Placements – home and away
Reader training is not just about going to course sessions and doing assignments. An equally important part of the learning on the course is the learning and development done in a “placement” context – preaching, leading worship and being involved in a range of activities in church and community. In their training readers operate in two placements – their home church and a short-term external placement at another church.
Requirements for placements vary slightly between diocese but in most cases the external placement is about 10 weeks long. In many dioceses the external placement usually begins on Palm Sunday or thereabouts so that trainees experience Easter in another church than the one they are used to.
It is important to note that his may need some planning in terms of releasing trainees from their home church commitments for that period. During their external placement, trainees will meet up with a supervisor in that church (usually the incumbent, though again this can be shared with or delegated to someone else in the ministry team).
At the end of the external placement the supervisor for that placement is asked to complete a report on the trainee, including a “skills scan” of how they have functioned in preaching and leading worship. This report feeds into the end of year reporting process – which includes the report from the home church incumbent/supervisor that is part of the portfolio assessment for the Discipleship & Ministry module in January of the first year.
Information from both home and external placement reports is put together with assessment of the trainee’s learning on the course modules – this forms the basis for a report which the Director of Studies writes for the Bishop, checking whether the trainee is on track for continuing in training and being licensed the following year.
A similar report for the Bishop is produced at the end of the 2nd year, again with input from the incumbent/supervisor in the form of an end of year report on how they feel the trainee has developed in that final year.