Advanced Practice Module for IROs

The Advanced Practice Module for Independent Reviewing Officers and Independent Case Conference Chairs was developed at the request of, and in close collaboration with, managers active in the West Midlands Regional IRO Managers’ Network.

About the module
This post-graduate module is rooted in the existing literature on the work of the IRO. It examines core aspects of IRO practice such as the role of challenge and the progression of cases in a timely manner feature prominently.

Teaching is organised around the tasks of evaluating assessments and plans, chairing complex meetings, and follow up / progress monitoring. Assessing attachments, narrative ideas, attention to process issues, the user experience and strengths-based perspectives are integrated throughout, and candidates are also encouraged to consider the relevance of various leadership theories to their work roles.

The module is run over 6 days and those who successfully complete the module are awarded 20 academic credits at postgraduate level.

Formal assessment is by way of an assignment (devised by the West Midlands Managers) and an observation of practice. Successful candidates are able to use this module within the University’s Postgraduate Leadership and Management Certificate / Diploma / MA programme if they wish to continue their studies.

The module is delivered by two internal lecturers and a number of visiting lecturers: three IRO managers, a solicitor, an external researcher (who has researched parental experiences of the child protection process) and a person who was accommodated in the looked after system and experienced the case conference process as a carer.

The module is quality assured through the usual university processes and a Steering Group (comprising Panel Managers, visiting lecturers and University staff) that meets on a regular basis.

The module is run once a year during the summer term at Birmingham University’s Edgbaston campus although the University is able to run the module at other locations subject to demand.

More information

Further details can be obtained from the module lead: Mark Chesterman. Email:

Mary Eccleston: Chair for the West Midlands Region. Email:

Advanced Practice for Independent Reviewing Officers HEA4173

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