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Your AGM Invite

Notice is hereby given of the

Annual General Meeting


The National Organisation for Practice Teaching

The AGM will be held at 12 noon on

Monday 18th November 2019

Room G03 Education Building (R19 on map attached)

University of Birmingham

B15 2TT

·       An agenda and minutes of the last meeting held on 8th November 2018 have been sent to all members. Spare copies will be available on the day.

·       A nomination form for new committee members and a form to introduce a Motion to the AGM have also been sent out. Please note there are deadlines for submission. Please ensure you have the permission of any person you choose to nominate. Please contact us via if, as a member, you have not received these items.

·       Voting will be by show of hands during the AGM.

Here is a link to a Campus Map of Birmingham University, showing the location of the building we are in and parking options. Please note parking can be a challenge, so please allow enough time to find a space. Travel by train is also an option – use University Station from Birmingham New Street.

New PEPS now live

The new PEPS have now been finalised and are active with immediate effect. Please ensure that all Practice Educators, Academic, Learning and Development staff and students are aware.

Conference presentations now available #NOPT19

Full programme and Presenter Bios – #NOPT19

Mark Doel is a registered social worker and Professor Emeritus, Sheffield Hallam University. Dr Doel has twenty years’ social work practice with communities, specialising in groupwork. He has experience as a social work teacher and trainer, practice educator, head of school of social work, a writer (21 books published plus many scholarly articles), academic researcher, external examiner and project director. He leads training workshops in groupwork and practice education. Mark has a long association with NOPT. He has extensive experience in eastern Europe and is Honorary Professor at Tbilisi State University, Georgia as well as out-going Vice-President of the International Association for Social Work with Groups (IASWG)

Social Work in 40 Objects –
teaching and learning in the language of things

In this presentation Mark Doel will consider the potential for the social work curriculum to be built around Objects. Could an Object-based curriculum help to integrate the class-based and practice-based curricula? If an Object-based curriculum transcends language, can it help overcome national and linguistic barriers to internationalise the social work curriculum?

Mark built a web-based experimental project called Social Work in 40 Objects to see if it was possible to tell the story of social work via artefacts. To date, almost 150 people with varying relationships to social work have ‘donated’ to this Virtual Exhibition of Social Work, which is still collecting objects ( – telling the story of how the Object connects them to social work. Mark will suggest that a collection of objects and their stories creates a deeper impression of social work, for example as a contested profession, than traditional texts and definitions. The stronger the attachment between object, person and profession, the more charged becomes the object.

Mark will further our understanding of the relevance of material culture theory to social work.

For more:

Doel, M. (2019) ‘Displaying social work through objects’, British Journal of Social

     Work, [doi: 10.1093/bjsw/bcy086].

Doel, M. (ed) (2017) Social Work in 42 Objects (and more), Lichfield: Kirwin Maclean

Doel, M. (2016) Rights and Wrongs in Social Work: Ethical and practice dilemmas, London: Palgrave.

Fiona Stansfield. I qualified as a Social Worker in 2003 and as a Practice Teacher in 2009.  My frontline practice was mainly working with adults and older adults and I became a full-time practice teacher working for local authorities between 2009 and 2016 and had the pleasure of working with a significant number of social work students as they undertook their social work placements in social work teams.  I was an assessor for the practice teaching qualification in Scotland and supported and trained a number of practice teachers and link workers.  In 2016, I moved into Higher Education and my current position is Manager of Practice Learning at the University of Strathclyde Glasgow for the BA and MSW Social Work degrees.  I am the current Chair of ScOPT, the Scottish Organisation for Practice Teaching, having held this role for 2 year and have been a committee member and trustee for 4 years.

I qualified as a Social Worker in 2003 and as a Practice Teacher in 2009.  My frontline practice was mainly working with adults and older adults and I became a full-time practice teacher working for local authorities between 2009 and 2016 and had the pleasure of working with a significant number of social work students as they undertook their social work placements in social work teams.  I was an assessor for the practice teaching qualification in Scotland and supported and trained a number of practice teachers and link workers.  In 2016, I moved into Higher Education and my current position is Manager of Practice Learning at the University of Strathclyde Glasgow for the BA and MSW Social Work degrees.  I am the current Chair of ScOPT, the Scottish Organisation for Practice Teaching, having held this role for 2 year and have been a committee member and trustee for 4 years.

