2.1 Interim Assessment
2.1.1 A Practice Assessment Panel is required to be called where there is no consensus in the placement team that the student is on course to meet the required competences.
Where a Practice Assessment Panel has been called, the Chair of the Practice Assessment Panel will send a formal, written response to the student, with copies to the practice teacher and the tutor, noting the concerns and the action taken.
2.2 Change of Placement or Placement Breakdown.
2.2.1 No Practice Assessment Panel is required where there is consensus in the placement team and between the route and placement provider about the nature and level of difficulties within the placement, which cannot be resolved satisfactorily by continuation of the placement, and all parties concerned agree with the reasons why the placement cannot continue.
The Chair of the Practice Assessment Panel must be notified of the decision to secure another placement by letter, signed by the route tutor, the practice teacher and the student. The Practice Assessment Panel Chair will then send a formal, written response to the student, with copies to the practice teacher and tutor, noting the circumstances leading to the change of placement, agreeing the action being taken and recommending a minimum number of placement days for the additional placement.
The onus will be on the placement provider to secure another placement.
2.2.2 Where there is disagreement within the placement team and
between the route and placement provider about the nature and level of difficulties
in the placement and the reasons why, it would be necessary to hold a Practice
Following the Practice Assessment Panel meeting, the Chair will send a formal, written response to the student, with copies to the practice teacher and the tutor, noting the concerns and the action taken.
If the Practice Assessment Panel considers the placement to be untenable, this considered view accompanied with all relevant reports should be submitted to the Chair of the Programme Assessment Board.
The Chair of the Programme Assessment Board has discretion, following consultation with the route external assessor/s, to decide on a course of action which does not require a Programme Assessment Board to be called OR that a final decision is taken at the next scheduled meeting of the PAB, OR exceptionally, that an extraordinary meeting of the PAB is called. The onus will be on the placement provider to secure an additional placement, if required.
2.2.3 Where it has been agreed that an additional placement is required under 2.2.2, the Practice Assessment Panel will recommend a minimum number of placement days to be completed in the additional placement. The combined placement days must be at least equivalent to the stated placement length for DP1 or DP2 and have written acceptance of the student. The placement length for the additional placement will be taken into account in the formulation of the Working Agreement, which will be negotiated by the practice teacher, the tutor and the student.
2.2.4 A record of the placement, signed by the practice teacher and student, and where appropriate, the tutor, will be passed to the practice teacher in any subsequent placement. The form of the report will be decided by the placement team.
(NOTE: If an additional placement is required, it may not be
possible to provide it within the normal time scales for completion dates of
Direct Practice I or II. This may result in delayed progression and completion
of the DipSW programme.)
2.3 Use of a Second Opinion Practice Teacher.
2.3.1 Only the chair of the PAP, where appropriate in consultation with other members of the PAP, can authorise the appointment of a second opinion practice teacher.
2.3.2 A second opinion practice teacher can only be appointed in exceptional circumstances, such as:
2.3.3 A proposal for the appointment of a second opinion practice teacher should be contained in a report to the PAP chair. This report will be jointly prepared by the placement team. The report should identify the reasons for the proposal and should highlight any issues or concerns.
2.3.4. If the PAP chair considers that a second opinion practice teacher should be appointed, s/he must state the reasons for this in writing to the placement team.
2.3.5 Responsibility for the placement remains with the placement team (i.e. the student, the practice teacher and the tutor). Where a second practice opinion teacher is appointed, her/his sole remit will be to provide a second opinion on:
2.3.6 This opinion will be formally conveyed to the PAP (and, if necessary, to the PAB, see Appendix 11) in accordance with the standard guidelines for the practice teacher's placement report (see Appendix 7). Its status will be the same as that of the opinion of the first practice teacher.
2.3.7 The placement provider has responsibility for securing the second opinion practice teacher. The appointment will normally be made no later than 15 placement days before the end of a concurrent (i.e. 3 days per week) placement, or four weeks before the end of a block placement.
2.4 Short Placement Extensions to Achieve Required Competencies
2.4.1 The decision to award an extension to allow students to achieve the required competences must be made by a Practice Assessment Panel, preferably at the point of interim review of the placement or as soon thereafter as possible and normally no later than four weeks before the end of the original placement date.
2.4.2 The extension will be a maximum of 20 placement days or equivalent and must be a continuation of the existing DPI or DPII placement arrangements. In Part I, the extension should not extend beyond the starting date for Part II of the Programme.
2.4.3 The criteria for an extension are that the competence to be achieved is in a circumscribed area of practice and there is reasonable evidence that the student is able to progress significantly in a relatively short time.
2.4.4 Extensions should normally be block periods in the placement agency.
2.5 Extensions as Compensation
2.5.1 Where there is consensus to allow an extension as compensation,
no formal Practice Assessment Panel is required to be called. Extensions as
compensation can be negotiated between the practice teacher, tutor, student
and the Chair of the Practice Assessment Panel. Extensions can be negotiated
where the student has been: -
absent due to illness orA letter confirming the decision must be sent by the Chair of the Practice Assessment Panel to the student, with copies to the practice teacher and tutor.
absent due to personal crisis or
personal crisis which has not led to absence but has impeded progress.
2.5.3 Extensions will be a maximum of 20 placement days or equivalent and must be a continuation of the existing DP1 or DP2 placement arrangements. In Part 1, the extension should not extend beyond the starting date for Part 2 of the programme.
2.5.4 Extensions should normally be block periods in the placement agency.
2.6 Prior to Final Assessment
2.6.1 All placements, excluding those considered as non-viable, are assessed by means of reports from students and practice teachers. Students and practice teachers are required to submit a report to the PAP, in all instances, even where the placement has not been fully completed.
2.6.2 All final placement reports will be read by a member or members of the Practice Assessment Panel and the student's tutor.
2.6.3 A Practice Assessment Panel will require to be called where there is no consensus in the placement team that the student has met the required competences. In addition, it may be necessary to call a Practice Assessment Panel if a pass grading has been recommended where the evidence provided in the reports is deemed to be insufficient or inadequate.
2.6.4 Following examination of the evidence, the Practice Assessment Panel Chair will recommend to the Programme Assessment Board that the student should pass, OR fail, but with the opportunity to repeat another placement of a minimum of 50 days, OR fail outright. The latter recommendation would result in failure of the programme.
2.6.5 This recommendation, prepared by the Chair of the Practice Assessment Panel, will be presented to the Programme Assessment Board alongside and not superceding the practice teacher's or second opinion practice teacher's recommendation (see Appendix 11, Section 1.3.1)
2.6.6 When a recommendation, that has not been agreed between the practice
teacher/s and the Practice Assessment Panel, is made, the practice teacher/s
making the report, the Chair of the Practice Assessment Panel and the student
should be available to attend the meeting of the Programme Assessment Board
to aid decision making, unless, in exceptional circumstances, the Programme
Assessment Board waives this requirement. (see Appendix
11, Section 3).
The Chair of the Programme Assessment Board, in consultation with external assessor/s, will take a decision as to who else should attend the Programme Assessment Board.
©West of Scotland Consortium for Education and Training in Social Work 2001.