EDP: Year 3 Placement

3.1 Context of the placement

3.1.1  Practice

Trainees who have successfully completed their second year will enter Year 3 with a secure knowledge and capacity to approach novel situations using a problem solving framework. They will have extensive experience of casework and will be able to respond to requests, generate a working hypothesis and together with clients generate appropriate intervention strategies. They will have had experience of providing a psychological service within a local authority and be familiar with working practices. Placement in Year 3 is an opportunity for trainees to extend these skills and work towards demonstrating the HCPC Standards of Proficiency for practitioner psychologists. Practice will also provide opportunities to engage in wider local authority practice, contribute to systemic practice and offer training.

3.1.2  Parallel activities in Year 3

Whilst it is not the responsibility of the supervisor to oversee and monitor trainee progress across the other strands of programme activity it is helpful if supervisors understand the whole picture of a trainees ‘working world’. Apart from practice activities trainees will be focusing on their thesis. During the autumn term trainees will be finalising their literature review and completing their data collection. The thesis is submitted at the beginning of June.

3.2 Placement planning and process

Trainees have 130 placement days during the academic year. Generally speaking, trainees are expected to undertake practice activities during term time on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, with Mondays and Fridays as thesis days.  Due to the varied nature of thesis work, however, it might be necessary for trainees to negotiate time dedicated to thesis work during normal practice days, ‘paying back’ this time to the authority through working Mondays and Fridays as required.

Based on three days a week from week commencing 3 September 2018 to week commencing 22 July 2019, this works out as 121 days.  Trainees can find the remaining nine days from the following:

  • Working on placement for the week following the end of summer term (ie, working 29 July to 2 August) – up to 5 days available;
  • Working on placement during half term breaks – up to 15 days available;
  • Working on placement during the Spring break – up to 8 days available;

With the wider range of placement authorities used since September 2013, it is no longer possible to ensure that half term weeks observed by the university (identified according to the Hampshire school calendar) align with the half term weeks of all host authorities.  With this in mind, trainees should check carefully their host authority calendar against the university calendar when planning personal holidays.  Holidays should not be taken during term time.

In Year 3, trainees are expected to attend the University for a number of Mondays to reflect on their professional practice.  These are shown in the Year 3 timetable.

3.3 Placement activities

3.3.1 Casework

The format of Year 3 is as follows:-

September to July

Supervised casework arising from a small patch of schools (including high and low incidence casework as well as other types of EP work).

All work will be supervised by a supervisor. Trainees will continue to require the equivalent of ½ an hour of formal supervision per day on placement.

In addition trainees would benefit from opportunities to participate in wider local authority activities such as training and development across the wider Children’s Services.

 Statutory work. Whilst it is understood that local authorities vary in their approach and time allocation to statutory work, the course would expect, broadly, that a Year 3 trainee would be working towards completing a piece of statutory work (assessment visit(s) plus writing up advice) within two days by the end of the year.

3.4 Responsibilities

3.4.1  Local authority

The Service providing the placement holds responsibility for the activities and experiences of the trainee whilst on placement. These responsibilities are set out in the nationally agreed Practice Placement Partnership Framework (PPPF).

Trainees in Year 3 will have had extensive experience of working in one local authority but working practices vary markedly between authorities and there is a danger that trainees may assume that practice is the same. It is therefore important that trainees receive induction into their new host Service. (see appendix 12). Whilst on placement in the local authority the trainee will be required to follow the policy and practices of their host authority. The trainees should have access to:

  • the child protection safeguarding policy.
  • health and safety policies relevant to the delivery of educational psychology services, e.g. lone working policy
  • information sharing/confidentiality policy
  • data protection policy.
  • policy for raising concerns about the safety and wellbeing of service users (‘whistleblowing’ policy).

3.4.2 Supervisor

It is expected that the supervisor will be HCPC registered and will normally have a minimum of three years’ experience as a fully qualified educational psychologist. The local authority will ensure that the supervision co-ordinator nominated by the Service has due regard for the DECP Guidelines, Professional Supervision: Guidelines for Practice for Educational Psychologists, 2010 and is able to undertake and fulfil the following responsibilities:

The supervisor is responsible for:

  • Ensuring that the trainee has opportunities to experience a broad range of educational
    psychology work in order to achieve the placement learning objectives
  • Ensuring that the trainee has opportunities to shadow other educational psychologists within the service during the placement.
  • With the trainee, maintaining an overview of achievements in relation to the BPS Competencies Log of Evidence
  • Overseeing supervision arrangements to ensure that the trainee has sufficient high quality supervision for work undertaken, (at least half an hour of formal, recorded supervision per day on placement)
  • Facilitating trainee access to appropriate resources.
  • Providing supervision (at least half an hour of formal, recorded supervision per day on placement).
  • Ensuring the trainee is observed at least monthly during the placement.
  • Ensuring all reports are countersigned.
  • Meeting with the personal tutor and trainee to review the placement in November and March/April (Interim Review Meeting).
  • Ensuring documentation following review meetings is forwarded to Colin Woodcock, placement co-ordinator (C.Woodcock@soton.ac.uk) by the indicated deadlines.
  • Producing a written summative report, at the end of the placement, to be sent to Colin Woodcock.
  • Alerting the university placement co-ordinator, Colin Woodcock in a timely manner of any concerns regarding trainee competence and practice that have not been able to be addressed through supervision.
  • Attend a supervision co-ordinators’ meeting in September 2018.

