[The University of Leicester]

Centre for Child Protection Studies

Rainbow Child

Post Graduate Certificate in
Supervision and Mentorship (Child Care)


* Introduction

The University of Leicester and the NSPCC have collaborated to produce this innovative post graduate distance learning programme, which leads to a Post Graduate Certificate in Supervision and Mentorship (Child Care).

The programme is credit rated with 60 academic credits and 120 professional credits. It is at the Advanced Award level in post qualifying social work education and training (AASW) so that candidates who successfully complete the programme can apply to their local Post Qualifying Consortium for an Advanced Award in Social Work.

The programme consists of two modules, running over a period of eighteen months. It enables students to extend their knowledge base for work with children and families, to critically appraise a wide range of theories and models of supervision and mentoring, and to acquire a range of skills in managing and supervising staff in social work and health care. It incorporates recent initiatives from central government to raise standards and improve services (Modernising Health and Social Services 1998; Quality Protects 1998), and a framework of needs-led assessment based on a sound understanding of child development as required under the new post-qualifying award in child care.

The Post Graduate Certificate is a distance learning programme based on principles of open learning. Students learn through the use of study materials delivered to their doors, supplemented by tutorial support, a residential seminar and two study days.

The University of Leicester School of Social Work is well known for its research and teaching in the field of child care. The School offers a varied portfolio of post qualifying studies which, in addition to the Post Graduate Certificate in Supervision and Mentorship (Child Care), includes the highly regarded Diploma/MA in Child Welfare Studies. Future developments include a post qualifying programme in Community Care and a Diploma/MA in Child Welfare Studies by distance learning, which will be open to both UK and overseas candidates.

* How will my practice benefit from the Certificate in Supervision and Mentorship (Child Care)?

First line managers/supervisors are essential in the provision of effective quality services that promote good outcomes in work with children and families. This has been highlighted by inquiry and inspection reports and in Department of Health publications, such as Messages from Research (DH 1995). Supervisors and managers need a sound knowledge base, well developed interpersonal and communication skills, the ability to manage teams, budgets and resources and work in partnership with other professions and service users, as well as to manage change, conflict and stress in an area of work that can be complex and difficult.

CCETSW's post qualifying framework requires that supervisors possess skills in staff development and appraisal, and that they continually update their knowledge base.

The Post Graduate Certificate in Supervision and Mentorship (Child Care) addresses the learning needs of supervisors and first line managers. It has been designed so that learning can be put to immediate use with benefits for employers, staff and service users.

* What previous students have said about the programme

"It made me reflect on my practice and vary or modify it (and) gave me the confidence to know what I was doing well and put it into a structure".

"Very enjoyable and rewarding. It has enabled me to revisit some material I had forgotten as well as learning new ones. I have already used the materials in my work - both in supervising staff and giving them ideas about their practice."

"Learning materials excellent. Staff both tutor and admin appear interested, friendly and accessible. The course is clear, relevant and useful."

"I am reflecting on what I am doing ... and trying to bring ideas into practice and becoming more aware."

"I am learning more about supervision/mentoring and my own ability to offer anti-oppressive practice to colleagues and service-users. I am becoming more aware of the way that theory and practice link, as well as my own gaps in my knowledge and skills. For my agency (it is helping) to identify areas of shortfall and positive ways to change."

"It has made me feel much more positive about my work ... hopefully it has improved my performance as a manager and supervisor."


* What are the selection criteria? Who may apply?

Candidates should normally hold a social work qualification and have at least three years post qualification experience preferably in child care/children and family social work. Applicants will normally hold a first degree, although applications will be considered from suitably qualified and experienced candidates, and be supervising qualified staff. All applicants will need to provide an academic reference to confirm that they are capable of working at an academic level equivalent to a Master's/Advanced Award level, and a satisfactory line manager reference.

Applicants will normally be working as first-line or second-line managers in statutory or voluntary agencies, or be working in a position where they are supervising professional staff employed in health or social care settings

* How do I obtain funding?

Whole or part funding may be available from your employer through the Training Support Programme (Child Care) grant from the Department of Health.

Part funding (sometimes full funding) may be obtained from your local Post Qualifying Consortium who will be in receipt of a bursary allocation from CCETSW. For further information contact the Consortium for the region in which you work (our Admissions Secretary, can give you the telephone number for your local Consortium) or contact CCETSW.

Self-funded students may wish to enquire about career development loans that are available through banks.

The University may, in exceptional circumstances, consider self-funding students paying their fees by up to four instalments.

* The Programme

The Post Graduate Certificate in Supervision and Mentorship (Child Care) consists of two modules, each with two units, divided into study sessions. The programme is completed over an eighteen-month period.

Module One: The Professional, Social, Legal and Organisational Context of Child Care Supervision.


The Contribution of Supervision towards Improving Standards of Practice in Child and Family Social Work.

Topics include:


Supervision in Context

Topics include:

Module Two: Advanced Professional Development


Theories, Models and Methods: Developing a Repertoire of Skills in the Supervision of Child Care Practice

Topics include:


The Role of the Supervisor/Mentor in Continuing Professional Development and the Achievement of Competence.

Topics include:

The University of Leicester School of Social Work reserves the right to alter the learning objectives and module content from year to year, depending on developments in post qualifying training and education in social work, trends in current child care policy, research and practice, and the availability of individual lecturers.

* How are students assessed?

Students are required to complete two assignments for the award of a Post Graduate Certificate in Supervision and Mentorship (Child Care):

* How much study time will I need?

Approximately seven study hours each week (between 20 to 40 study days during the programme) are recommended to study the learning materials, complete the two assignments and to apply learning to practice. In recognition that some students may not have undertaken academic study for some time, guidance is given on study skills, writing skills, preparation for assignments and library use.

* Mentors

In accordance with CCETSW guidance, all students are expected to have a mentor for support and guidance and to facilitate their learning in relation to practice, focused around the eight learning objectives for Module Two. Mentors should normally have at least five years post qualifying experience, including two years in child protection work and/or consultation. Students may choose as their mentor their line manager, or a colleague/peer. The arrangement needs to be explicitly negotiated and agreed by the start of Module Two.

* Distance learning

Studying by distance learning gives the opportunity for individual students to organise their study timetable to suit their own commitments and responsibilities and to study at a time, pace and place that best suits them. As part of the programme, students attend a two day residential study seminar at a venue near Leicester, and two study days at the University of Leicester. Students are encouraged to network and support each other, thus sharing ideas and useful references. Each student is allocated a tutor whom they can contact by phone, email or post to discuss academic issues. Members of the administrative staff are available deal with administrative queries.

* What are the Fees?

The fees for the full programme (to include the course materials, the residential seminar, two study days, key text books, tutorial support and assessment) is £2,200 As indicated previously, key sources of funding are the Department of Health Training Support Programme, employers, and the regional Post Qualifying Consortia approved by CCETSW.

* Applications and Information

For further details and an application form, please contact:

Admissions Secretary
Centre for Child Protection Studies
School of Social Work
University of Leicester
107 Princess Road East

Telephone: 0116 252 3760
Facsimile: 0116 252 3654
E-mail: childprotect@le.ac.uk

[University Home] [Centre for Child Protection Studies Home] [School of Social Work Home] [Index A-Z] [Search] [Help]

Last updated: 21 November 2001
Centre for Child Protection Studies Web Maintainer
This document has been approved by the head of department or section.