Debbie Greaves is a social worker with 22 years’ experience.  She qualified in Australia and has worked as a social worker in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, predominantly within family and childcare settings both in the voluntary and statutory sectors.  She has also lived and worked in Japan where she taught English as a foreign language.

Debbie qualified as a Practice Teacher in 2005 and has taught dozens of students from 8 UK institutions at undergraduate and Masters level. She is also an experienced Practice Assessor for the Northern Ireland Practice Teaching Training Programme for which her assessor reports have been recognised as exemplars by the external examiner.  Debbie has taught for many years on the NIPTTP on issues relating to power, anti-oppressive practice and values and more recently, developed and delivered a podcast for the Programme focusing on ‘Practice Teaching in the Digital Age’.  She also teaches on the ‘preparation for practice learning’ module in Northern Ireland and is an experienced assessor for both undergraduate Social Work courses and post-qualifying Masters Level courses. 

Debbie has an interest in digital safeguarding (e-safety) issues and completed her Masters in Applied Social Studies with particular focus on parenting in the digital age. Her systematic literature review explored on the issue of ‘sharenting’ (when parents share on social media about their children) from a rights’ perspective. The outworking of this includes a booklet aimed at parents to encourage them to make informed decisions about sharing online, as well as a lunchtime seminar for the Northern Ireland Social Care Council and Blog for Parentkind (links below).  

Debbie trained as a CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) Ambassador in 2012 and delivers training on ‘e-safety’ issues. She is particularly interested in how digital technologies have impacted our lives and also how they have affected the way we practice social work. Debbie continues to work full-time as a senior social worker, practice teacher and practice assessor in Northern Ireland.

Debbie’s workshop entitled, “Practice Teaching in a Digital Age” will focus on:

  • Awareness of the impact of our online lives on our practice teaching role
  • How can we encourage students to consider the impact of their online behaviour (digital footprint)
  • How we can help students develop digital literacy and critical thinking skills and expand their understanding of how we all (including our service users) live on and offline
  • How online communities and networks influence how service users may access support and the implications of such for traditional 9 to 5 services.

Tom Wilks is a Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Winchester.  He worked for many years as a social worker and service manager primarily in mental health and in drug and alcohol services.  His academic interests are in social work ethics, service user involvement in social work education, theory and practice in social work, and advocacy.  He is the author of Advocacy and Social Work Practice.

Dr Jo Finch is Reader in Social Work & Deputy Director of the Centre of Social Work Research at the University of East London.  Jo is also Programme Director of the Professional Doctorate in Social Work. Formerly a children and family’s social worker and play therapist, Jo has been a social work educator for over 17 years, and has previously led a number of qualifying programmes. Jo has long-standing research interest in issues around suitability for social work practice and has published widely on the topic of assessing students in placements. Jo is the author or “Working with Struggling Students on Placement: A Practical Guide” (2017, Policy Press) and is co-author of “SHARE: A New Model of Social Work” (2018, Kirwan Maclean Associates).  Jo has also published on the issue of social work and radicalisation.  

Booking Now Open for NOPT 2019

Please book using this link – details of venue, directions etc here . We will be using rooms in the St Andrew’s and St Michael’s buildings.

Look forward to seeing you all there!

Hold The Date! NOPT 2019 Conference Info Now Available

Initial information is as follows:

National Organisation for Practice Teaching England Conference

Tuesday 25th June 2019 10am-4pm

University of Portsmouth

BASW’s update of changes following PEPs refresh

Workshops including : Preparing students for the digital age, Practice Education in the context of agency Practice Modules, Working with students with additional needs, Working with students undertaking distance learning

Day Delegate Fee £85 (including lunch & refreshments)

To book look out for email in your In-box week beginning 22nd April 2019 with booking link

PEPS Refresh Consultation Now Live

BASW have today (8th March) launched the national consultation for the PEPs (Practice Education Professional Standards) refresh. NOPT has been part of the national steering committee on this project and we are really keen to see what everybody thinks about it.

The consultation is open until April 8th, so don’t leave it too late! And watch this space for some exciting news about the launch of the new PEPs later this year.

