British Association Of Social Workers


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Version 1. Published July 2019
BRITISH ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL WORKERS
PRACTICE EDUCATOR PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS FOR SOCIAL WORK
Executive Summary
BASW has issued these refreshed standards to promote the development, and awareness, of Professional Standards in Social Work Education within the social work profession and with people with lived experience of social work. It is hoped that this document will be used to promote the Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS) and lead to a wider understanding of the role of the practice educator (PE) by students, employers and anyone involved in practice education.
At the heart of this document is a set of values and standards which should guide all parties involved in practice education. The core values set out the key principles governing the relationship between PE and student, learners (trainee PEs) and their overriding responsibility to those whom they are serving. The PE Domains identify the requirements for the delivery of training, development and support of those who are responsible for the teaching, supervising and assessing of social work students in practice.
The Guidance for Implementation sets out the delivery of PE courses and training, eligibility and selection processes. Emphasis is given to the vital role of agencies and learning partnerships in providing the environment and resources for the PE to be valued and supported and the placement to be an effective learning and assessment environment. It is also acknowledged that the knowledge and skills of PE’s equip them to be able to play a key role in the support and assessment of other groups of new social work practitioners.
“We fully support the refresh of the Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS), it is
important that as a profession we set high standards of practice education and support future generations of social workers in their education and career pathways. We would like
to thank BASW and stakeholders for producing these important revised ” standards.
Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker Adults and Isabelle Trowler, Chief Social Worker for Children and Families

