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Printed from the ScOPTbox Practice Learning Library

The Inside Story: A Survey of Social Work Students' Supervision and Learning Opportunities on Placement

Practice learning accounts for half of the content of the bachelor of social work degree course requirements in Northern Ireland in their field education programmes and share a professional and ethical responsibility with practice teachers to provide appropriate learning environments to prepare students as competent and professional practitioners. The accreditation standards for practice learning require the placement to provide students with regular supervision and exposure to a range of learning strategies, but there is little research that actually identifies the types of placements offering this learning and the key activities provided. This paper builds on an Australian study and surveys social work students in two programmes in Northern Ireland about their exposure to a range of learning activities, how frequently they were provided and how it compares to what is required by the Northern Ireland practice standards. The results indicated that, although most students were satisfied with the supervision and support they received during their placement, the frequency of supervision and type of learning activities varied according to different settings, year levels and who provided the learning opportunities.

  • Author(s):
Helen Cleak, Audrey Roulston, Anthea Vreugdenhil
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Assessing Learners
Placement Journey
Research and Evaluation
Practice Educator, Australia, Northern Ireland
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  • Recommended by:
Jon Bolton
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This article is published in the British Journal of Social Work (2016)
doi 10.1093/bjsw/bcv117
First published online: January 10, 2016

Access to the full article requires a subscription to BJSW.

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Cleak, H., Ralston, A. and Vreugdenhil, A. (2016) The Inside Story: A Survey of Social Work Students' Supervision and Learning Opportunities on Placement. ScOPTbox Practice Learning Library. [Online]. Available from:

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