Who are we?

ScOPT is the Scottish Organisation for Practice Teaching, a membership organisation for social work practice teachers and others involved in social work education in Scotland.

Our aim is to promote good practice and represent practice teaching as a professional activity. For more detail, please feel free to download the ScOPT Constitution (PDF, 153KB).

Our objectives include

  • promoting the role of the Practice Educator
  • promoting good standards and adequate resources for Practice Educators in Social Work
  • promoting a national voice for Practice Teaching in a changing Social Work world
  • collecting, collating and disseminating information about Practice Learning
  • collaborating with other bodies to promote Practice Learning in Social Work in Scotland

Where did we come from?

ScOPT evolved from the Scottish Forum for Practice Teachers, which first met in November 1997.The forum was inspired by the experience of Scottish practice teachers who attended events hosted by NOPT, an English organisation for practice teachers. They were struck by NOPT's facility to share ideas, develop practice and reduce the isolation felt by many practice teachers. In the spirit of devolution, ScOPT was formed at a conference held in Dundee in 1999. In 2005, the constitution was amended in light of professional registration with the SSSC, the paper, Confidence in Practice Learning, and the new social work degree.In 2016, the constitution was amended again to reflect the changes required to become a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation.

Who are our members?

Our membership has always come from the length and breadth of the country, from Shetland to Stranraer. Members work for local authorities, in the voluntary sector, higher and further education institutes, and increasingly as independent practice educators. We also have some members who are undertaking a Practice Learning qualification. We’ve also welcomed some colleagues from England, Northern Ireland, New Zealand and the USA.

What have we achieved?

Within two years of establishing itself, ScOPT had agreed its constitution, published a Code of Practice, created its own website (www.scopt.co.uk), and we ran our first annual conference incorporating the AGM. The next year brought the appointment of an administrator, the publication of a regular newsletter and "Tools for the Job", a collection/'toolkit' of practical methods and exercises to help practice teachers manage the quality of the teaching and learning they offer social work students. We no longer have a paid administrator - the organisation is run by a small group of volunteers. In 2015, we launched ScOPTbox, a curated collection of practice learning materials. In 2016, we became a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (Scottish Charity Number SC046818), regulated by the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).

Join us now

Membership of ScOPT is free - and it connects you with a community of like-minded people, access to our website, regular updates about developments in practice education, and enhanced features on ScOPTbox.

Apply now

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