1. Context and Glossary
Introduction
1.1 This revised edition of the PEPS has been produced by the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) in consultation with stakeholders and refreshes the original document from the College of Social Work (2013)1. This document retains the principles and structure developed by the Social Work Reform Board and the College of Social Work and also updates content. The Standards are now more closely aligned to the refresh of the Professional Capabilities Statement (PCF)2 and Knowledge and Skills Statements (KSS) for Practice Supervisors in Child and Family Social Work March 20183 and Adult Social Care December 20184. These Standards provide guidance for all parties involved in the experience and delivery of practice education including both new and experienced practice educators; on-site supervisors (who may be registered social workers and also other qualified or experienced professionals); social work students; PE trainees; providers of social work and practice education including Higher Education Institutions; and employers of social work staff.
1.2 BASW’s Code of Ethics for Social Work (revised 2014)5 incorporates statements of principles drawn up by the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) and the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASW). This Code should underlie all social work practice.
1.3 BASW will continue the role of promoting, supporting and updating the Practice Educator Professional Standards while seeking to provide support and professional development opportunities for practice educators.
1.4 The Local Government Association standards for employers of social workers in England6, set out the eight standards for the support of social workers recommended by the Social Work Task Force that social work employers should strive to meet7.
1 www.basw.co.uk/resources/practice-educator-professional-standards-social-work-0 2 www.basw.co.uk/professional-development/professional-capabilities-framework-pcf 3 www.gov.uk/government/publications/knowledge-and-skills-statements-for-child-and-family-social-work 4 www.gov.uk/government/publications/adult-social-work-post-qualifying-standards-knowledge-and-skills-statement 5 www.basw.co.uk/about-basw/code-ethics 6 www.local.gov.uk/our-support/workforce-and-hr-support/social-workers/social-workerstandards/standards-employers 7 www.local.gov.uk/our-support/workforce-and-hr-support/social-workers/social-worker-standards/standards-employers
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Glossary
Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) The first year in employment for a newly qualified social worker (NQSW)
HEI Higher Education Institution
Knowledge and Skills Statements (KSS) The Knowledge and Skills Statements set out what social workers, supervisors and practice leaders should know and be able to do within the context of their role in different settings.
Student An individual undertaking training to qualify as a social worker
Other Learner A qualified social worker undertaking a post qualifying programme (e.g. NQSW, ASYE, BIA).
Practice Educator Assessor The Assessor role in PEPS training is about developing a PE trainee’s skills and knowledge by using the assessor’s experience, knowledge and understanding of practice education to support, assist and assess the PE trainee against the required professional domains for PEPS 1 and PEPS 2 training. The assessor should be a PEPS 2 qualified practice educator.
PE Trainee The trainee will be mentored and assessed during training. These roles may be separate or carried out by the same person during PEPS 1 and PEPS 2 training.
Mentor Mentoring is about developing PE trainee’s skills and knowledge by using the mentor’s experience, knowledge and understanding of practice education to support and assist a PE trainee. A mentor should be a PEPS 2 qualified practice educator. Mentors may also sit on review panels for failing students and provide practical guidance and support to current PEs. An Assessor and mentor role may overlap and may be the same person during PEPS 1 and PEPS 2 training.
Practice Educator (PE) This person takes overall responsibility for the student’s learning and assessment, utilising information from a range of evidence sources. The practice educator is the person who makes the recommendation to the practice assessment panel and the course examination board about the learner’s competence in relation to the PCF. A practice educator may also be the student’s supervisor, employed in another part of the agency or located outside the agency.
Off-Site Practice Educator A person located away from the student’s practice area contracted by the programme provider to undertake the role of practice educator. The off-site practice educator will be a qualified social worker trained to PEPS 2 level and will work jointly with an on-site supervisor.
On-Site Supervisor A person in the same work site as the student who is designated to manage the day-to-day activity of the student and who makes an important contribution to the student’s learning and assessment. (Note: the term ‘on-site supervisor’ has been used to emphasise the importance of the supervisor being located in the same team or work-place as the student. The term is also used to differentiate the role from ‘practice supervisor’ which has been used to indicate supervisors of qualified staff).
NQSW Newly Qualified Social Worker who is on their first year in practice which is an Assessed and Supported Year (ASYE) or any other post qualifying programme.
PCF Professional Capability Framework This is the social work framework which sets out the knowledge, skills and values which students and qualified social workers should be able to demonstrate at each stage of their career.
PEPS Practice Educator Professional Standards are often referred to as PEPS and the terms PEPS 1 and PEPS 2 refer to the level the practice educator has attained.
Blended Learning This could include a combination of self-learning and reading, as well as traditional face-to-face teaching.
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2. Values and Domains for Practice Educator Professional Standards
The value statement below has been adapted from ‘Values for Work-Based Assessors’ Social Work Reform Board (2010). It is the core value statement for Practice Education. The value statement closely reflects the BASW Code of Ethics and the domains of the Professional Capability Framework, particularly the ‘Purpose’ Super Domain which refers to how social work practitioners approach their work. The value statement is central to becoming a practice educator.
2.1 Statement of Values
In order to promote anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory practices, practice educators and supervisors will:
i. Ensure that consideration is given to the needs and interests of people with lived experience of Social Work when assessing the capability and skills of students at all stages of the assessment process.
ii. Manage professional/personal boundaries, their use of authority and power within the assessment relationship and recognise and act upon the implications for their assessment of practice.
iii. Update themselves on best practice in assessment and research on adult learning and apply this knowledge in promoting the rights and choices of students and managing the assessment process.
iv. Advise students and other learners of their rights and actively challenge oppression and discrimination which may be experienced by the student or other learners.
v. Identify and question their own values and prejudices and respect and value the uniqueness and diversity of students and other learners.
vi. Accept and respect student’s and other learner’s circumstances and understand how these impact on the learning and assessment process. Practice educators and supervisors should recognise and build on student’s and other learner’s strengths and consider individual learning styles and a range of assessment methods (including those preferred by the student).
vii. Assess in a manner that does not stigmatise or disadvantage individuals and ensures equality of opportunity. Show applied knowledge and understanding of the significance of lived experience, poverty, racism, ill health, disability, gender, social class and sexual orientation in managing the assessment process and recognise and work to prevent and counter unjustifiable discrimination and disadvantage in all aspects of the assessment process.
viii. Take responsibility for the quality of their work and ensure that it is monitored and appraised; critically reflect on their own practice and identify development needs in order to improve their own performance, raise standards, and contribute to the learning and development of others.
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2.2 Practice Educator Domains
The Practice Educator Standards are split into four Domains. These Domains set out standards expected of those responsible for facilitating, supporting and assessing the learning of social work practice and professional development of students in practice. This set of standards has been refreshed after consultation with a wide range of stakeholders and have been aligned to the Professional Capability Framework.
Although mode of delivery will be agreed at a local level in partnerships between employers and programme providers, the principle of these PEPS is to ensure all staff involved in the teaching, supervising and assessing of students are experienced practitioners with an interest in promoting social work education.
The important contribution of those involved in allied professions to social work should be acknowledged by ensuring their involvement in student placements, at the same time students will need social workers to act as role models in their learning. Where an on-site supervisor has experience but is not social work qualified, the student should have the opportunity to work alongside an experienced and qualified social worker during the placement.
Practice educators should be experienced and skilled social workers with at least 2 full years’ postqualifying experience at the start of the practice education training programme.
i. All practice educators must be registered social workers.
ii. All practice educators should be able to demonstrate that they are practicing at PCF Experienced Social Worker level in their practitioner role before enrolling on a practice educator course. This is to ensure that practice educators have the appropriate experience and capability to support and guide students through case work complex enough that they are fully prepared for practice by the end of their final placement and sufficiently experienced to meet the requirements of PCF at final placement.
iii. On-site supervisors of learners may be experienced or hold professional qualifications other than social work. If this is the case, there should also be a registered social worker practice educator involved in the learner’s placement.
iv. Practice education programmes may be delivered in one or two ‘stages’ but irrespective of mode of delivery practice educators need to have had responsibility for supporting, supervising and assessing at least two students before full qualification as a practice educator can be achieved.
v. Practice educators at both PEPS 1 and PEPS 2 should meet all Domain statements in Section A, B, C and D. By progressing through PEPS 1 and PEPS 2. The PE trainee should be able to demonstrate an increased competency and reflection as they develop their skills and knowledge for each Domain.
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Table 1

