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Fri 29 Mar

FULLY BOOKED CPD Portfolios and Reflective Practice in the Context of Supervision


St Andrews Resource Centre, 114-116 Pearse Street, Dublin 2

€10 IASW members/€25 non-members

Fully Booked  CPD Portfolios and Reflective Practice in the Context of Supervision

 9.00 - 9.30       Registration

9.30 – 11.00    Safer Decision Making - Implementing Reflective Practice as an Integral Component of Social Work                                     Supervision (Aisling Coffey)

11.00 - 11.20      Tea and coffee

11.20 – 1.00       ‘Communities of practice’: A fear-free approach to our CPD Portfolios  (Nerilee Ceatha)


‘Communities of practice’: A fear-free approach to our CPD Portfolios

Has your CPD Portfolio become a source of anxiety? Don’t worry! Anxiety and excitement have a similar neurological and physiological response. This workshop highlights the exciting opportunities CPD offers.

A ‘communities of practice’ approach can provide a space which is fundamental for our learning as social work practitioners and supports CPD. Through shared learning and reflecting with others and the exploration of common interests, social work is well-placed to adopt a ‘communities of practice’ approach and identify practice issues, current practice wisdom and the research and evidence base relating to these issues. Through sharing knowledge, skills and experience in order to learn from each other, research-mindedness is encouraged, informed by core social work values of relationship-based practice, collaboration and inclusion.

This interactive participatory workshop will facilitate people completing a draft example for their CORU CPD Portfolio: Part 2 (learning need, outcome and identified activities) and Part 3 (record of a CPD activity). Using individual, small group and whole group activities, the workshop builds on the strengths within social work which lie at the heart of reflective practice to bring these strengths across to CPD through highlighting the interconnection between a ‘communities of practice’ approach to CPD and CORU requirements.

Nerilee Ceatha is a Social Work Team Leader and is delighted to be in the ‘research/scholarship’ mode of continuous education as part-time PhD student on the SPHeRE programme through UCD. She is passionate about ensuring the voices of those who are seldom-heard are at the heart of research. Nerilee voluntarily participated in the CORO CPD Portfolio audit and received positive and helpful feedback. Nerilee was jointly awarded the Social Work Researcher of the Year 2016 due to her promotion of social work practitioner research and advocacy of research-minded practice. Nerilee is keen to ensure that practitioners recognise the strengths within social work that directly relate to CPD.



Aisling Coffey is a Principal Social Worker within a non acute hospital setting. Since qualification she has worked within the adult mental health services, the probation service, primary care and protection of older persons services. She has recently completed the MSc in Leadership within the RCSI and her thesis subject was reflective practice within professional social work supervision. 

Aisling was a director on the Board of the IASW for two years, holding officer positions as treasurer and vice-chairperson.  Aisling holds passion, commitment and strong pride in her profession, seeing the value that social work contributes to improving the quality of life of some of the most vulnerable and marginalised members of our society.  Through the IASW Aisling has had the privilege of collaborating with many colleagues in seeking to promote the value of our profession, the needs of our clients and continually seek the highest standards of excellence in social work service delivery. 


Workshop Abstract

Social work is a complex and contested profession, operating in uncertain and unpredictable contexts, requiring careful professional judgements that can have profound impact on service-users.  A number of high-profile inquiries have found deficits within the capacity of the profession to critically analyse practice and manage complexity.  These inquiry reports place key emphasis on the need for reflective practice within supervision as a critical means of providing safe, high quality services.  However there is also evidence that social workers are not getting the opportunity to reflect on practice and that supervision has become overly managerial and prescriptive. 

As a practicing social worker, the workshop facilitator is aware of the complexity within which the profession operates and wishes to support and empower colleagues in complex professional decision-making to enhance safe, high quality social work services.  The facilitator is also conscious of trends toward the predominance of managerialism within supervision and has sought to rebalance the process to incorporate critical reflection as an integral component.  Furthermore the facilitator is aware of the emphasis placed on reflective practice by CORU and wishes to support and empower colleagues to meet regulatory requirements with competence and confidence. 

This workshop provides an overview of a project undertaken within the facilitators workplace to implement reflective practice as an integral component of professional supervision.  It will outline the practical steps undertaken by the team to engage in reflective practice, the tools developed to support engagement and the findings from team members when the project was evaluated.