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Work-based Supervisors: The Neglected Partners?. Literature Review The literature reviewed here generally focuses on four themes: The literature reviewed.

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Presentation on theme: "Work-based Supervisors: The Neglected Partners?. Literature Review The literature reviewed here generally focuses on four themes: The literature reviewed."— Presentation transcript:

1 Work-based Supervisors: The Neglected Partners?

2 Literature Review The literature reviewed here generally focuses on four themes: The literature reviewed here generally focuses on four themes: 1. The “off-site” model of practice learning 2. Roles of the key players 3. Relationships between the key players 4. Professional development for practice assessors

3 Findings from Literature Review  Focus on traditional models of on-site practice teaching (Marsh and Triseliotis 1996, Shardlow and Doel 1996, Evans 1999)  addressed the perspective of the student and practice teacher, ignoring the work-based supervisor (Bridge 1999, Karban 1999).  There is evidence to suggest that work-based supervisors were indeed neglected partners in practice learning under the DipSW programme. They have been described as the “unsung heroes” (Burgess and Phillips 2000).

4 Key themes arising from the literature include the impact of different models of practice learning (Doel M, Deacon, L, Sawdon, C 2004), professional development of practice assessors, the roles of the work-based supervisors and “off-site” practice teachers (CCETSW 1996, Foulds et al 1991, Lawson 1998, Karban 1999) and the importance of establishing good relationships between the key stakeholders (Evans and Kearney 1999, Parker 2004, Burgess 2005).Key themes arising from the literature include the impact of different models of practice learning (Doel M, Deacon, L, Sawdon, C 2004), professional development of practice assessors, the roles of the work-based supervisors and “off-site” practice teachers (CCETSW 1996, Foulds et al 1991, Lawson 1998, Karban 1999) and the importance of establishing good relationships between the key stakeholders (Evans and Kearney 1999, Parker 2004, Burgess 2005). Key themes arising from the literature include: The impact of different models of practice learning Professional development of practice assessors Role of the work-based supervisors and “off-site” practice teachers Importance of establishing good relationships between the key stakeholders

5 The limited literature that does exist on the work-based supervisor (Lawson 1998, Moss 1999, Burgess and Phillips 2000) was written before the introduction of the new degree programme and the new role of work-based supervisor/ assessor.

6 Research Questions 1. How do work-based supervisors/ assessors and “off- site” practice teachers see the role of work-based supervisors? 2. What is the nature of the involvement of work-based supervisors in the assessment of students’ practice? Has this increased with the degree programme? 3. How do work-based supervisors manage the complex set of relationships, ranging from the two-way relationship with the practice teacher, the three-way with practice teacher and student and the four-way relationship with student, practice teacher and tutor?

7 4.Does the lack of experience and training of non social work supervisors affect their ability to supervise social work students and the quality of the practice learning experience? 5.What are the professional development needs of work-based supervisors? Are these being met by the university and employers?

8 Methodology  As this research aimed to learn more about the experiences of the respondents and to effect some change, an emancipatory approach was used  qualitative methodology was employed.

9 Methods  Questionnaires to Work-based supervisors & Practice Teachers 32 sent: 15 returned 32 sent: 15 returned  Interviews with Work-based supervisors, Practice Teachers and Tutor 8 interviews

10 Sample  Work-based Supervisors ranged in experience & training  4 qualified social workers  3 social care managers  1 NVQ assessor  4 from voluntary sector  3 from statutory sector

11 Findings:  Increased anxiety and confusion about roles amongst work-based supervisors and off-site practice teachers during the first year (2004)  Main responsibilities remain unchanged under the BA programme with the exception of assessment tasks.

12 Findings  Increased use of the “off-site” model of practice learning  Insufficient supply of placements and practice teachers to meet the demand which resulted in some students facing delays in being allocated placements.

13 Findings  Some off-site practice teachers over- stretched.  Many work-based supervisors are now taking on main responsibility for student’s learning and assessment  Work-based supervisors expressed a preference for working with off-site practice teachers who were familiar to them.

14 Findings  Preference of work-based supervisors to work with “credible” off-site practice teachers who had practice experience with a similar agency or service user group.

15 Professional Development  Research findings indicate that this has improved under the BA programme, with the majority of respondents reporting they had been offered support and training both at the start of the new degree programme and during the course of the placement.

16 Findings: Professional Development  All those who attended the induction to work-based learning course found it helpful.  Most preferred support groups & workshops  There was consensus about the difficulty in finding the time to attend meetings and courses.

