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Reframing social work practice education: practice educators’ perceptions of the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) and the support provided during implementation

Article from Practice: Social Work in Action journal

The research conducted applied an Appreciative Inquiry methodology to explore experiences of social work practice educators just before and following the implementation of the Professional Capabilities Framework to discover more about the impact of the assessment framework on their role in supporting and assessing social work students during their placements. A three-staged approach was applied to discover how practice educators were supported and enabled during a time of transitional change.

Findings suggest that the practice educator role has multiple dimensions, although their central positioning within the professional development of social work student’s practice learning is not fully recognised through adequate channels of support and encouragement. A significant finding pertained to the importance of the relationship established between the practice educator and the student as being integral to the assessment process.

Solutions considered include developing a more streamlined approach to training and support and development, stronger local partnerships and increased recognition within the social work community.

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