Enabling reflective practice in the workplace: Stage 2 Practice Educator Award

20 Academic credits at Undergraduate, Graduate or Postgraduate levels

Who is this course for?

mature-students-seminar-cropped-246This course is for those in appropriate roles as practitioners or managers, advanced or senior practitioners or managers, who are experienced in supervising and assessing trainee social workers in the workplace during an initial (80-100 day) or final (100 day) Practice Learning Opportunity within social work related organisations. A module of 5 days duration, this course meets the requirements for the Practice Educator Professional Framework Stage 2 competences, Domains A, B and C, and D the linked Statements within the Professional Capability Framework (2012) for Experienced Social Workers, Senior Practitioners and Professional Educators. It also reflects the HCPC Statement of Proficiency and of Values and Ethics for Social Workers.

Course overview

The Enabling Reflective Practice in the Workplace Module is an academically accredited programme, offered at postgraduate, graduate and undergraduate levels. 

Building on the Enabling Others module, it provides knowledge and skills for supervising, mentoring and assessing social work students on Practice Learning Opportunities in social care related organisations, supporting and mentoring other practice educators; and mentoring and supervising other developing members of staff.  It also forms Stage 2 of the proposed Practice Educator Framework and within the next 12 months, will build on Enabling Others, connecting with the Leadership and Management/Reflective Management Practice modules, to form a Leadership Diploma Award with a Practice Education emphasis. As such, there will be Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning options for candidates successful in the assessment for both modules and therefore achieving 20 academic credits for each.

Entry requirements 

You need to be working in a social care or social work setting of any nature - often multidisciplinary.  You will be a qualified social worker and from September 2013, this is a requirement of practice educators who are managing final Practice Learning Opportunities for trainee social workers. You will also have successfully completed an Enabling Others (Stage 1 Practice Educator) Programme, or equivalent, and so be able to work academically at a minimum of Undergraduate level.

How to apply

This course extends and deepens the knowledge gained from the Enabling Others (Stage 1 Practice Educator) programme, and specifically equips you to manage and assess social work students for practice learning opportunities (PLOs) in the workplace - particularly final PLOs.

It also equips you to support and lead other less experienced practice educators, and to supervise, mentor and assess other developing members of staff (for example, newly qualified Social Workers in their Assessed and Supervised Year of Employment (ASYE).

Most people are sponsored by their organisations who are wishing to offer practice learning opportunities to University Social Work Degree programmes.  For this reason, you will normally need to liaise with the Learning and Development Department of your organisation and will normally be sponsored by your organisation..

Course structure 

A module of 5 days duration, with an optional additional reflective day, this programme meets the teaching requirements for the GSCC Guidance for Assessment in the Workplace (2004).  The module reflects the requirements for the Stage 2 Practice Educator Award, as defined in the GSCC Skills for Care/CWDC Guidance Framework (2009).  This document identifies requirements for Stage 2 within Domains A to D. 

Day 1

The teaching for this module covers the required Domains at Stage 2 within the context of Domains, B, B and C, and in addition, Domain D, as specified within the relevant statements for Professional Educators and Advanced Practitioners in the Professional Capability Statements.

Day 1 offers an exploration of the role of the practice educator in assuring quality of learning opportunities within organisations and regions.  It establishes the reflective, research-minded and evidence led focus of effective practice education for social work students and developing staff.

Days 2 to 4

Days 2 to 4 explore at depth at each element of an effective learning process, with particular emphasis on:

  • The Learning Organisation and the Advanced Workplace (Social Work Task Force Report 2009).
  • The new role of the Professional Educator, in the continuing professional development process in organisations, with a particular emphasis on:
  • Core and key skills sets and areas of knowledge and skill
  • Delivering learning in statutory settings.
  • Delivering learning for multi-professional working, legislation and safeguarding.
  • Assessing holistically, using diverse evidence sources (including academically-linked marking processes).
  • Guiding/mentoring others in complex assessment processes which affect decisions about competence to practice.

Day 5

Day 5 focuses on aspects of the mentoring and coaching process and on the transfer of professional educator skills to other roles. It also foregrounds the importance of continuing professional development for practice educators in the organisation.


The module is academically assessed at 20 credits through 3 reflective accounts of 3000 word minimum in total, and practically assessed through provision of a Portfolio, which includes documentation from each period of a complete Practice Learning Opportunity. 

Candidates must undertake two examples of observed practice and reflection on this, at Stage 2. If candidates have undertaken an observation in the Enabling Others (Stage 1) programme, which they undertook, this can be used as one of the observed examples of Practice Education Practice. Otherwise they will need to provide two. This reflects the Practice Educator Professional Standards requirement for a Stage 2 Practice Educator to have been directly observed twice altogether.

Evidence must come from a student social worker but at Stage 2, can also be drawn from work with another learner undertaking a structured programme of professional learning in the workplace, for example, a newly qualifified social worker in their ASYE year.

Further information

Start date: This course starts in January each year and runs at least annually on a modular basis.

Duration: 5 days split into two and three day blocks with an optional call back day between blocks.

Fees: £588.


Donna Purkiss
Teaching Programme Administrator
Email: d.purkiss@bham.ac.uk
Tel: +44(0)121 414 6549