SCIE Knowledge review 10: The learning, teaching and assessment of partnership work in social work education

By Imogen Taylor, Elaine Sharland, Judy Sebba, Pat Leriche, with Elaine Keep and David Orr

Published: June 2006


In 2003 the social work qualifying course became a three-year degree. The Department of Health set out requirements for social work training1 in which it identified five core areas that all students must undertake specific learning and assessment on. Partnership work is one of these.

Working in partnership - or inter-professional working - with the health sector, with police and education and with service users and carers, is crucial to the provision of seamless services. It is also enshrined in the Code of practice for social care workers.

SCIE is reviewing the evidence for the teaching and learning of all five core areas and this review is the fourth in the series.


The review had a range of objectives, overall to identify key good practice messages to assist social work educators in developing frameworks for teaching partnership work on social work qualifying courses. However, due to lack of evidence there are no conclusive findings of what approaches to teaching partnership work might be more effective than others, although some useful points did emerge.


This knowledge review is for people who teach social work (that is, academics, practice teachers and service users) and for researchers. It may also be of interest to students and social care workers.

Messages from the knowledge review

DH (Department of Health) (2002). Requirements for social work training, London: DH.


Related links

SCIE's resources on workforce development Department of Health