Essay : Review And Critique

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Review and Critique : Experience of post qualifying study in Social Work

Table of Contents


Summary of article to be critiqued3

Recommendations of the study4


Policy Framework4

Social Work Training and Post Qualifying Professional Development4

Health and Social Care Post Qualifying Professional Development4

Literature search4

Critique of the Doel et al article/Methods and Methodology4

Research Ethics4

Further research4




Review and Critique : Experience of post qualifying study in Social Work


This assignment is a review and critique of a published research study by Mark Doel, Elaine Flynn and Peter Nelson, (2008) Experience of post qualifying study in Social Work. Social Work Education, Volume 27, Issue 5 pages 549-571.

Summary of article to be critiqued

Mark Doel, Elaine Flynn and Peter Nelson were commissioned by the Learning Practice Workforce to carry out a study on social work PQ.

In 2008, the authors conducted a study which was aimed at gaining a better understanding of the experiences of post-qualifying study in social work.

They used a postal questionnaire survey with a sample of 80 (20%) respondents derived from an initial, randomly-stratified sample of 417 PQ students (those on the course at the time and others who had been on previous programmes) in combination with a series of focus groups and 10 Leaders (n=17) of the PQ consortia from four English regions. The study had a particular focus on the work-based experiences of these candidates, across the range of PQ programmes. Central to the questionnaire and its aim was firstly to establish the purpose of the PQ programmes (reasons for doing PQ), secondly to establish factors that motivated social workers into undertaking the PQ programmes and thirdly to establish factors that either motivate or hinder success.

The researchers involved were a team of three academics headed by Mark Doel, the Research Professor of Social Work at Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom.

The researchers ranked their findings on the factors that accounted for the purpose of undertaking PQ as:

-Professional development66% (58)

Career development60% (53)

Requirement36% (32)

Financial incentive28% (25)

Academic development19% (17)

Personal development/qualities15% (13)


Of the above variables, professional development proved to be the greatest motivation for students undertaking post-qualifying studies, (66%). It was singled out for its characteristics of enhancing students' confidence, updating existing skills and knowledge, creating job opportunities and promoting reflective and analytical thinking. Professional development was not so much valued for its training aspect as it was for instilling confidence among practitioners who felt that they better understood their role and the complexities of their workload.

Recommendations of the study

The authors' main recommendations were:

That programmes of PQ study should be varied in terms of content and structure in order to meet candidates' expectations and experience.

Courses should give clear guidance with examples of successful work, to demonstrate an obvious progression from the qualifying studies and to show that there is a focus on new and relevant research findings;

Programmes should respond individually to those who have been away from study for a long time as well as to candidates with difficulties in study skills, and

The conclusion of any study should take into consideration the ...
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