From SWAP with the University of Sussex

13 June 2011

Research informed assessment of 'suitability' in social work education

This event sought to combine messages from research and practice experience to inform the planning and implementation of robust, yet realistic, systems for assessing suitability at the point of admission, and throughout the student life cycle on social work programmes.

The event combined delivery of presentations with small group workshops and discussions to enable participants to reflect on the complexities involved in assessments of suitability in the current context (e.g. balancing widening participation agendas with academic attainment of entrants).

We looked in some detail at the recommendations of the Social Work Reform Board for England and emerging sector guidance.

The event included a presentation from lawyers from a leading international law firm experienced in advising HEIs about their obligations under the Equalities Act in relation to
admissions and suitability processes and procedures.

10.00 Arrival & registration, refreshments available

Welcome and introduction
Jean Dillon & Cath Holmstrom


Research presentations and discussions (1): Admissions, Selection, Widening Participation and Social Justice themes, including service user participation (four 15 minute presentations)

Jean Dillon: Key Social Justice Considerations when Selecting Students for Social Work Education
Rosemary Littlechild: Involving service users and carers in assessing applicants for courses in Social Work at the University of Birmingham
Peter Nelson: Ethical and criminal convictions related issues
Jean Gordon: Recognising Prior Learning Powerpoint Presentation 

12.10 Refreshment break

Panel discussion: representatives of the HPC (tbc), GSCC and the College of SW: selection, suitability and regulatory issues.

13.00 Lunch

Research presentations and discussions (2): Assessing and managing suitability issues during the student life-cycle (four 15 minute presentations)

Cath Holmstrom: Assessment of Readiness for Practice – evaluation of an experimental approach
Jo Finch: Failing students and practice assessment issues
Lucy Rai/Theresa Lillis: Students’ writing and issues of suitability Powerpoint Presentation 
Maxine Fletcher: Involvement of service users and carers in assessment of readiness for practice and suitability


Presentation: Pinsent Masons LLP, including Chris Breen (Senior Associate) regarding Equalities and other key legal issues in relation to admissions and suitability practice within HE and professional programmes. Key issues in a changing landscape.

15.45 Collect tea/coffee and take into plenary

Plenary and planning for future practice and research activity

16.15 Event close and evaluation form completion


The event was held at The Resource Centre, 356 Holloway Road, London, N7 6PA. Map and directions.


Bookings for this event are now closed.

 Add this event to your Calendar

overlay shaddow

To stay informed of SWAP developments and news from the sector register with SWAP. This will enable you to receive updates such as the SWAP newsletter 'Infocus' and e-bulletin.

If you would like to inform colleagues about SWAP download a SWAP flyer (PDF, 374KB).

Get Adobe Reader

You will need Adobe PDF Reader to open this document and other resources on this website. It can be downloaded for free from the Adobe website.