Practice teachers play a key role within professional social work training. It is they who offer supervision and support to Diploma in Social Work students whilst the students are on placement in social work agencies. They have responsibility for induction, helping the students make connections between course teaching and everyday social work practice and also for providing a written assessment of the student's competence.
It is a demanding role and one which offers opportunities for professional development from the perspectives of both individual worker and employer.
The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) requires practice teachers to have undergone a period of training before undertaking the practice teaching role. The West of Scotland Consortium Practice Teaching Programme is approved by SSSC and therefore successful completion of it leads to candidates receiving the SSSC Practice Teaching Award. This award is part of the broader Post-qualifying training framework and gives candidates 60 credits towards the 120 credit Post-qualifying Social Work (PQSW) Award.
The Programme is split into a number of separate modules. The first three modules account for 10 taught days on the Programme. These 3 modules are completed in 3 blocks and usually over a period of 6-8 weeks. Following this, candidates will act as a practice teacher to a student and will be supervised/supported by a Practice Assessor during the student's placement. During the placement, candidates will normally attend two recall days (module 4) on the Practice Teaching course.
Following the end of the placement candidates should compile a portfolio providing evidence of their competence in line with SSSC's requirements. This portfolio should include contributions from the practice assessor, the student and the student's tutor. The portfolio is assessed by the Practice Teaching Programme Assessment Panel, which includes two External Assessors. If successful the candidate receives a SSSC Practice Teaching Award.
The Programme is usually run in 4 separate courses or cohorts each year with around a total of 70 candidates. Details of the Programme are available from the Consortium office (Tel : 0141-554-9897).
©West of Scotland Consortium for Education and Training in Social Work 2001.