Practical learning: achieving excellence in the human services

January 23-25 2008 Edinburgh International Conference Centre

Developing sustainable inter-professional working structures and cultures the role of reflective case discussion forums

Keywords: inter-professional working relationships, reflective practice, professional cultures, organisational structures, communities of practice

Author: Dr Gillian Ruch (University of Southampton)

Effective inter-professional working (IPW) is an essential and integral component of good practice within the fields of health, education and social care. For the effectiveness of IPW to be maximised the cultural and structural conditions that promote its development require attention, in particular the conditions that enable IPW to be sustained over time. The development of IPW has been accompanied by a growing recognition of the contribution of reflective practice to professional activities in the field of human services.

This development, however, has tended to be more uni-professional with less attention paid to:

This workshop will introduce a case discussion model that demonstrates how forums for reflective practice can contribute to enhanced IPW. By encouraging professionals to explore practice-related issues in a reflective and non-threatening manner the workshop allows group members to discover:

A strength of the model lies in its ability to unlock cultural obstacles to IPW and to provide a structure that will enable professionals to sustain their commitment to IPW, even when 'the going gets tough.'

This workshop is aimed at primarily at practitioners and managers but would be of interest to trainers, educators, academics and policymakers. It highlights and demonstrates the importance of appropriate inter-professional support structures for the development and sustenance of inter-professional working cultures.

Date: Wednesday 23 January 2008, 1.30-3.00

Venue: Harris Two

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Organised by the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services in association with PEPE (Practical Experiences in Professional Education).