Course Information & Application

Attention: 

Dear Colleagues

First and foremost I hope you, colleagues, friends and family are well. At this time our overriding priority is the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved in the PDAPL and more widely in the communities in which we work and live.

We have been closely monitoring the developing situation; we have and will continue to be guided by advice and guidance from the government and other key stakeholders. We plan to provide regular updates for all learners, assessors, verifiers, tutors and other contributors.

Following the most recent government advice, and in consultation with our partners we have provided an important update below. Regrettably and unavoidably this will have an impact for PDAPL activities in the short term, we are actively exploring opportunities to move some activities online and will provide further updates and guidance if and where this is possible.

We have therefore taken the decision to suspend all PDAPL activities that would otherwise require unnecessary travel and social contact until further notice, this includes (but is not restricted to):

  • All taught days
  • Standardisation meetings
  • Portfolio briefings
  • Internal verification meetings
  • Practice Learning Award Management Group (PLAMG) meetings
  • Vivas
  • Strategy Group meetings
  • PDAPL graduation
  • Tutor meetings
  • Face to face learner/ assessor observations
  • Face to face professional discussions
  • Face to face learner/ assessor supervision
  • All other meetings at Learning Network West offices

The list above is not exhaustive and we would encourage you to follow the latest government advice (which you can find here) and any advice from your employer in avoiding any unnecessary travel and social contact.

This does not mean the suspension of all PDAPL activities and if possible you should continue to undertake work for your portfolio and maintain remote contact with your assessor, these activities may include (but are not restricted to):

  • Producing evidence for portfolios – writing up of essays, preparation for presentations and/ or vivas etc.
  • Individual reading and study.
  • Remote (phone, email, video conferencing) contact between learners and assessors – where possible this includes professional discussions, supervision and submitting assessed work as planned.

Regrettably these necessary measures may result in a delay in the assessment and verification of work, and require the adjustment of completion dates for learners. We are working with both the SSSC and SQA to plan for the full resumption of PDAPL activities at the right time and will provide further information as it becomes available.  

For those of you currently working with students on placement universities will (and in some cases already have) be issuing separate guidance and advice, we would urge you to follow any advice, and to contact universities directly if you have any questions or concerns regarding placement activities.  

We plan to review on a fortnightly basis and will provide updates as and when there are any changes.  

In the meantime Learning Network West continues to operate as normal, myself and colleagues are available to respond to any queries you may have.

Keep yourselves safe and best wishes

Darren Chapman

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New Course Dates PDA in Practice Learning (PDAPL) SS:

New Handbook/Portfolio

 This course consists of eight taught days with half day extra Information Day.

All Applications should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

All parts of the below application process should be completed:

Learning Network West is funded by 13 local authority partners in the West of Scotland to deliver the Practice Learning Qualification (PDAPL).  Though principally funded to deliver the PDAPL for our funding partners Learning Network West recognises the wealth of learning opportunities which other authorities and the third sector(non-partner agencies) contribute to practice learning and wish to continue to support the development of practice teachers within these organisations.  Nonetheless recent interest in the award has led to a pressure on places and the need to prioritise spaces for our funders. Consequently Learning Network West has taken the decision to reserve two spaces on each cohort for non-partner agencies thus ensuring continued opportunity for practitioners within these agencies to access the award.  Where Learning Network West receive more than two applications from non-funding agencies places will be allocated on a competitive basis,  i.e. the two strongest applications offered spaces. Other places may be offered as and when capacity allows.

Important information for sponsoring agencies – agencies are asked to confirm the following information at the point of application (detailed in the agency reference): 

  • Support for the applicant to undertake the award (in accordance with internal processes).
  • Agree an offer of placement for a social work student.
  • Identify (name) a suitable assessor at the point of application.
  • Agree appropriate workload relief and study time as detailed in the course handbook.
  • Agencies are responsible for providing or meeting the cost for an assessor. If interested please contact the course co-ordinator This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details/ requirements for undertaking the role of assessor.

Cohort 15

Applications invited: 3rd December 2019
Closing date for applications: Monday 27th January 2020
Applicants informed of decision: week ending 14th February 2020*

*Please note: As part of the selection process applicants may be requested to provide supplementary work. Where supplementary work is requested applicants will be offered a conditional place subject to the satisfactory submission of this work. Applicants will typically have two weeks to provide supplementary work following selection and will be notified on Friday 28th February 2020.

Induction: Tuesday 10th March 2020 10am – 1pm
Day 1 and 2: Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th March 2020
Day 3 and 4: Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 24th April 2020
Day 5 and 6: Wednesday 3rd and Thursday 4th June 2020
Day 7: Wednesday 23rd September 2020
Day 8: Wednesday 9th December 2020

All dates 9.30am – 4pm unless stated

Please note that learners are expected to attend all taught days and should be in a position to comitt to advertised dates at the point of application. Learners are assessed during the programme and their participation on taught days contributes to this assessment. Learners will be expected to attend any missed days which may result in a delay to completing the award.

Cohort 14

Applications invited: Monday 18th March 2019
PDAPL information session for prospective applicants: Tuesday 11th June 2019: 10am – 12pm
Venue: 117 Brook Street, Glasgow, G40 8AP
Closing date for applications: Monday 1st July 2019
Applicants informed of decision: week ending 19th July 2019*

*Please note: As part of the selection process applicants may be requested to provide supplementary work. Where supplementary work is requested applicants will be offered a conditional place subject to the satisfactory submission of this work. Applicants will typically have two weeks to provide supplementary work following selection and will be notified on Friday 2nd August 2019.


Induction: Wednesday 14th August 2019 (10am – 1pm)

  • Day 1 and 2: Wednesday 28th and 29th August 2019 potentially again on Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th August depending upon demand.
  • Day 3 and 4: Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th October 2019 potentially again on Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd October depending upon demand.
  • Day 5 and 6: Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th November 2019 cohorts combine for remainder of programme
  • Day 7: Wednesday 12th February 2020
  • Day 8: Wednesday 15th April 2020
  • All dates 9.30am – 4pm unless stated

Please note that learners are expected to attend all taught days and should be in a position to comitt to advertised dates at the point of application. Learners are assessed during the programme and their participation on taught days contributes to this assessment. Learners will be expected to attend any missed days which may result in a delay to completing the award. 

Updated Course Fees/Costs

Organisations within the partnership:

  • Course Fee: £350
  • SQA Fee: £104

Organisations outwith the partnership:

For cost enquiries outwith the partnership please contact us direct.