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Practice Development Days

Welcome to the Practice Development Days Resource

This resource aims to provide both BSW students and their tutors  with guidance on the Practice Development Days programme together with a platform to advertising current learning  opportunities and a forum for student discussion and feedback.
As you are aware the NISCC requirements for Practice Learning (Revised August 2010 – Flexible Learning Days Guidelines apply prior to this date) specify that there are 15 days to be used for individual practice development. These days are in addition to current teaching time, linked to the curriculum and structured to meet the learning outcomes for Practice Development Days (PDD).  Students are encouraged to take personal responsibility for their own professional development through participation in a range of individual practice development opportunities. Students should aim to address gaps in learning which are not already addressed within the course modules. PDD opportunities should assist students meet personal learning goals by developing their knowledge, skills and/or values in the areas they feel least confident. You are encouraged to  take responsibility for your own learning as an on-going  commitment to life-long learning. We encourage students to take the opportunity to be creative and innovative in their learning. (See PDD Guidance and PDD Forms)


Examples of Ways Students Use Practice Development Days

  • Visits of observation to relevant statutory or voluntary social work agencies (organised through your tutor)
  • Volunteer work for charitable or independent organisations
  • ‘Block learning’ which may include working on a summer project, working abroad on a relevant social care programme, or attending a specialist training course
  • Paid work in a relevant social care organisation
  • Sessional social care work gained through recruitment agencies
  • Functioning within the course’s Staff-Student Consultative Committee framework as a tutor group or year representative
  • Attendance at classes/courses to help with particular learning needs – e.g. drama classes to help a student with low confidence, writing classes to assist a student with particular difficulties in this area, ICT skills development training
  • Involvement in relevant research activity (paid or voluntary)
  • Involvement in international student exchanges

*PDD’s should be discussed with  tutors based on identified student learning needs.


Upcoming Events 2014

Extern are running two Professional Development Days in the voluntary sector: 

  1. 29th August – Assessment Models and Methods. 9.15 to 4.30.
  2. 21st November - Empowering Service Users. 9.15 to 4.30

These PDDs are free and will be delivered by social workers from the Voluntary Sector who are being assessed for their Post Qualifying Social Work award. Tea and coffee will be provided but not lunch.

Students can book places on these events by e-mailing Ian Dinsmore (

In addition, Extern have opened up their in-house training programme to social work students. This means that any free places on training events can be taken by students. You should contact Ian Dinsmore to check on availability.


Welcome to the Practice Development Days  Blog for Students and Tutors

This blog is designed to provide you with information on PDD opportunities and events, together with the option of providing feedback on any events you have participated in as part of your PDD program.The blog also gives students the opportunity to evaluate the PDD program.