Professor Fiona Patterson

Professor Fiona Patterson

  • Position: Founding Director
  • Qualification: BSc, MSc, PhD, CPsychol, FASS, FRCGP (Hon), FCMI

Personal Experience & Biography

Career in brief

Fiona Patterson is the Founding Director for Work Psychology Group, a research-led organisational psychology consulting, providing advice to public, private and charity sector organisations internationally. Fiona continues as a Visiting Professor to the University of London. Prior to this Fiona held academic posts at the University of Nottingham, the Institute of Work Psychology, University of Sheffield, and the University of Cambridge. Before her posts in academe, Fiona was Head of Organisational Psychology at The Boots Corporation Plc and an internal consultant psychologist at Ford Motor Company Limited (Global) in the corporate sector.

Areas of expertise and interest

Fiona is a leading expert in the field of assessment, selection and innovation in organisations. She publishes in the highest-ranking journals in psychology (e.g. Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology) and in Medicine (e.g. British Medical Journal, Medical Education). She is also co-author of the leading international textbook Work Psychology, now in its 8th edition Arnold, Coyne, Randall & Patterson, Work Psychology: Understanding Human Behaviour in the Workplace, 8th Edition, Pearson. Her current research interests include how best to design selection and assessment practices to address fairness, especially for those from BME and lower socio-economic backgrounds. This work includes new insights in the design of a range of selection tools and how best to construct selection systems to minimise adverse impact. Fiona is also researching best practice use of digital, AI and technology-augmented selection tools to optimise validity and fairness.

Professional accomplishments

In recognition of her work in the healthcare sector, she was appointed as honorary visiting Professor at the University of Nottingham Medical School in 2010. In 2012, for her work in selection and assessment, Fiona was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of General Practice, which is the highest award the College can bestow. In 2013, she won the international Association for the Study of Medical Education’s (ASME) Silver Quill award for the highest impact research publication in Medical Education. Also in 2013, she was the first woman to win the annual British Psychological Society’s Academic Contribution to Practice award. In 2014, alongside her collaborators she founded and now co-chairs the International Research Network for Researchers in Selection into Healthcare (INReSH | Medical Schools Council (medschools.ac.uk). Building on this work, Fiona was the lead Editor for a special issue of Advances in Health Science Education focusing on selection into healthcare published in 2016. In 2017, she won an International Women in Business award sponsored by HSBC. In 2018, she led the new international consensus statement on selection and recruitment hosted by the Association for Medical Education in Europe 2018 Ottawa consensus statement: Selection and recruitment to the healthcare professions: Medical Teacher: Vol 40, No 11 (tandfonline.com). Also in 2018, Fiona published an edited book presenting state-of-the-art research and practical case studies in selection for the healthcare professions Selection and Recruitment in the Healthcare Professions | SpringerLink. In 2020, for work in partnership with the General Medical Council (GMC), WPG were awarded a national prize from the UK Association of Business Psychology (ABP) for work in addressing equality and diversity issues in assessment practices. In 2022, Fiona and her team were awarded two ABP prizes for excellence in assessment and for promoting diversity and inclusion in the professions (medicine and the judiciary). In 2023, Fiona and her team were awarded an ABP award for work with the UK College of Policing in evaluating and addressing diversity issues in the recruitment and promotion exams in the police.

What Fiona can’t live without

A large pot of tea first thing in the morning and cuddles with my two little and very furry cats, Bubble & Squeak.

What Fiona would happily live without

Snakes…having had two very close encounters so far in my life (one in Thailand and the other in Australia), they are something I hope I never see again!