17 Findings: Professional Development  The range of training and support needs expressed reflected the different levels of experience, skills, qualifications and professional background within the group of respondents.  The importance of providing additional support to small voluntary agencies and supervisors unfamiliar with the social work role was noted.

18 Findings  New model of practice learning where these experienced staff undertake all the roles and responsibilities of a practice assessor with mentoring from a specialist practice teacher.  This “light-touch” or “mentoring” model may become much more prevalent under the new post qualifying framework.

19 Findings  Some work-based supervisors commented on the power imbalance between them and practice teachers, which they felt was perpetuated by tutors who communicated largely with the practice teachers.  Some work-based supervisors have expressed a desire to be more involved in decision making and the need to have more information about the student.

20 Findings  The apparent inequality in relation to finance, power, status and recognition has in some cases left the work-based supervisors feeling neglected, frustrated and undervalued.

21 Recommendations  All stakeholders in practice learning need to ensure that practice learning agreements are explicit about roles and responsibilities.  There needs to be a clear and transparent system for negotiating the role of the work- based supervisor which reflects the experience and training of individuals

22  Employers, universities and off-site practice teachers should regard Work- based supervisors as equal partners.  Workforce development plans need to address their professional development needs and ensure that they are provided with study leave and work-load relief

23  The current system of payment needs to be reviewed to ensure that work-based supervisors receive more equitable financial reward.  Consideration should be given to ways of enabling work-based supervisors to contribute to the final assessment report on the student.

24  The arrangements under the new post qualifying award framework should reflect the different stages of development of the diverse pool of work- based supervisors, ranging from novices to experts.  Work-based supervisors can now gain new PQ award, Enabling Work- Based Learning

25 Recommendations  Those who are new to practice learning or who are from non-social work settings may need additional support and training.  More experienced staff who have already undertaken some training may need different levels of support and may be able to take on the full practice assessor role with mentoring from a “practice educator” (GSCC 2005).

26  New initiatives to support work-based supervisors should be introduced. For example, agencies and universities could improve communication through a newsletter.  Course providers could respond to the need for up-dates on theory by enabling access to e- learning, Blackboard, learning resource centres, seminars, module guides and reading lists.

27  Further vetting of new placements is needed to ensure that the agencies understand the practice learning requirements and to check that there are sufficient learning opportunities.  Agencies could be required to sign an undertaking which would guarantee compliance with minimum standards and ensure a commitment to the professional development of work-based supervisors.

28  Non-social work agencies may require additional support and training. Tutors should have sufficient time and resources to visit and review placements. Auditing tools could be developed such as a quality assurance check-list.

29  Further consideration needs to be given to the matching process when allocating an off-site practice teacher to an agency.  Wherever possible, the practice teacher should have some knowledge of the agency or service user group. If this is not possible, the off-site practice teacher must agree to spend time getting to know the work of the agency at the beginning of the placement.

30 Implementation  Careful matching of PT & WBS  All new WBS accessing training and support  “Light-touch” or “mentoring” model is now being used where experienced staff undertake all the roles and responsibilities of a practice assessor with mentoring from a specialist practice teacher.

31 Addressing inequality in relation to finance, power, status and recognition Work-based supervisors now getting paid more Work-based supervisors now contribute to the final assessment report on the student New university post of Practice Learning Quality Assurance Tutor

32 Auditing tools have been developed such as a quality assurance check-list. Initial Practice Learning Agreement addresses roles & responsibilities Mid-point review: tutor checks on 3- way communication and frequency of supervision

33 References  Alston, M & Bowles, W (1998) Research for social workers St Leonards: Allen & Unwin  Beresford, P (2003) It’s our lives: A short theory of knowledge, distance and experience. London: Open Services Press  Bridge, G (1999) In defence of long-arm practice teaching. Journal of Practice Teaching 2(1) 1999, pp 7-19  Burgess R. & Campbell B. et al (1998) Managing Unsuccessful or Uncompleted Placements – Journal of Practice Teaching in Health and Social Work Vol. 1, No. 1  Burgess, R & Phillips, R (2000) On-site supervisors: the unsung partners in the training team? Journal of Practice Teaching in Health and Social Work Vol.2, No.3  CCETSW (Sept 1987, p6) Accreditation of agencies & practice teachers in social work education, CCETSW Paper 26.1  CCETSW (1996) Guidance on the “off-site” model of practice teaching  London: CCETSW  CCETSW (1998) Assuring Quality for practice Teaching London: CCETSW  Denscombe, M (2003) The Good research Guide for Small-scale Social Research. Maidenhead, Open University  Doel M, Deacon, L, Sawdon, C(2004) An Audit of Models of Practice Learning in the new Social Work Award. Sheffield Hallam University for the Practice learning Taskforce and NOPT

