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Describe a problem, its nature, scope and impact.

  • Programme: CertHE Health and Social care

  • Module: Problem Solving and Decision Making

  • Module code: BMSW4004

  • Contribution to Overall Module Assessment (%): 100%

  • Assignment Title: Problem Solving & Decision making in the workplace.

  • Word count (or equivalent): 3500 words

  • Submission deadline: To be announced by the Assessment teamPlease refer to the assessments schedule published on Students’ Hall in Moodle

  • Return date of provisional marks & written feedback: After the Exam Board

  • Submission method: All written assessments, where practical and possible, must be submitted via Turnitin unless otherwise instructed by the Lecturer. (Please DO NOT put this assessment specification into Turnitin or it will match many similarities with other students’ submissions.)

  • Alternative submission method (if applicable): Late submission of the assessment will result in a late penalty mark. Penalties for late submission: Up to one week late, maximum mark of 40%. Over one week late, 0%. Only the Extenuating Circumstances Panel may approve a change to submission dates.

  • Academic honesty / referencing: Academic honesty is required. In the main body of your submission you must give credit to authors on whose research and ideas your work is based. Append to your submission a reference list that indicates the books, articles, etc. that you have used, cited or quoted in order to complete this assessment.

Module Learning Outcomes (from module syllabus)


1. To be able to solve problems and make decisions in the workplace.

2. To be able manage and implement change in the workplace.


Upon the successful completion of this module, the student will be able to:

1. Describe a problem, its nature, scope and impact.

2. Gather and interpret information to solve a problem.

3. Evaluate options to make a decision.

4. Plan, monitor and review the implementation and communication of decisions.

Assessment Component 1 - 100%


Individual Report (3500 words)

Write an appropriately structured academic report of 3,500 words, in which you apply recognised problemsolving tools and techniques used in health and social care settings. Choose one current issue and propose solutions to a work-based problem. Your report should be formatted appropriately with a contents page and relevant sections that address the following:

An overview of problems in healthcare.

  • Define and discuss one problem in the workplace including its scope.

  • Discuss the impact of the problem on all the stakeholders (Service users, Professionals and Regulators etc).

  • Analyse the decision-making process including the relevant legislation.

  • Propose a range of alternative solutions to the problem.

  • Use a decision-making technique to evaluate a range of solutions to identify the most appropriate option.

  • Discuss how a solution can be implemented and communicated to stakeholders.

  • Assess appropriate monitoring and review techniques to ensure successful implementation of the solution.


NOTE: The guidance offered below is linked to the five generic assessment criteria.

1. Engagement with Literature Skills

Your work must be informed and supported by scholarly material that is relevant to and focused on the task(s) set. You should provide evidence that you have accessed an appropriate range of sources, which may be academic, governmental and industrial; these sources may include academic journal articles, textbooks, current news articles, organisational documents, and websites. You should consider the credibility of your sources; academic journals are normally highly credible sources while websites require careful consideration/selection and should be used sparingly. Any sources you use should be current and up-todate, mostly published within the last five years or so, though seminal/important works in the field may be older. You must provide evidence of your research/own reading throughout your work, using a suitable referencing system, including in-text citations in the main body of your work and a reference list at the end of your work.

Guidance specific to this assessment:

Your research for this task should include relevant legislation, codes of conduct and ethics. You can use different online articles from think tanks, charities, government reports,etc. We expect to see good use of Harvard Referencing both in-text and in a reference list. We expect to see at least 5 references. Higher marks will be awarded for students that have made further relevant readings than the ones given in class or on Moodle.

2. Knowledge and Understanding Skills

At level 4, you should be able to demonstrate knowledge of the underlying concepts and principles associated with your area(s) of study. Knowledge relates to the facts, information and skills you have acquired through your learning. You demonstrate your understanding by interpreting the meaning of the facts and information (knowledge). This means that you need to select and include in your work the concepts, techniques, models, theories, etc. appropriate to the task(s) set. You should be able to explain the theories, concepts, etc. to show your understanding. Your mark/grade will also depend upon the extent to which you demonstrate your knowledge and understanding.

Guidance specific to this assessment:

Your report needs to show your understanding of problems in healthcare and your understanding of the relevant legislation.

3. Cognitive and Intellectual Skills

You should be able to present, evaluate and interpret qualitative and quantitative data, in order to develop lines of argument and make sound judgements in accordance with basic theories and concepts of your subject(s) of study. You should be able to evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems related to your area(s) of study and/or work. Your work must contain evidence of logical, analytical thinking. For example, to examine and break information down into parts, make inferences, compile, compare and contrast information. This means not just describing what! But also justifying: Why? How? When? Who? Where? At what cost? You should provide justification for your arguments and judgements using evidence that you have reflected upon the ideas of others within the subject area and that you are able to make sound judgements and arguments using data and concepts. Where relevant, alternative solutions and recommendations may be proposed.

Guidance specific to this assessment:

Your report needs to demonstrate your ability to apply legislation and regulations to problem solving and decision making. Your writing should reflect your analytical and logical thinking. Try to express your knowledge depth, which you have achieved step by step throughout the course in your report.

4. Practical Skills

At level 4, you should be able to apply the basic underlying concepts and principles to evaluate and interpret these within the context of your area of study. You should be able to demonstrate how the subject-related concepts and ideas relate to real world situations and/or a particular context. How do they work in practice? You will deploy models, methods, techniques, and/or theories, in that context, to assess current situations, perhaps to formulate plans or solutions to solve problems, or to create artefacts. This is likely to involve, for instance, the use of real-world artefacts, examples and cases, the application of a model within an organisation and/or benchmarking one theory or organisation against others based on stated criteria.

Guidance specific to this assessment:

Make logical and critical connections to show your ability to apply the theory and the concepts of your subject into practice and come up with solutions to address the problem you are focussing on. Make sure to show how your solution can be implemented and monitored in a healthcare setting.

Transferable Skills for Life and Professional Practice

Your work must provide evidence of the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility. This includes demonstrating: that you can communicate the results of your study/work accurately and reliably, and with structured and coherent arguments; that you can initiate and complete tasks and procedures, whether individually and/or collaboratively; fluency of expression; clarity and effectiveness in presentation and organisation. Work should be coherent and well-structured in presentation and organisation.

Guidance specific to this assessment:

You need to be able to apply the recognised problem-solving tools and techniques discussed in class or discovered through reading. Your report should be appropriately structured; it should have a cover page, a table of contents, logical sections and a reference list. It should be written using formal language, in clear paragraphs, in a way that conveys the meaning intended. You should ensure the grammar, spelling, punctuation and use of appropriate health terminology/vocabulary are correct.

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