Kitchen scene

What is IPS?

IPS (Individual Placement and Support) supports people with severe mental health difficulties into employment. It involves intensive, individual support, a rapid job search followed by placement in paid employment, and time-unlimited in-work support for both the employee and the employer.

The principles

IPS has been shown to be more effective the more closely it follows these eight principles:

  1. It aims to get people into competitive employment
  2. It is open to all those who want to work
  3. It tries to find jobs consistent with people’s preferences
  4. It works quickly
  5. It brings employment specialists into clinical teams
  6. Employment specialists develop relationships with employers based upon a person’s work preferences
  7. It provides time unlimited, individualised support for the person and their employer
  8. Benefits counselling is included

Source: Dartmouth IPS Supported Employment Center website.

Miles Rinaldi, Head of Recovery and Social Inclusion at South West London & St. George’s Mental Health NHS Trust, explains Individual Placement and Support:


The evidence

There is now overwhelming international evidence that ‘place then train’ models – and IPS in particular – are much more effective than traditional approaches (such as vocational training and sheltered work) in successfully getting people into work.

The EQOLISE project compared IPS with other vocational / rehabilitation services in six European countries, and concluded that:

  • IPS clients were twice as likely to gain employment (55% v. 28%) and worked for significantly longer;
  • The total costs for IPS were generally lower than standard services over first 6 months;
  • Individuals who gained employment had reduced hospitalisation


IPS stories

See how the IPS model is supporting people into work and improving lives, through this clip from Central and North West London (CNWL).

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