|Setting a learning contract
This should be completed during the first week of the placement, through discussion and negotiation between the practice educator and the student. Please see a copy of the learning contract documents within the educator report forms.
What is the purpose of the learning contract?
The learning contract sets out the learning that the student will achieve while on placement with you. It identifies how the learning will be achieved and whose responsibility it is to achieve this. By completing the learning contract the student will be clear about what they will need to achieve by the end of the placement and how they can go about achieving this. This gives the student control of their learning; the student can be more autonomous and will be more motivated.
Stages in setting a learning contract
The paperwork takes you naturally through the stages of setting a learning contract.
1. Discuss with the student his/her previous experience. Students are expected to share with their educator:
- Either their CV or the profile for placements (appendix 3 in the placement handbook)
- Students on PP2-4 are asked to share their CPD form at the back of their educators assessment form from their last placement.
2. Students are required to identify their learning needs prior to placement, this is recorded on the learning contract paperwork. These needs may relate to the specific setting/client group but also could relate to personal or professional development.
3. Practice educators identify and record opportunities for the learning on this placement (e.g. group work skills, use of standardised assessment).
4. The practice educator and student identify and record learning outcomes for the placement (use the table on page 2 of the learning contract). Use the placement aims/outcomes table and the placement assessment grid to ensure achievable and realistic outcomes are set. The learning outcomes should be SMART (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, Time bound).
5. Identify strategies and resources available on placement to achieve the outcomes.
6. Review the learning outcomes regularly in supervision. Both the student and practice educator should take an active role in this process.