The supervisor will take overall responsibility for the Year 3 trainee whilst on placement.

Supervisors may apply for honorary visitor status at the university. This means that the supervisor in contributing to the assessment of trainee learning is recognised by the university. Visitor status also confers additional benefits in that it entitles access to the University library facilities.  A form can be obtained from the course administrative officer 023 80 595321 (edpsych@soton.ac.uk).

3.4.3  Trainee

It is expected that trainees will share responsibility with their supervisor and the University for their learning. Trainees are responsible for:

  • Preparing for supervision by identifying issues they wish to discuss, reflecting on their current issues and completing the supervision log.
  • Adhering to the standards of conduct performance and ethics of the HCPC and the Code of Conduct of the BPS.
  • Adhering to the policy and procedures of their host authority.
  • Adhering to health and safety requirements.
  • Adhering to child protection procedures.
  • Adhering to data protection requirements and making sure that any casework information included in their practical work file is fully anonymised.
  • Respecting the rights and needs of service users and of colleagues.
  • In the event of illness, contacting both their host authority and the programme administration team on the first day of absence. Subsequently making sure that the programme administration team are aware of their return to placement.
  • Completion of records of practice activity
  • With the supervisor, maintaining an overview of achievements in relation to the BPS Competencies Log of Evidence.
  • Ensuring supervisors countersign all reports.

3.4.4  Disclosing a disability

It is the responsibility of trainees to draw their supervisor’s attention to any issues which might impact on their ability to work in order that appropriate support can be discussed.  Placement hosts should give trainees opportunities to disclose this information in a safe and confidential manner, however it is the trainee’s decision whether or not to do so.  We would strongly recommend that they do.

Further details of the shared responsibilities are set out in the Practice Placement Partnership Framework.

3.5 Supervision

Trainees are required to receive ½ hour of supervision per day of placement activity. It is the responsibility of the trainee to keep a record of supervision sessions and to provide a completed copy for their supervisor. See appendix 6. The record should show:

  • the agreed agenda
  • issues discussed
  • agreed outcomes
  • further reflective comments from the trainee.

All supervision sessions should be fully recorded and records submitted by the trainee to the University as part of their practical work file.

Issues addressed in supervision are likely to be driven by the developmental needs of the trainee however the supervisor should also use these sessions to address their duty of care to the trainee in making sure that activities they are undertaking are developmentally appropriate. The supervisor is also asked to make sure that the trainee is adhering to Service health and safety policies; child protection policies; data protection and confidentiality policies.

3.6 Monitoring and record keeping

Trainees keep an individual log of evidence of BPS competencies (appendix 1) which is completed across each year and provides the starting point for identifying personal objectives at the beginning of Year 3 and throughout the placement.

How competencies are addressed will be a matter for negotiation between the supervisor and trainee and in part depend on the opportunities presented within the local authority and the style of Service delivery arrangements. It is the responsibility of the trainee to keep this under review, complete evidence recording sheets (appendix 2) and raise with their supervisor aspects that need to be addressed. The attention of the supervisor is drawn to the format of the summative report (appendix 8) which identifies the areas of development on which feedback is required.

Trainees are expected to keep a daily log of activity whilst on placement (see appendix 4) and supervisors are asked to ‘sign off’ these activities at supervision. In total the trainee is required to show evidence of placement activity for 130 days. These logs should also record time spent undertaking administration tasks and report writing associated with their placement activities.

To support on-going monitoring of activity and provide further evidence for assessment an individual evaluation form (IEF) is provided (appendix 3). This form is designed to elicit feedback from clients who have had direct contact with the trainee and largely relates to individual casework. It is the trainee’s responsibility to send out and collect these forms from their clients. It provides further evidence of the achievement of BPS competencies.

3.7 Liaison between supervisors and university staff

Staff at the University are responsible for monitoring the progress of trainees through the year, although on a day to day basis whilst on placement this is delegated to the supervisor.

3.7.1  Interim reviews

Through the year there will be points when a formal review of the placement takes place. Each meeting will be used to discuss:

  • An overview of activities undertaken and planned and how these are addressing the competencies required for practice.
  • Practical arrangements to facilitate learning opportunities.
  • The on-going compilation of the practical work file.
  • Scrutiny of some evidence to be included in the work file.

Through the year there will be specific emphases related to the stage and phase of the placement.