34 References  Evans, D (1999) Practice learning in the caring profession Aldershot: Ashgate  Evans, D & Kearney, J (1996) Working in social care: A systemic approach Aldershot: Arena  Fish D. & Twinn S. (1997) Quality Clinical Supervision in the health care professions Oxford: Butterworth- Heinemann,  Ford and Jones (1987) Student Supervision, BASW Practical Social Work, Macmillan  Foulds, J, Sanders, A, Williams, J (1991) Co-ordinating learning: the future of practice teaching Social Work Education Journal Vol. 10, No.2  Goffman, E (1968) The presentation of self in everyday life. Harmondsworth: Penguin  Gomm, R, Needham, G, Bullman, A (2000) Evaluating research in health and social care. London: Sage  Hart, C (1998) Doing a Literature Review London, Sage  Higher Education Institutions (HEI) Survey (2003) in Kearney, P (2003) A framework for supporting and assessing practice learning” SCIE  Hogan F. (2002) The Creative Possibilities of Supervision – Journal of Practice Teaching in Health & Social Work Vol 4 No1  Howarth J. and Shardlow S. (1998) Establishing the Building Blocks for Quality Teaching in an Environment of Change - Journal of Practice Teaching Vol 1 No 2  Hughes L. and Pengelly P. (1997) Staff Supervision in a Turbulent Environment. London: Jessica Kingsley  Karban K. (1999) Off-site Practice Teaching for the DipSW – Views of the students & practice teachers. Social Work Education Vol.18  Lawson H. ed (1998, chapter 15) Practice Teaching – Changing Social Work. London: Jessica Kingsley,  Kearney, P (2003) A framework for supporting and assessing practice learning. SCIE  Lindsay, J and Tompsett, H (1998) Careers of practice teachers in the London and South East region (CCETSW)

35 References  Lindsay and Walton (2000) Workforce Planning and the strategic deployment of practice teachers in approved agencies. CCETSW  Maidment, J and Woodward, P (2002) Student supervision in context: A model for external supervisors in Shardlow, S and Doel, M (2002) Learning to practice social work: International approaches. London: Jessica Kingsley  May, T (1993) Social research: issues, methods and process. Buckingham:  Open University  Marsh, P, and Triseliotis, J (1996) Ready to practice? Social Workers and Probation Officers: their training and first year in work. Aldershot: Avebury  Parker, J (1960) Effective practice teaching in social work. Exeter: Learning Matters  Patton, M (1990) Qualitative evaluation and research methods London: Sage  Perlman, H (1968) Persona: Social role and personality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press cited in Payne, M (2005) Modern social work theory. Basingstoke, Palgrave Mac  Plath, D (2003) Experience based Learning Journal of Practice Teaching Volume 5 Number 1  Prevatt Goldstein, B & Harris, V (1996) Innovations in practice teaching in Educating social workers in a changing policy context, eds Jackson, S and Preston –Shoot, M. London: Whiting and Birch  Shardlow, S & Doel, M (1996) Practice Learning and Teaching. London: Macmillan  Thompson, N (2006) Promoting Workplace Learning. Bristol: Policy Press  Taylor, I (1997) Developing learning in professional education. Buckingham: Open University  Vroom, V and Deci, E (1992), 2nd edition, Management and motivation : selected readings  Harmondsworth : Penguin  Wilson G. (2000) Developing Practice Learning – the Practice Teacher’s Perspective Journal of Practice teaching in Health & Social Care Vol 3 No 2

36 Other References & Unpublished Research  British Association of Social Workers – The Code of Ethics for Social Work 2002  DH (2002) Requirements for social work training accessed on accessed on www.dh.gov.uk/swqualification/newrequiremnt accessed on  GSCC (2002, a) Codes of Practice accessed on  GSCC (2002, b) Statement of Commitment accessed on  GSCC (2002, c) Guidance on the assessment of practice in the workplace accessed on  GSCC (2004) The revised post-qualifying framework for social work education and training  accessed on  GSCC (2006) Specialist standards and requirements for post-qualifying social work education and training.  Leadbetter, M (2005) Annual report of Practice Learning Taskforce  (accessed )  Practice Learning Taskforce (2003) Regional map and development plan,  London region. (accessed )  Practice Learning Taskforce (2005) Annual Report of Practice Learning Taskforce  Skinner, C (2005) An Exploration of the Supervisory needs of Freelance “off-site” Practice Teachers in Social Work. Kingston University M.A. Dissertation in Professional Education and Training


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