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SPE4051 : Professional Issues and Leadership

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Janet Webster
  • Lecturer: Professor Cristina McKean, Dr Lisa Ramshaw, Mrs Linda Jose, Dr Helen Stringer
  • Owning School: Education, Communication & Language Sci
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module will enable students to develop knowledge and skills related to quality improvement and leadership. In addition it allows students to critically apply knowledge and skills from previous modules to issues related to their future professional practice as registered healthcare professionals working in academia, health, education or social care settings.

1. To understand issues related to patient safety, quality improvement and evidence based practice
2. To understand how change is promoted in quality assurance and improvement, drawing on implementation science
3. To understand and apply the theory and practice that underpins their development of individual and team leadership skills and multi-disciplinary working
4. To develop critical awareness and understanding of a range of professional issues specific to speech and language therapy
5. To understand how the profession fits into the wider NHS, Local Authority, Healthcare and Education structure
6. To have deep understanding of how on a day to day basis, as a future registered healthcare professional, they will be able to demonstrate NHS Values and compliance to the HCPC Standards of Proficiency for Speech and Language Therapists
7. To develop a range of professional skills involving reflection, analytical thinking, critical appraisal, teamwork, facilitation, networking and advanced presentation skills
8. To consolidate understanding of a range of professional issues, drawing on current legislation and evaluation of practice. Issues include safeguarding, capacity, duty of care, equality, diversity and inclusion, confidentiality and health promotion. There is also consideration of role-emerging work of speech and language therapists with new client groups or in new contexts.

In relation to HCPC Standards of Proficiency, this module particularly addresses the following standards:
1.3 keep their skills and knowledge up to date and understand the importance of continuing professional development throughout their career
2 practise within the legal and ethical boundaries of their profession (2.3,2.4,2.8,2.9,2.10)
4.8 understand the active participation in training, supervision and mentoring in supporting high standards of practice, and personal and professional conduct, and the importance of demonstrating this in practice
5. recognise the impact of culture, equality and diversity on practice and practise in a non-discriminatory and inclusive manner (5.2,5.5-5.7)
6. understand the importance of and maintain confidentiality (6.1,6.3,6.4)
7.6 understand the need to support the communication needs of service users and carers, such as through the use of an appropriate interpreter
8. work appropriately with others (8.2, 8.6-8.15)
11.6 recognise the value of gathering and using data for quality assurance and improvement programmes
12.3 recognise the role(s) of other professions in education, health and social care and understand how they may relate to the role of the speech and language therapist
12.4 understand the structure and function of education, health and social care services and systems in the UK
12.11 understand therapeutic contexts, models and processes relevant to the practice of speech and language therapy
12.13 understand the diversity of client's cultural background, including awareness of cultural groups, protected characteristics, and social class
15.1 understand the role of their profession in health promotion, health education and preventing ill health

Outline Of Syllabus

This module comprises of 5 main components:

Lecture and seminar discussion to introduce the theory and practice that will allow development of knowledge and skills related to patient safety and quality improvement; 

Student-led seminars about current professional issues which address issues of policy, theory and evidence related to clinical practice, quality improvement and leadership. The seminar content demonstrates NHS Values and links explicitly to HCPC Standards of Proficiency. Individual seminar topics will be reviewed annually to ensure relevance to current practice.

Student- led presentations and discussion of their professional context projects (examples of quality improvement projects)

Lecture and seminar discussion to introduce the theory and practice that will allow development of knowledge and skills related to leadership

An Interview Skills Workshop run jointly by the careers service and the module leader/member of SLS staff This workshop will provide students with information and opportunity to practice skills that will support performance in interview situations for clinical or research roles. This will be an extended session lasting three hours and takes place with students on modules SPE3051 & SPE8221.

In relation to the RCSLT curriculum guidelines, this module supplements the Clinical and Professional Education modules in developing the key graduate. capabilities. Through the range of topics covered, the depth of investigation required of the students and the mode of delivery, this module provides opportunity for students to develop and demonstrate key graduate capabilities 4.2.1.A. advanced communication skills; B. Promoting inclusion and access; C. Health promotion; 4.2.2 A. Interprofessional practice and teamworking; B. Working with service users, families and carers; 4.2.3 A. Self-development and self-management; B. Professional commitment/clinical business skills; C. Developing others; 4.2.4 A. Use of the evidence base to support clinical reasoning and practice; B. Research skills and methods; C. Service evaluation and development.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Preparation of written report.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00Investigation of topic to be delivered in 2 formats oral presentation and written essay
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading150:0050:00Specific reading to support seminar discuss on quality improvement, leadership & professional issues
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching62:0012:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops13:003:00Interview skills workshop, jointly delivered with Careers.
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity51:005:00Leadership journal
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00Meetings with module leader to support preparation for seminar and reflective writing assignment.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study117:0017:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk12:002:00To provide info about module & assessment, opportunity for students to discuss choice seminar topic
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture sessions introduce key knowledge about quality improvement and leadership, with students then having the opportunity to explore issues in small group, seminar discussion. Students are required to develop and demonstrate knowledge and skills that will be transferrable into the workplace. The preparatory lectures will provide specific knowledge and skills for the remainder of the module. The initial staff-led seminar sessions provide a model for the student-led seminars and will allow students to receive informal feedback about their contributions and aspects they are asked to facilitate. Student–led seminars provide opportunity for students to investigate a professional issue, demonstrate the ability to locate, synthesise and analyse data and information.; communicate it in both oral and written format.Each week, students will be given specific reading to prepare for the discussions on quality improvement, leadership and professional issues. Within the leadership component of the module, students will asked to keep a reflective leadership for their own professional development.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation351M3030 –40 minute seminar, with roughly 50:50 split between presentation and facilitation of group discussion
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M30Essay of no more than 4 pages including figures and tables (specified format), see assessment rationale further details
Reflective log2M40Reflective Report:On process of Professional Context project (Sem1 SPE4052)focusing on autonomy as HealthcareProfessional 1500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment formats for the seminar topic allow the opportunity to assess the student’s ability to judiciously choose how information is best delivered, demonstrate communication skills in training and education of others (essential professional skills).

Individual students will present seminar a (up to 30 minutes) to the year group (30% of mark for this assessment). The seminar will comprise a short presentation that outlines the main points of interest/contention in the topic, identifying areas that may be of particular relevance to newly qualified SLTs; at least 5 minutes will be devoted to a facilitated question and answer/discussion session or other style of audience interaction to enable the student to ensure the main issues have been addressed appropriately.
A written essay of up to 4 pages (Ariel 11, single spaced, moderate margins) addressing the same question as the seminar will be submitted (30% of the mark for this assessment) and should be in the prescribed format.

The reflective log provides opportunity to reflect on the application of advanced professional skills and knowledge during the conduct of a professionally focused project. It is anticipated that the process of reflection will also support the conduct of the student’s master’s research project.

Reading Lists