More Great Offers from Neil Thompson

Well-known social work author, Neil Thompson, is a strong supporter of practice education. His first ever book was about practice learning and that has now evolved into The Learning from Practice Manual. As he did with The Social Worker’s Practice Manual, he has kindly made it available to NOPT members at a generous 25% discount. Please see the attached flyer for details of the book and how to order. There is also a short (less than two minutes) video at: Neil is also still offering a 25% discount to our members for The Social Worker’s Practice Manual and his online learning courses and tutorial group. If you have any queries about any of this, Neil is happy for you to contact him at:


Neil Thompson, well known social work academic and great supporter of Practice Education has contacted us to offer all NOPT members 25% discount on his latest book ‘The Social Worker’s Practice Manual’. Details of how to obtain the discount are in this link Neil Thompson Special Offer 

We are grateful to Neil for his kind offer and hope many of our members will take up this opportunity. More about the book can be found on Neil’s website.

In addition, Neil is offering NOPT members 25% discount on some of the courses he offers (details in the same link above), including the following:

▲ Time and Workload Management ▲ Dealing with Stress ▲ Managing Stress (a follow-up course specifically for managers) ▲ Emotional Competence: Developing
Emotional Intelligence and Resilience ▲ Handling Aggression ▲ Risk Assessmentand Management ▲ Outcome-focused Practice ▲ Safeguarding Children from
Abuse ▲ Getting Started with Reflective Practice ▲ Developing a Reflective Practice Culture ▲ Equality, Diversity and Inclusion ▲ Managing Equality, Diversity and
Inclusion (a more advanced follow-up) ▲ The Equality Act 2010 ▲ How to Be Happy ▲ How to Be Liked ▲ Facing Death … Enriching Life ▲ Learning to Learn

All in all a great offer for our members!


12th International Conference on Practice Teaching and Field Education

Programme now available

The next in the series of our popular and highly valued conferences is in Oxford, 10th-11th September 2018.

The overall theme for the conference is

‘Innovation in Practice Learning and Field Education’

The conference is for professionals in any area of health, social work, or social care.

Conference themes

• The use of innovative technology in practice learning

• Tools and models for practice teaching and field education

• New perspectives in adult learning

• Research on practice learning and field education

• Inter-professional practice learning

•  International approaches

Workshops and presentations

We offer over 50 workshops and presentations. More details of the conference programme available here.


Our four inspiring keynote speakers are all leaders in their fields, whether health, social work or social care. More details here.

Booking your place

Book your place here.

We look forward to seeing you in Oxford in September!

Follow us on Twitter: @pracedu18

The 12th International Conference on Practice Teaching

and Field Education in Health and Social Work

St John’s College, Oxford, UK,

September 10th – 11th 2018

Programme and presentation enquiries:


NOPT Conference

Tuesday 26th June 2018

University of Worcester

  Keynote Speakers:

  • Professor Aidan Worsley, UCLAN

  • Becki Meakin, ‘Shaping Our Lives’

There will also be the opportunity to attend two workshops in the course of the day


Workshops will include:

  • Solution Focused Skills for Practice Education

  • Update on PEPS /PCF Reviews

  • Using the SHARE model in practice education

  • Supporting struggling students to “fail” better

  • Changing practice education roles in the Teaching Partnerships

  • How social work students develop professional judgement skills in placement.

  • Service user involvement in placement assessment

 Further workshops to be confirmed

Stands: Kirwin Maclean, Critical Publishing, David Whiting and a range of other stands will be available on the day.

Registration:         9.30am to 10.00am  in Main Reception, Edward Elgar Building, St Johns Campus, Worcester University

Conference Opens: 10.00am     Finishes: 4.00pm


Day Delegate Fee:     £80.00 (including lunch and refreshments).

To book for the NOPT Conference, please follow the link below:

We look forward to seeing you on 26th June 2018

The NOPT Committee

Downloadable flyer 2018 NOPT Conference Flyer



In February 2018 BASW released the first draft of the PCF refresh. Have a look at the proposals and join the consultation here


BASW (June 2017) are currently undertaking a survey on Practice Educator Professional standards (PEPS) that everyone is welcome to fill in. You can access this survey directly on the BASW website or via the following web link

The link is ​

The 2017 NOPT Conference was held at the

University of Huddersfield on 4th July 2017

See the Conference Resources page of the website for copies of

the presentations that many of the keynote speakers

and workshop presenters have kindly agreed to share.

 Keynote speakers:  

  • Siobhan McLean. Author, Independent Trainer, Consultant and Practice Educator: “Journeys in Practice Learning: A creative model for placements and beyond”
  • Mark Baldwin, SWAN: “Social Work Practice & Social Work Education: crisis, what crisis?”
  • Cheryl Wall , Skills for Care “Changes in Practice Education and Assessment”



.         Direct work with students

·         Anti-racist practice in workplace education

·         Review of the PCF

·         Review of PEPS

·         The PE toolkit

·         Developing student recording skills in electronic systems





The 2016 NOPT Conference was held on Thursday 7th July

at the University of Wolverhampton

Some workshop presenters have kindly given their permission for their Powerpoint presentations to be shared – see below. Other presentations may also subsequently be added to the NOPT website as these are received.

