Practice learning

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Part 1 or Part 2 that the student’s PLO is ended but that they will be provided with a further PLO the information with regard to the premature ending MUST be provided by the F/HEI to the next PLO provider. This information should be of sufficient detail to allow the next provider to consider any steps they may wish to take to ensure that a PLO can appropriately be facilitated. It should be provided post allocation but before the student is notified of any allocation.
All students commencing their Level 3 period of practice learning must provide the successive practice teacher with a copy of their previous practice teacher report).In circumstances where a previous PLO was incomplete/fail the student must provide their newly allocated practice teacher with a copy of the progress report/practice teacher report from the previous PLO. It is the responsibility of the F/HEI to ensure that students comply with this requirement.
Student Withdrawal from PLO

A student may make the decision to withdraw from PLO at any point and in any circumstances. This must however be supported by appropriate written evidence. If supporting evidence is not provided the student will be deemed to have failed the PLO.

It should also be noted that no matter what the circumstances, the practice teacher is required to complete a progress report and to make a recommendation in terms of pass/fail to the university practice assessment panel. The practice assessment panel and exam board will consider the recommendation and any extenuating circumstances before making a final decision.
In circumstances where there is serious concern about professional practice /conduct and where student has withdrawn prior to the protocol process being fully completed, this will not preclude the potential for a referral being made to the HEI’S internal fitness for practice procedures and/or NISCC.
Retrospective Practice Issues


When information is received post completion of the PLO that raises a concern with regard to the conduct and/or practice of a student while undertaking PLO, the following process should be followed.

The matter should be referred to the appropriate F/HEI with whom the student is registered and action may be taken by the F/HEI through their internal ‘fitness for practise’ procedures.
The NISCC Rules for the Approval of the Degree in Social Work (2003) state that the Course Provider:
“… including the responsibility to inform the Council about any misconduct by a student that might call into question the student’s registration with the Council.” … (v).

Appendix 14
References/Reading List

  • NISCC Codes of Practice for Employers of Social Care Workers and NISCC Codes of Practice of Social Care Workers (Dec ’02)

  • NI Framework Specification for the Degree in Social Work (March ’03)

  • Rules for the Approval for the Degree in Social Work (NISCC: Revised Jan ‘12)

  • Practice Learning Requirements for the Degree in Social Work (NISCC: June ’10)

  • NISCC Standards for Practice Learning for the Degree in Social Work (Revised ‘09)

  • Learning, Teaching and Assessment Requirements for the Degree in Social Work (March ’04)

  • Investing in Practice Learning. Investing in the Future Workforce. NISCC Standards for Practice Learning Providers – A Consultation Document (March ’05)

  • Curriculum Guidance for the Degree in Social Work: Community Social Work and Development (August 2012), only available on NISCC website in publications section.)

  • Curriculum Guidance for the Degree in Social Work: The Northern Ireland Context (Oct ‘05, only available on website in publications section.)

All the above can be obtained directly from NISCC at 028 9536 2600 and are also downloadable from

Collingwood, P (2005) “Integrating theory and practice: The Three-Stage Theory Framework”, Journal of Practice Teaching 6(1) 2005

Reflective Practice
Dickson, D (2000) “Reflective Practice into Social Work: Theory into Practice” in CCETSW, Reflecting on Practice – looking back to look Forward, Belfast: CCETSW, NI P5-9
Fook, J, Gardner, F (2007) Practising Critical Reflection: A Resource Handbook, Maidstone: OU Press
Knott, C, Scragg, T (2007) Reflective Practice in Social Work, Exeter: Learning Matters
Lomax, R, Jones, K, Leigh, S, Gay, C (2010) Surviving Your Social Work Placement, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Parker, J (2006) “Integrating theory and developing reflective practice in practice learning” in Parker, J Effective Practice Learning in Social Work, Exeter: Learning Matters
Schön, D (1983) The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action, London: Temple Smith
Wilson, K, Ruch, G, Lymberg, M, Cooper, A (2008) “Relationship-based and reflective approaches for contemporary social work practice” in Wilson et al, Social Work – An Introduction to contemporary practice, Harlow: Pearson P1-27
Evidence Based Practice
Newman, T, Moseley, A, Tierney, S, Ellis, A (2005) Evidence Based Social Work: A Guide for the Perplexed, Lyme Regis: Russell House
Taylor, BJ (2003) “Literature Searching” in Miller, R & Brewer, J (eds) The A to Z of Social Research, London: Sage
Taylor, BJ, Dempster, M, Donnelly, M (2003) “Hidden Gems: Systematically searching electronic databases for research publications for social work and social care”, British Journal of Social Work, 33 P423-439

Taylor, BJ, Wylie, E, Dempster, M, Donnelly, M (2006) An Evaluation of the AgeInfo Database, London: Social Care Institute for Excellence

Taylor, BJ, Wylie, E, Dempster, M, Donnelly, M (2007) “Systematically Retrieving Research: A Case Study Evaluating Seven Databases” Research on Social Work Practice 17 (6): 697-706

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