Practice Educator of the Year


Rob Hawley & Lisa Beris

ORGANISATION: Derby City Council

AWARD(S): Practice Educator of the Year


In a first for the Social Worker of the Year Awards, this year’s accolade for Practice Educator of the Year was awarded to Rob Hawley and Lisa Beris following a joint nomination.


Lisa and Rob met 10 years ago in the learning disability service at Derby City Council and have collaborated as practice educators since 2008. Lisa is a member of the Ordinary Lives team, which provides support to people living in residential care, while Rob is on the transitions team.


A particularly impressive element of their nomination was the pair’s commitment to promoting continuing professional development opportunities for their students and colleagues. This has included providing practical support on the Care Act 2014, hosting regular webinars on key adult social care issues, and developing a reflective practice group where social workers have the space to share best practice and discuss difficult cases.


Lisa and Rob’s shared passion for social work has ensured they have a strong working relationship and they were praised by colleagues for investing their own time in practice education. This was evidenced by their recent completion of ‘dementia champions’ training during a period of annual leave. As one student commented, “their dedication is something to be admired”.


What stood out for me was the evidence of casework and the balance between social work practice and practice education. It is clear both Rob and Lisa are excellent practitioners who are very motivated to enhance the learning of others across the spectrum of their roles.

Joanne Lowe, Adult Social Worker of the Year Award Winner 2014

Lisa and Rob are very knowledgeable with lots of paperwork and files; it looks like they never go home. They will never say no to a question and always give you time and constructive feedback.

Sadia Shabbir, Social Worker, Derby Council

Both Rob and Lisa always go the extra mile. They have supported and motivated me during stressful times and when I was ready to give up. I do not think I would feel as confident and ready to be nearing my final placement without them.

Student Social Worker

I read this entry and felt the passion of two people who live and breathe practice educating.

Dave Thomas, Practice Teacher of the Year Award Winner 2014


Phillipa Shoesmith, Essex County Council


Tracey Caton, Islington Council

Emma Haistead, London Borough of Barnet

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