Not many people outside the field may know what these letters refer to, but those who have studied or are studying psychology will no doubt recognize the acronym for Resident Internal Psychologist: PIR.

In Spain, l a PIR competition is an examination or test that gives access to a period of training and work carried out during four years in which psychology professionals can obtain the qualification of Specialist in Clinical Psychology, which gives access to the public network of mental health care. This, together with the Master’s Degree in General Health Psychology, is the only legal access to the practice of Clinical Psychology, and the only one that allows for practice at the hospital level.

The complications of studying the IRP

Obtaining a place within the PIR formation is tremendously complicated . There are very few places and a very high level of demand. Specifically, this last year a total of 128 vacancies were offered throughout the country and a total of 4,173 people applied (the increase in the number of vacancies being very much in demand by the majority of professionals in the sector).

The competition is fierce. This forces those who apply to make a great effort to obtain the best possible score in the exam, for which a large part of them choose either to buy the materials or to take courses in order to prepare for the exam, in different academies. In this article we will review the 10 best academies to prepare the PIR .

Top 10 academies to prepare for the PIR competition

Below you will find a selection of the best academies for preparing PIR competitions in Spain.

1. ECSL Academy

ECSL is one of the most recognized academies in terms of preparation for the IRP competitions. It offers the option of acquiring only the manuals or of taking a training course at the academy, both in person and by distance learning (with a diploma certifying the hours taken).

With regard to classroom training there are different courses and timetables depending on the town (in Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Valencia, Malaga, Valladolid, Murcia and Granada). It includes very complete manuals that provide a great deal of information (including the exams of previous years), the carrying out of various simulations and information regarding the process of convocation and what it means to carry out the IRP.

2. Estrella Munilla PIR Academy

Together with CEDE, another of the most recognized academies, especially for its notes and outlines together with its support to the student during the course.

Dedicated only to the preparation of the PIR, it has both distance training, in which the evolution of the students is monitored, and classroom training (in Madrid, Seville, Valencia, Zaragoza, Alicante and Albacete) in which they usually take one or two classes a week (in the case of Madrid) with the exception of the intensive courses. Like the previous one, it offers simulations, and it is not necessary to acquire the syllabus to take the course .

3. FOCO Academy

This academy located in Santiago de Compostela and currently also in Madrid is also widely known. It offers both classroom-based courses (with weekly classes) and semi-classroom-based courses (once a month) in which the aim is to promote an active methodology.

Review summaries are available, but it is intended that the study be conducted through the original manuals. There is also an online mode .

4. PERSEVER Academy

This academy based in Barcelona is another option available when preparing the IRP, with great success. It offers a face-to-face mode with one class per week or distance learning. They do not produce their own manuals, but the classes are based on the reference manuals, although these are not included in the price. Two monthly simulations are carried out and they offer advice, a Mindfulness course and tutoring.

5. APIR Academy

This academy offers both face-to-face and online modes and provides manuals, simulations, updates and video classes, among others. The face-to-face mode is held once a week on Saturday mornings with the exception of Madrid, where the course is held on Thursdays and Fridays. If the PIR is not approved, the free repetition of 11 months of the course is offered .

The APIR Academy has offices in Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Alicante, Mallorca, Bilbao, Salamanca, Santiago, Valencia, Cordoba, Granada, Murcia, Tenerife, Malaga and Seville. It is especially relevant that they allow the preparation for the PIR exam to be accredited as a University-specific Master’s Degree in Basic Foundations and Theory of Psychological Intervention.

6. ADELANTE Academy

Academy that offers a face-to-face preparation with few students per class , offering limited places. It prepares a study guide based on reference manuals and, like other academies, carries out various mock exams. It offers the accredited qualification of the training specifying the hours studied. It is present in Madrid and Granada.

7. Official College of Psychologists

Although it is not an academy as such, the Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos offers in some territories preparation courses for the PIR exam. Examples of this can be found in Bizkaia and Asturias. They offer updated theoretical manuals, official exams , information about the call and the possibility of being tutored. There is also the option of doing the training in person (which includes obtaining a diploma) or by distance learning.

8. PIRES Academy

This academy is characterised by the fact that it offers distance learning , in a non-presential way. It produces its own manuals and diagrams, and carries out various simulations (some open to anyone who wants to do so). In addition, audio classes can be acquired whether or not you are a student of this academy.

9. ARKE Academy (College of Applied Studies)

Based in the community of Aragon, this academy offers preparation courses for PIR competitions in two modalities: annual or intensive (five months). They offer their own materials as a complement, but the main material is the original manuals. They also carry out simulations and offer advice.

10. Lluís Vives Study Centre

In a study centre located in Valencia we offer intensive courses in preparation for the PIR, with classes on Thursdays. They do not generate their own manuals, although they do provide summaries and dossiers with exam questions. This is an inexpensive option that allows you to purchase a base.