Practice Educators

What is a Practice Educator?

The quality of practice placements for social work students is dependent on the input from Practice Educators. The Practice Educator (P.E.) is vital to raising standards in social work education. They need to ensure they provide high quality practice placements, which will educate, supervise and assess the social work student.  We want to ensure our P.E.’s will maintain placements that are of a high standard. P.E.’s need to meet the student’s needs and offer the best opportunities to enhance their learning experience.

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The P.E. is also a gatekeeper for the profession and she/he needs to be vigilant about not allowing students to pass, who are unsuitable for practice.  There can be a difficulty in managing the competing roles of nurturer/enabler and assessor – so you do need to be aware of this challenge when considering a P.E. role.

To gain the P.E. 1 status the P.E. needs to complete the training, take full responsibility for a student with the support of a mentor, have a successful direct observation of her/his practice with a student and complete a portfolio.

The P.E.2 course looks in more depth at assessment, promoting critical reflection, supervisory skills and supporting students to relate theory to practice. To gain P.E. 2 status the P.E. needs to attend the training, take another student, be observed again in practice and complete a portfolio. Student feedback is also a significant factor in both P.E.1 and P.E.2.

How do I become a Practice Educator?

You need to be two years post qualified to apply for the Practice Educator Stage 1 course. You need to be three years post qualified to undertake the Practice Educator Stage 2 course. If you are interested in finding out more, get in touch with the Practice Educator Lead for your organisation by clicking on the ‘Practice Education’ button further down the page.

Developing Practice Education

A student social worker’s experiences whilst on placement are crucial to their professional development and, as employers and workforce development leads, we therefore have a key responsibility to ensure that we provide high standards of Practice Education. To this end, the D2N2 Social Work Teaching Partnership have established a Practice Development Programme (PDP) that will ensure high standards of practice education and robustly support the learning and professional development of our Practice Educators and, through them, the quality of our social work student placements. Alongside this, we have implemented a Placement Learning System (PLS) that embeds a more holistic approach to placements and practice learning across Nottingham City, Nottinghamshire and Derby City and Derbyshire.

Interested in becoming a Practice Educator?

Becoming a Practice Educator, could be an excellent “next step” in your career journey – developing your skills as a practitioner and as a practice supervisor, and giving you an opportunity to support another up-and-coming social worker. If you’d like to find out more about becoming a practice educator, you can speak to one of the Partnership’s Practice Educator Leads (PEL’s) – who’ll be able to explain what’s involved, and how you can access training. Each of our employer organisations has a PEL, and you can find their contact details below within our “Get in Touch” section.


Get In Touch

General Enquiries

For general Teaching Partnership enquiries, please email the Project Manager for the D2N2 Teaching Partnership, Catherine Williams

News & Events

Having an effective and vibrant partnership depends on everyone taking part – it’s about communication, about sharing, and about YOU! We’re really keen to get as many people as possible involved in our work, to share what they’ve learned, what they’re doing, and what they think

So, here’s your chance to tell us about:

  • a new piece of research you’ve discovered
  • a new project that you’re working on
  • some new training that you’ve undertaken
  • a conference you’ve heard about, or attended
  • anything else that your social work colleagues, or students, might be interested in.
  • Simply drop an email to, including “T.P.” in your email title.

If you have a query about any of our events, you can email:

Practice Education

We have eight Practice Educator Leads, who you can contact if you want to know more about practice education – they are based within each of our employer organisations, as detailed below:

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