In November, a meeting will take place between the trainee, their supervisor and personal tutor. This meeting will:

  • Review induction arrangements and initial goals set.
  • Review the Practice Placement Partnership Framework to make sure both the trainee and the supervision coordinator understand their role and responsibilities.
  • Review progress towards the project activity.
  • Address any concerns that have arisen and set targets for completion by the next interim review.
  • Confirm that the trainee has been fully inducted into the health and safety policies relevant to the practice of educational psychology in the local authority.

Prior to the meeting the trainee will have completed a draft of the interim review document (appendix 7) and discussed it with their supervisor, who will then add their own comments. Following the meeting, the trainee will add to the form targets and actions agreed on, plus any additional information arising.

The personal tutor will also take the opportunity to observe the trainee on placement (undertaking appropriate casework activity) and provide feedback between this observation and the interim review meeting.

The second meeting takes place in March/April and will again be a three way meeting between the supervisor, trainee and personal tutor. The personal tutor will take the opportunity to observe the trainee prior to the meeting. Prior to the meeting the trainee will again complete a draft of the interim review document (appendix 7) and discuss it with their supervisor for their comments.

The meeting will address:

  • A review of the placement overall.
  • A review of the BPS competencies-log of evidence and the evidence included.
  • Identify any outstanding aspects of the competencies which need to be addressed and how this may be achieved.

The final record of both interim review meetings should be emailed to Colin Woodcock, (C.Woodcock@soton.ac.uk) by Friday 21 December 2018 for the November meeting and Friday 3 May 2019 for the March/April meeting, with copies to the trainee’s personal tutor, supervision co-ordinator, placement PEP and the course administrative officer (edpsych@soton.ac.uk).

These three way meetings are the formal points of contact between the University and the local authority. Informal contact is always welcome.

3.7.2  Raising concerns

It would be hoped that any concerns or issues raised by the trainee or supervisor will be addressed and successfully resolved through the supervision process. However where a supervisor has on-going concerns these should be raised in the first instance with Colin Woodcock, the placement co-ordinator.

A flowchart outlining the process for dealing with a TEP’s or Supervisor’s concerns about placement is presented in Appendix 9.

3.8 Assessment

3.8.1  Casework ‘Viva’

Trainees are asked to select three cases from their casework table (see appendix 11) which will provide the basis for a forty-five minute discussion with the APT (Year 3) and the programme director. Trainees will be expected to show an understanding of the wider and broader ethical framework in which they practice, and to demonstrate the psychology that has informed their thinking and approach. Assessment is made on the quality of the thinking demonstrated rather than the casework content.  The full assessment criteria for the casework viva can be found in the Academic and Research Handbook.

To set the context of the casework discussion, trainees should come to the casework viva with their completed casework table for the year with the cases selected for viva highlighted. Service reports (appropriately anonymised) should be brought to the viva and subsequently included in the practical work file.

3.8.2  Practical work file

At the end of placement trainees will be required to submit a practical work file. Details of this can be found in the Academic and Research Handbook.

All information in the workfile must be written in a manner that does not compromise data protection and confidentiality, as defined by the Data Protection Act.  All references that might lead to the identification of a specific CYP should be anonymised. This will involve changing their name, that of their teacher, outreach worker, parent, school, etc.  You should also make a statement at the front of the file that makes clear “Names of children, young people and schools and any other information that could identify a particular child or young person have been changed throughout this document”. It is not acceptable to just use initials.

We recognise that the host placement and the supervisor will not be anonymous and this is acceptable as long as naming them does not lead to the identification of an individual child. In the light of any potential sensitive information these workfiles may contain, these are not public documents and will be stored securely in consistent with data protection. Nevertheless, we expect the work files to be written in accordance with HCPC SOP 8.1 “be able to demonstrate effective and appropriate verbal and non-verbal skills in communicating information, advice, instruction and professional opinion to service users, colleagues and others” and 10.1 “be able to keep accurate, comprehensive and comprehensible records in accordance with applicable legislation, protocols and guidelines”.

Work files are not returned.

3.8.3  Summative Report

A format for the summative report to be provided by the supervisor is given in appendix 8.  These reports should draw on information or feedback from other local authority staff with whom the trainee has worked and any feedback from other evidence sources such as the IEF. The report should be discussed with the trainee; signed by both the trainee and supervisor.  An electronic copy – complete with the trainee’s comments on the report – should be submitted to Colin Woodcock, placement co-ordinator, by 28 June 2019, with a copy to the trainee’s personal tutor, supervisor and the course administrative officer, so that it can be discussed at the appraisal meeting at the end of the year. The signed copy should be added to the work file in time for Exam Board in July 2019.

Whilst the completed summative report is submitted by the end of June, it should be regarded as a working document and added to over the year.  A working copy should be presented for discussion at the March/April Interim Review.

3.8.4  Appraisal

Appraisal of trainee progress is undertaken through an appraisal meeting at the end of the academic year between the trainee and Klair Norman, APT for Year 3. The appraisal and trainee reflections on their activities provide the basis for discussion and a focus of future CPD needs. Please refer to the course diary for dates.

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