Practice Educator Professional Standards
Fully qualified practice educators should be able to demonstrate adherence to Value statements and 4 Domains of Practice Education Professional Standards as set out below:

PCF Domain
Domains quoted are at Experienced Social Worker level

KSS for child and family practice supervisors

KSS for adults’ settings practice supervisors

Domain A
Work with *others to organise an effective learning environment

8 Contexts and Organisation

(A1) Establish an effective collaborative working relationship with learners and manage the power and authority in the educator/ assessor role skilfully.

2 Values and Ethics

(A2) Devise an induction programme that considers learners’ needs and their previous experience.

9 Professional Leadership

(A3) Create reflective spaces for learners’ growth and development and provide regular reflective supervision.

1 Professionalism
6 Critical Reflection and Analysis

(A4) Ensure all those involved in supporting the student have clarity and understanding of each other’s roles.

1 Professionalism 9 Professional Leadership

KSS 2 Developing excellent practitioner
KSS 4 Effective use of power and authority

KSS 1 Values and Ethics
KSS 2 Influencing and governing practice excellence within the organisation and community

KSS 3 Shaping and influencing the practice system
KSS 7 Emotionally intelligent practice supervision

KSS 2 Influencing and governing practice excellence within the organisation and community
KSS 3 Developing confident and capable social workers

(A5) Work openly and cooperatively with others in the planning of learning opportunities and key activities at all stages of learning and assessment.

8 Contexts and Organisation

KSS 3 Developing confident and capable social workers

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Practice Educator Professional Standards
Fully qualified practice educators should be able to demonstrate adherence to Value statements and 4 Domains of Practice Education Professional Standards as set out below:

PCF Domain
Domains quoted are at Experienced Social Worker level

KSS for child and family practice supervisors

KSS for adults’ settings practice supervisors

(A6) Consider student confidentiality and ensure all student information is maintained in a secure environment according to General Data Protection Regulations.

2 Values & Ethics

(A7) Contribute to the learning and development of the agency as a learning organisation. This may include encouraging the student to make links with others in the team by working alongside, making presentations and contributing to team resources. It may also include showing leadership by helping to review and improve the provision, policies and procedures of the learning organisation and identify barriers for learners.

