Rhodes, Christine, Laxton, Julie and Plews, Caroline (2009) Assessment and learning in practice settings: opportunities and challenges for involvement. In: Authenticity to Action - Involving Service Users and Carers in Higher Education Conference 2009, 4th - 6th November 2009, Grange-Over-Sands, UK. (Unpublished)

This showcase will be delivered on behalf of the Assessment and Learning in
Practice Settings (ALPS) Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL)
Service User and Carer Involvement Working Group (SUCWG).
ALPS is a collaborative programme between the following five Higher Education
Institutions (HEIs), who have proven reputations for excellence in teaching and
learning in health and social care:
University of Bradford
University of Huddersfield
University of Leeds (lead partner)
Leeds Metropolitan University
York St John University.
The other major stakeholders in ALPS are NHS Yorkshire and Humber, practice
assessors and service users & carers.
ALPS is working to improve the competence and confidence of health and social
care students on graduation and has been developing innovative practice with the
aims of ensuring:
• Up to date assessment methods to ensure students are fit to practice in the
modern workplace
• Development of a body of ALPS trained practice assessors who can assess
within and across professions.
• Involvement of service users and carers in the assessment and learning of
students in practice.
It is the latter of these aims that the SUCWG members have responsibility for taking
forward either as a group, in liaison with other ALPS groups, or through developing,
influencing, advising and / or overseeing activity taking place at each of their partner
sites. The SUCWG currently includes representation from all five partner
institutions, along with two service users.
The ongoing work of the group has provided many useful insights concerning the
challenges and opportunities afforded by collaborative activity around involvement.
In particular, it has highlighted the variation in practice with regards to service user
and carer involvement across the 16 professions covered by ALPS.
Through this showcase we hope to share some of the successes of ALPS along
with our learning about the preparedness (or not) of the overall health and social
care economy, including HEIs, for the inclusion of service users and carers as
active participants in practice learning and assessment. We aim to do this in as
accessible, enjoyable and good humoured way as is possible!

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