Keynote speakers:


There will also be the opportunity to attend 2 workshops during the course of the day

Workshops will include:

  • Partners in practice: practice educator and academic tutor perspectives on working together to support student learning on the Frontline programme. Alison Domakin, Principal Lecturer in Social Work, Tilda Goldberg Centre for Social Work and Social Care, University of Bedfordshire and Liz Curry, Consultant Social Worker, Salford  NOPT2016 FRONTLINE


  • Political activism and the social work placement – Gurnam Singh, Principal Lecturer in Social Work, Coventry University NOPT GS 2016


  • Are we educating for the wrong profession? Findings from a field study on how shame and pride are being used to refashion social workers into a new type of professional – Matthew Gibson, Lecturer, University of Birmingham


  • Experiences of black students in practice placements – Salford University Practice Learning Team


  • Assessing values and ethics: the impact of personal and cultural beliefs – Hellmuth Weich, Senior Lecturer, University of Northumbria at Newcastle


  • What you see is what you get, or is it? Improving the quality and consistency of the assessment of Direct Observations of Practice. Mary Keating, Project Manager- Social Work Regulated Professional Workforce, Skills for Care Mary Keating 2016 NOPT final 




Stands: Kirwin MacLean, Critical Publishing, Sage and a range of other stands will be available on the day.

Registration: 9.30am to 10am                 Start: 10am                 Finish:  4pm                             

Day Delegate Fee:  £75.00 (including lunch and refreshments). If you wish to attend the 2016 NOPT Conference, please access further details and book your delegate place using the following link:

NOPT is now on Twitter. Follow NOPT at @NOPTtw  


NOTICE FOR ALL PRACTICE EDUCATORS – HCPC request for practice educator feedback on the Standards of Proficiency for social workers in England (SOPs)

NOPT has agreed to help circulate the HCPC request for practice educators to become involved in offering feedback from a practice educator perspective, on the current HCPC Standards of Proficiency (SOPs) for social workers in England via an online survey, that opened  for feedback on the 14th September 2015.

The HCPC will be launching a full public consultation in April 2016 about the SOPs, but at present the HCPC is engaging in an initial review stage where it is seeking to gain feedback from groups of people already familiar in working with the existing standards (specifically practice educators), with the intention of the HCPC then using this feedback to draft an updated version of the SOPS to send out for public consultation in April 2016.

This is therefore a really key opportunity for all practice educators (so please feel free to circulate this information to any PEs that you know) to be able to feedback comments directly to the HCPC as to whether the current SOPs are felt to be sufficient to assess social work students against, in terms of ensuring that social work students will be ‘safe and effective’ practitioners at qualifying level.

For those of you who would like to complete the HCPC survey, the link is provided below. It is an online survey that takes about 10 -20 minutes and consists of five questions which are broadly as follows;

  1. Are the current standards of proficiency set at a sufficient standard for safe and effective practice;
  2. Are any additional standards needed to ensure social work students can operate safely and effectively;
  3. Are there any standards that need rewording or removing;
  4. Are there any comments about the language currently used in the existing standards;
  5. Any other comments.

There is an ‘other’ comments section text box provided at the end of each question so you can also expand your views in more detail.

The last date for completing the survey is 23rd October 2015, so please circulate this email through your PE networks as soon as you can.

A copy of the link to the survey is available below.

The link to the HCPC survey:


NOPT have issued a combined response to the change in the Education Support Grant with reference to the Narey and Croisdale-Appleby reports on Social Work Education. See attached file. 2014NOPT response to ESG Narey and Croisdale-Appleby

NOPT have issued a response to the Croisdale-Appleby review of Social Work Education. See the attached file. 2014 NOPT CroisdaleAppleby response

Thank you to everyone who responded to our Consultation on the implementation of the Practice Educator Professional Standards for Social Work (PEPS). The Summary Report is now available on the NOPT website on the ‘Practice Educator Professional Standards Consultation’ page.

See our NOPT Conference Resources page if you wish to access some of the Powerpoint presentations from previous NOPT Conferences.