Practice Learning - Social Work

Practice Learning Team

The team comprises administrators and academic staff who support practice learning for the professional social work courses. We do this by developing, auditing and evaluating placements, allocating students to placements, educating and supporting practice educators and supervisors and contributing to the practice learning that takes place within the university.

The team is based in Harrington Building, Room 305. View map (.pdf 909KB)

We hope that you will find the following information helpful in supporting, or considering supporting, our students during their important practice learning periods. Practice learning is a critical element of the student experience in any vocational programme and those programmes offered by the School of Social Work are no exception.

If you are an agency interested in providing placements for our social work students we would be very happy to hear from you. Please contact a member of the team above for an initial discussion. Please note that our placements ideally need to have a social worker on site, and practice educators and supervisors are required to undertake specialised training.

If you are an existing placement provider, practice educator or supervisor, you will be able to access documentation on this page relating to placements, links to useful resources and information about events that may be of interest to you.

If you have any comments or suggestions about the content on these pages please email the team.

Pam Field, Senior Lecturer, Telephone: +44 (0)1772 892729 Email:
Mia Gatrell, Senior Lecturer, Telephone: +44 (0)1772 893474 Email:
Ruth Parkes, Associate Lecturer, Telephone: +44 (0)1772 895407 Email:

Key Information for Placement Providers, Practice Educators and Practice Supervisors

Students on a BA or MA Social Work course will undertake two practice placements.

BA students:

  • First placement: 70 days, full time, from September of their second year.
  • Final placement: 100 days, full time, from February of their third year.

MA students:

  • First placement: 70 days, full time, from February of their first year.
  • Final placement: 100 days, full time, from January of their second year.

The placements meet requirements set by the HCPC and College of Social Work and take place in a range of social care and social work settings, fully supervised by a trained practice educator, who must be a registered social worker at final placement level.

An overview and guidance for those undertaking, or supporting Social Work Student Placements (.doc 37KB)

Documentation for Practice Educators

Placement related documentation. Please note that the following documentation is relevant for all placements.

  1. Practice Learning Handbook BA and MA (.docx 262KB) – this contains key information about processes and procedures, including what to do if concerns are raised during placement.
  2. Overview of the Practice Learning Documentation and Process (.docx 48KB)
  3. Contents of Portfolio (.docx 41KB)
  4. Practice Learning Agreement (.docx 56KB)
  5. Mid Point Development Plan (.docx 42KB)
  6. Final Report (.docx 49KB)
  7. Example of Supervision Proforma (.doc 41KB)
  8. Example Supervision Agreement (.docx 39KB)
  9. Example Supervision Agreement - 2 (.docx 39KB)
  10. Record of Supervision (.docx 39KB)
  11. Direct Observation of Practice Proforma (.docx 62KB)
  12. Critical Analysis of Practice Template (.docx 44KB)
  13. Guidance for Practice Educators and Students on Critical Analysis of Practice Documentation (.docx 38KB)
  14. Instructions for QAPL 201415 placement (.docx 41KB)

Optional documents that you may access to support practice learning.

  1. Example Service User Feedback Form (.docx 62KB)
  2. Reflective Log – optional template (.docx 38KB)
  3. Reflective Log Guidance (.docx 38KB)
  4. Reflective Log – optional template 2

The Placement Calendar

View the Placement Calendar. (.docx 57KB)

Training for Practice Supervisors and Educators

You may be interested in training to become a practice educator. The documents linked to below give details of requirements set by the College of Social Work, contained in the Practice Educator Professional Standards (2013), and our local training arrangements.

For information relating to our own local training arrangements  and information relating to Portfolio Assessment (view document - .docx 36KB).

For new educators there are two routes to training for and obtaining practice educator status.

University based modules which attract university credits. Clare Stone is the module leader at UCLan for the practice education modules. These are two distinct modules which enable social workers and other practitioners to obtain the status of practice supervisor, stage one and stage two educator whilst at the same time receiving academic credits for the work produced.
Please contact Clare for further details either by email or by telephone on +44 (0)1772 893939.

For social workers or practitioners who do not wish to undertake the above modules, courses are run periodically by UCLan and other universities in partnership with employers. Details will be posted in our events section as training is planned and advertised.
For more details contact Pam Field by email or by telephone on +44 (0)1772 892729.

Useful Resources for Practice Educators

Useful Websites:

Useful Links:

Useful articles:

  • Guidance on assessing practice using the PCF