UCC CPD courses

Critical Conversations: Practicing and Supervising Reflectively and Ethically in the Social Professions


Fact File


This event will focus on enabling practitioners in the social professions to develop and sustain an effective, reflexive and critical practice.  The event will cover three main areas: practicing reflectively, ethical practice and effective supervision in the social professions. 

The first part of the event will explore ‘Practicing Reflectively’.  Participants will be introduced to:

  1. What is reflective practice?
  2. Different approaches to practicing reflectively, including the ‘Fire’ practice approach.
  3. Using reflective practice in different organisational contexts.
  4. Place of reflective practice in a changing working environment.


After attending this session participants should have gained knowledge of:

  1. Different models of reflective practice and specifically the elements of the ‘Fire’ practice reflective model.
  2. The construction of Reflective Practice and ways of integrating Reflective Practice into one’s individual practice.
  3. The use and application of Reflective Action in working with adults within professional training and practice.


The second part of the event will explore the subject of Ethical Practice in the Social Professions and will cover:

  1. What is meant by Ethics? / What do we mean by Ethical Practice?
  2. Different approaches to Ethics.
  3. Challenges to Ethical Practice in the Social Professions.
  4. Behaving Ethically – determining acceptable Ethical Norms in a topsy-turvy world.

After attending the session participants should have gained knowledge of:


  1. The origins, basis and meaning of Ethics.
  2. Different approaches to Ethics and Ethical Practice in the Social Professions.
  3. The importance/relevance of ethical practice in the Social Professions.
  4. Some of the factors that influence us in our development as Ethical Practitioners.
  5. The challenge to behave ethically in our personal and professional lives.
  6. The benefits of thinking about Ethics/thinking ethically.

The third part of the session will explore the role and effects of Supervision in the Social Professions.  The session will cover:

  1. What is Supervision?
  2. Different forms of Supervision and the best forms for different organisational contexts.
  3. The benefits of Supervision for supervisee, supervisor and organisation.
  4. Managing the supervisory process.

After attending the session participants will have gained knowledge of:

  1. The nature of supervision.
  2. The role and place of supervision within the social professions.
  3. Different forms of supervision and what role each plays.
  4. How supervision can be used for the benefit of supervisee, supervisor and organisation.
  5. How to manage the supervisory process as a supervisor.


David O’Donovan has been employed in youth services since 1983. During this time David worked as a Community / Youth Worker and a Regional Director of a youth service. For the past 23 years he has taught and supervised student practice on the BSocSc (Youth and Community Work) degree programme in UCC. A published author, David has written on the areas of Workplace Supervision and his current specialism Donald Schon’s construct of Reflective Practice.

Micheál Ó hAodáin is a lecturer, Course Team member and formerly Course Director of the BSocSc (Youth & Community Work) in the School of Applied Social Studies in UCC. He has worked with Mature Students in the School over the past 17 years. His background is in Community Policing, having spent 15 years as a Community Garda at Bishopstown, Cork. He returned to education as a Mature Student at UCC in 1993.

Cindy O’Shea is a lecturer in the School of Applied Social Studies, UCC and is responsible for Practice Development. She has over 25 years of experience in the Voluntary sector as a Practitioner, Researcher, Trainer and Practice Supervisor. She has specific experience with Samaritans over the past 12 years and works across the Irish Prison Estates working with and supporting programmes with prisoners.

Hilary Tierney is a lecturer in the School of Applied Social Studies, NUI Maynooth.  Her practice and research interests are in reflective practice, professional supervision, informal education, ethics and values in professional practice and professional formation of gender conscious practitioners.  Hilary is a member of the Board of NSETS, the North-South Education and Training Standards agency.



The event is primarily aimed at professionals from the fields of Youth Work, Community Development, Voluntary and Community Sector Management and other human services fields.

Fees and Costs


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Applications can be made via the 'Apply Now' link below.


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