9 Professional Leadership

KSS 1 Promote and govern excellent practice
KSS 3 Shaping and influencing the practice system

KSS 2 Influencing and governing practice excellence within the organisation and community
KSS 3 Developing confident and capable social workers

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Practice Educator Professional Standards
Fully qualified practice educators should be able to demonstrate adherence to Value statements and 4 Domains of Practice Education Professional Standards as set out below:

PCF Domain
Domains quoted are at Experienced Social Worker level

KSS for child and family practice supervisors

KSS for adults’ settings practice supervisors

Domain B
Teaching, facilitating and supporting learning and professional development in practice

(B1) Demonstrate informed expertise in their practitioner role, e.g. an applied knowledge of contemporary issues in research and relevant policy, legislation and practice.

5 Knowledge

KSS 4 Assuring good social work practice and development

(B2) Using a range of learning methods, including modelling good social work practice. Teach and support the learning of relevant social work knowledge and research, and the integration of theory and research in practice. Knowledge taught should include the powers and duties, and policy and procedures of the agency.

5 Knowledge

(B3) Help students to understand their own learning processes and to develop different models and strategies for critical reflection and analysis.

9 Professional Leadership

(B4) Discuss and plan with the student the learning and assessment programme, the student’s particular needs and capabilities, and how best the learner can derive further support for learning.

2 Values & Ethics

KSS 1 Promote and govern excellent practice
KSS 8 Performance Management and Improvement

KSS 8 Performance management and improvement

KSS 6 Relationship based practice supervision
KSS 6 Relationship based practice supervision

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Practice Educator Professional Standards
Fully qualified practice educators should be able to demonstrate adherence to Value statements and 4 Domains of Practice Education Professional Standards as set out below:

PCF Domain
Domains quoted are at Experienced Social Worker level

KSS for child and family practice supervisors

KSS for adults’ settings practice supervisors

(B5) Make sound reasoned judgements about the level of work the student can be allocated, and the support required to achieve both learning and the work goals.

6 Critical Reflection & Analysis

(B6) Demonstrate an understanding of, and critical engagement with, learning theories, to make professional educational judgments about students’ needs and how to meet them.

5 Knowledge

KSS 5 Confident analysis and decision-making

KSS 6 Relationship based practice supervision
KSS 7 Effective use of power and authority as a practice supervisor
KSS 5 Promoting and supporting critical analysis and decision making

Domain C
Manage the fair and transparent assessment of students in practice

(C1) Ensure that holistic assessment decisions are the outcomes of informed, evidence-based judgments, drawing on evidence, which is relevant, valid, reliable and sufficient from a range of sources, including direct observation. Clearly explain the decisions to students.

7 Skills & Interventions

(C2) Encourage students to selfevaluate and seek service users, carers and work-based colleagues feedback to develop their performance.

1 Professionalism

KSS 4 Assuring good social work practice and development
KSS 5 Promoting and supporting critical analysis and decision making
KSS 3 Developing confident and capable social workers

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Practice Educator Professional Standards
Fully qualified practice educators should be able to demonstrate adherence to Value statements and 4 Domains of Practice Education Professional Standards as set out below:

PCF Domain
Domains quoted are at Experienced Social Worker level

KSS for child and family practice supervisors

KSS for adults’ settings practice supervisors

(C3) Provide timely, honest and constructive feedback on student performance in an appropriate format. Review student progress throughout the assessment process, identifying strengths and any areas requiring improvement, making clear to students how they may improve to meet the acceptable standard.

2 Values & Ethics

(C4) Ensure that all assessment decisions, and the supporting evidence, are documented and recorded according to the required standard. Provide holistic assessment reports which demonstrate clear evidence for decisions. Demonstrate ability to work well with others in the assessment process, particularly if learner’s practice is marginal or failing.

1 Professionalism 7 Skills & Interventions 9 Professional Leadership

(C5) Engage students in the design, planning and implementation of methods to assess students’ performance against the appropriate standards.
(C6) Extend the development of all students including those who already have strong skills or are experiencing difficulties. Ensure that disagreements about assessment judgements and complaints made about the assessment process are managed in accordance with agreed procedures.

2 Values & Ethics
7 Skills & Interventions 9 Professional Leadership

KSS 3 Developing confident and capable social workers KSS 6 Relationship based practice supervision
KSS 5 Promoting and supporting critical analysis and decision making KSS 7 Effective use of power and authority as a practice supervisor
KSS 5 Promoting and supporting critical analysis and decision making

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British Association Of Social Workers