PK Learning & Development

PK Learning & Development

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Practice Learning

Welcome to Practice learning!

Welcome to practice learning! This section is for those currently involved in supporting student learning, and those who would like to become involved. Whether you are a practice educator, linkworker or practice supervisor for social work students, are mentoring a student, or hosting an HNC student placement, we have information and resources to support you.

We can support you to access a range of developmental opportunities including the practice learning forum, linkworker training and the Professional Development Award (PDA) Practice Learning. We also have information and resources to support both social work practice learning placements, and HNC placements.  


We provide a range of supports to those working with Social Work students during their learning in practice.

Practice Educator Support:

  • Practice learning forum
  • Individual Support and Consultation

Linkworker Support:

  • Practice learning Forum
  • Individual Support and Consultation

Mentor Support:

  • Supporting a piece of work for a student who may be based in your own, or a different, team


Practice Educator

Professional Development Award in Practice Learning

The Professional Development Award in Practice Learning (PDAPL) is a post-qualifying award at SCQF 10 (Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework level 10) which is honours degree or graduate diploma level. Everyone who achieves this award will have demonstrated their competence across a wide range of learning situations, and be equipped to support the practice based learning of others who may be working towards the degree qualification in Social Work, or a different learning outcome. The award is delivered in partnership by a group of 6 local authorities in Scotland and generally takes between 12-18 months as candidates will work as practice educator to a social work student placement as part of the programme.

Applicants must have some experience of supporting the learning of others in order to meet the selection criteria, and while this is most often achieved through acting as a linkworker, supporting the learning of colleagues or service users can be equally relevant. For Further information please download the Information form and Application pack.

If you have any queries about the course please do get in touch with:

Gillian Muir on 07775025065 or email on


Linda Grierson on 07880780592 or email on


Support to Practice Educators

  • Practice learning forum
  • Individual Support and consultation to practice educators (rusty, tools, challenging situations)


Link Worker

Link worker training

Developing CPD opportunities for staff to support and supervise the day to day practice social work students

Social work practice learning placements

Our main partnership are with the universities of Robert Gordon, Stirling and Dundee (social work students)

Development across service of quality placements-sometimes different work in different teams

A Linkworker supports and supervises the day to day work of a social work student, usually when the student’s practice educator is based in another team. Sometimes linkworkers also provide some work experience in a different team to the student’s host team. Becoming a linkworker is a great way of supporting the learning of others and is a CPD opportunity for staff who are looking for a new challenge and enjoy sharing their learning and experience with others. Linkworkers support the induction of students, are involved in workload allocation, provide support, advice and direction, and also contribute to the assessment of the student.

To support linkworkers development we have a Linkworker training programme, please contact Gillian Muir or Linda Grierson.


Mentoring and practice supervision

Mentors provide support to learners but are not involved in any assessment of them.  While we do not have any formal mentoring programme, we do have informal mentors who support students with particular pieces of work, or co-work with them, and share their expertise. This is a great way of developing your CPD and deciding whether you want to become a linkworker in future.

We also have observational placements for social work students and allocate a mentor, or practice supervisor; this person will arrange shadowing for a social work student at the early stages of their course and provide an introduction to social work practice. They can develop their understanding of social services but without undertaking direct practice. This role is one which might be of interest to Newly Qualified Social Workers (NQSW) or those who are considering becoming a linkworker.


HNC placements

We currently offer HNC placements to Perth College and students are placed in residential or day settings for two or three days per week over around an eight month period. Each student requires a mentor within their placement base, who supports and supervises their work. The college staff provide assessment of the student and will visit and observe the student during the placement. An information pack will be provided by the college and support offered by college staff.

If you are interested in providing and HNC placement please contact:

Gillian Muir on 07775025065 or email


Linda Grierson on 07880780592 or email


What is PRTL and why is it important?

Post registration training and learning (PRTL) is about ongoing learning and development. It's important because it means you take responsibility for your own learning and development. Maintaining and developing effective knowledge, skills and values will help you to deliver good practice when working with people who use services, their families and carers.

Everyone registered with Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) has to meet PRTL requirements.

 For further information please follow link:

SSSC Post Registration

Reflective practice


A guide to reflective writing

 At some point in your career, you may have been asked to write reflectively in the form of a reflective account.

This can be as part of evidence of post-registration learning, or as evidence towards an SVQ unit. You may also be encouraged to write about your work practice following a learning event, or as part of your continuous professional development (CPD).

We may have ideas of what it means to reflect, and here are some definitions. 

"Serious thought or consideration..." Oxford English Dictionary, 2006.

"Quiet thought or contemplation..." Collins Free Dictionary, 2003 


So how does reflection apply to our work practice?

 One theory suggest it is the ‘capacity to reflect on action so as to engage in a process of continuous learning..." (Schon 1983:102-104)

Reflecting on what we have learned can help us contemplate how our work practice and experience can enable change and improvement in the future.  

A story which illustrates this principle is about an individual who comes to visit a monk, seeking to achieve enlightenment.


The monk hands them a cup and begins to pour tea into it. As the cup fills, the tea splashes out, soaking their feet and the floor.  They ask the monk what he thinks he’s doing.

The monk replies that this cup is just like the mind. Because it is already filled with their own ideas, there is no room for anything more unless it is emptied first.



  We all learn differently, and reflective practice takes….well…practice!

 SSSC Registration

Registered workers

Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) – Who should apply to register?

Social workers, social work students and many groups of social service workers are required by law to register with the SSSC if they are not registered with another regulatory body.  Registration is compulsory for the majority of workers required to register with the SSSC. If you fall into any of the groups recognised for registration you need to register with the SSSC or another regulatory body by the specified date. If you don’t it will mean Perth & Kinross Council will be committing an offence if they continue to employ you in this role.

Workers new into a role recognised for registration will have six months from the date they start to register with the SSSC.

Employers’ Responsibilities

Perth & Kinross Council have a legal responsibility to make sure that all of their staff are appropriately registered, as they would be committing an offence if they continue to employ an unregistered worker for more than six months after their start date in a role recognised for registration.

For this purpose, here at Learning & Development we are collating  staff’s SSSC registration details for inputting into each staff’s individual training record on our Learning & Development Database.

Registration details required from staff are: Name; payroll number; registration start date; registration renewal date; role start date, renewal fee payment date. 

You can access the power point presentation from Scottish Social Services Council 'Getting Ready for Registration '  Care at Home and Housing  Support Services' here

 The registration team email address is:

 phone numbers are:  01382207101

or                                           03456030891

 Find more at SSSC What does registration mean?

External links