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Unit information: Supervision and Assessment of Professional Practice in 2015/16

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Unit name Supervision and Assessment of Professional Practice
Unit code SPOLM0022
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Dugdale
Open unit status Not open




School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit is designed to be delivered in collaboration with social work employers and focuses on enabling staff to support learning in the workplace. The unit will fulfil the requirements of The College of Social Work’s Practice Educator Professional Standards for Social Work – Stage 2; these Standards address the supervision, teaching and assessment of social work degree students and set out the requirements that must be met by practitioners to enable them to act as practice educators for qualifying level social work students. On achieving Stage 2, practice educators will be deemed to have “the authority and capability to recommend, on the basis of appropriate evidence, that the social work students are fit to practice at the point of qualification (TCSW, 2012).

In order to access this unit, students will have to have achieved the Stage 1 standards (normally through work-based learning within their employing agency) and must be able to meet the experience requirements outlined in the Standards. This unit will then build on participants’ knowledge and experience of supporting the learning of social work students and others, to develop the necessary knowledge and skills to teach, supervise and assess social work students up to and including their final practice placement.

This unit will enable students to:

  • Critically appraise theories of adult learning and their application in the workplace;
  • Develop a critical understanding of the arrangements needed to promote practice education and professional development;
  • Participate in practice education and work-based learning through activities such as mentoring, student supervision, and practice assessment against the Professional Capabilities Framework

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of the Unit, students will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate relevant theories of adult learning and apply this knowledge in the context of supporting social work students and other learners;
  • Demonstrate skills in planning, organising and evaluating learning opportunities, including a final placement for a social work student;
  • Promote learning and professional development in practice through the use of effective working relationships with learners.
  • Critically evaluate a range of assessment strategies, and take responsibility for the assessment of learners, including a social work student undertaking a final (qualifying level) placement;
  • Integrate, evaluate and critically reflect on personal and professional values in their work with learners

Teaching Information

Teaching will take place in 1.5 hour sessions, normally over a 3 day block with a further re-call day. The unit will combine lectures, seminar discussion and practical exercises.

Assessment Information

Assessment of this unit requires students to evidence achievements against the four Domains (A-D) outlined in the Guidance Statements of the Practice Educator Professional Standards (TCSW, 2012), and to apply professional values to practice. These requirements will be met by

  • The production of a 3500 – 4000 word critical and reflective account of the work undertaken with their designated social work student learner
  • Two direct observations of the practice educator teaching, supervising and assessing a learner against the Professional Capabilities Framework
  • Evidence of work-based competence from taking full responsibility for one social work student and one other being assessed against the Professional Capabilities Framework,
  • Evidence of their own effective continuing performance as a practice educator

Reading and References

Cartney, P. (2000), Adult Learning Styles: Implications for practice teaching in social work. Social Work Education, 19:6, pp 609-626

Gould, N. and Baldwin, M (2004), Social Work, Critical Reflection and the Learning Organisation. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Lishman, J et al (2007)Handbook for Practice Learning in Social Work and Social Care: Knowledge and Theory. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Morrison, T. (2005) Staff Supervision in Social Care. Pavilion Publishing Brighton.

Schon, D. (1983) The Reflective Practitioner. London: Temple Smith.

Walker, J. et al (2008) Practice Education in Social Work: A handbook for practice teachers, assessors and educators. Exeter: Learning Matters.