Teaching note: assessing social work students on placement: a model for professional competence

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This teaching note describes how the author (a practice teacher and university lecturer) retrospectively considered and applied the work of Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger; with a specific focus on situtaed learning, communities of practice and pre-qualifying social work education in Northern Ireland. Through this retrospective lens, this conceptual paper presents a new, inclusive model for practice teachers (practice educators) and social work students to use in professional supervision. The Social Work Placement Professional Competence (PPC) Model is presented as a supervisory tool to guide and frame professional discussions and critical analysis of student’s practice. The model can be used to critically reflect on the development of the students’ incremental learning, knowledge base, evidence of decision-making, assessment of need and ability to effectively manage risk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Work Education: The International Journal
Early online date3 Apr 2024
Publication statusPublished online - 3 Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • social work education
  • field education
  • professional supervision
  • social work placement professional competence model
  • professional identity


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