given the centrality of money in people’s lives, any financial deterioration will arguably trigger a host of negative consequences in a domino-like fashion. This talk will present a wealth of empirical research evidence from across applied psychology on the health damaging, as well as the behavioural and attitudinal consequences of poverty and income loss. Extrapolating from this and embedded in an understanding of poverty as a stressor, the talk will then explore strategies that could help people out of poverty and critically examine those that likely don’t. In sum, this talk aims to make the case that in order to understand people’s capacities, it is essential to pay attention to the financial strain people are under. By highlighting the individual, organisational and societal risks of poverty and income loss, this keynote hopes to provide much needed psychological arguments as to why mitigating financial strain and poverty should be at the forefront of the political agenda.


Invited Programme: “A journey into the H-WORK Project: Raising the bar in promoting mental health in the workplace”

Convenor: Dr Andrew Clements
Format: Invited Symposium

Participants: Marco DeAngelis & Professor Luca Pietrantoni


The EU-funded H2020 project H-WORK aims to promote mental health in the workplace, focusing on SMEs and public workplaces. The symposium will provide a valuable forum for sharing the project’s findings and outcomes and will present a logical progression of contributions, from the theoretical foundations of the project to concrete results and recommendations.  



Marco DeAngelis, Assistant Professor, University of Bologna,

Professor Luca Pietrantoni, Professor of Work and Organisational Psychology, University of Bologna

Find out more about the Symposium

Oral paper sessions

G1       Performance at Work

            Session Chair: Dr Noreen Tehrani

G2       Wellbeing at Work

            Session Chair: Ms Karen Walsh

G3       Leadership, engagement, and motivation

            Session Chair: Ms Christine Hamilton

G4       Wellbeing at Work

            Session Chair: Dr Andrew Clements

Interactive Sessions

'Occupational Psychology's contribution to addressing the climate crisis'

Title: “Tackling the Climate Crisis – What can occupational psychologists do with organisations to support, encourage and enable climate action?”

Convenor: Dr Jan Maskell

Format: Interactive session

Dr Jan Maskell, DOP representative on the BPS Climate and Environmental Action Coordinating Group

In this short interactive session, Jan will:

  • Explain the urgency of action needed and the current contribution of organisations to climate change
  • Facilitate conversations which will apply the 5 Areas of Occupational Psychology and consideration of potential climate actions by Occupational Psychologists
  • Share examples, e.g, from practice
  • Encourage participants to commit to personal actions, and actions in their organisations and workplaces, to tackle the climate crisis

Title: “How to get published”

Convenor: Professor Pirashanthie Vivekananda-Schmidt
Format: Interactive session

Professor Pirashanthie Vivekananda-Schmidt, Psychology Editor of the DOP’s new peer-reviewed title, Occupational Psychology Outlook (OPO)


Whether you identify as a practitioner or an academic (or both) DOP invites you to consider publishing your work, thereby contributing to our understanding of occupational psychology as both science and practice.

Using OPO as its focus, this session will be of particular interest to new as well as established authors and covers how to take your idea for a paper from initial conceptualization, through development and writing up, and submission to a peer-reviewed publication.  It covers common pitfalls and how to avoid them, along with tips for improving your submissions. 


Title: “Action Learning Session”

Convenor: Karen Walsh, DOP Committee
Format: Interactive session


Action learning, pioneered by physicist and Olympic athlete Reg Revans, provides the space to reflect on complex problems in a small group which meets every 6–8 weeks. The group, bringing a range of perspectives, offers challenge and support.


This short interactive session creates an opportunity for you to find out more about action learning and see for yourself how it could support your practice and development both personally and professionally.


Title: “Occupational Psychology professional practice issues”

Convenor: Noreen Tehrani, DOP Deputy Chair
Format: Townhall session

This session focuses on issues in professional practice. The townhall will start with discussion of safeguarding and supervision, both of which are important for safe and effective practice in occupational psychology. 


Delegates are also encouraged to bring their own practice topics to the discussion, as well.



Safeguarding of at-risk and vulnerable people is everyone’s business, and safeguarding issues can arise in many different settings.  The level of knowledge and skill you require will vary depending on the nature of your work, however, all Occupational Psychologists need to be suitably equipped so that they can respond appropriately as part of meeting the Standards of Proficiency (HCPC).



Supervision helps you to meet the requirements for your registration, enabling you as an autonomous professional to reflect, review and develop your practice, extend and enhance your learning, and also maintain your own wellbeing.


By taking part in the townhall, participants will:

  • Reflect on two key practice topics – supervision and safeguarding.
  • Have an opportunity to raise and discuss practice matters they consider important.
  • Meet and hear from others about the practice topics that interest them.
  • Share ideas about support and solutions for practice issues, e.g., for CPD purposes.
  • Help inform DOP’s understanding of member needs in relation to professional practice.

Social Events

Join our choir for 30 minutes

Wednesday 1.30pm – 2pm in the Brighton Centre foyer


Arrangements are being made for an a cappella choir session with the help of a choral director.

We all have music in us, and this session will be open to all registered delegates.

So, whatever your level of experience or skill, come along and join in. This promises to be an enjoyable way to find out if singing could be good for your wellbeing and if taking part in choirs can help you build new relationships quickly and develop useful workplace skills, e.g. for collaboration!


DOP Member event

Following the close of the nested programme at 6pm, there will be a DOP Member networking event at a venue nearby starting at 6.30. This is open to all DOP members.