Co‐delivered work based learning: contested ownership and responsibility

Denise Meakin (Centre for Work Related Studies, University of Chester, Chester, UK)
Tony Wall (Centre for Work Related Studies, University of Chester, Chester, UK)

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning

ISSN: 2042-3896

Publication date: 15 February 2013



The purpose of this paper is to explore, from a practitioner perspective, the tensions in facilitating the “challenging and complex” terrain of co‐delivered work based learning (WBL) – a growing area of practice in the UK, but under‐researched and under‐discussed – and a possible cutting edge resolution which is currently being developed.


The article draws from on‐going practitioner research using a first person action research methodology which uses critical reflection and peer discussion over two years.


Although higher education institutions are required (by regulation) to be responsible for the quality of teaching, learning and assessment of the qualifications granted in their name, this becomes problematic in co‐delivery. Three tensions emerged which contest such ownership and responsibility: a perception (or preference) of co‐delivery trainers to be “trainers delivering training” rather than owning/taking responsibility for teaching, learning and assessment; a perceived “legitimacy dilemma” in relation to the relative importance of the training against the assessment elements; and a “displacement” of the academic by her colleagues from an academic position to being part of the training organisation.

Research limitations/implications

Within a tradition of qualitative practitioner research, this article encourages practitioners to consider these possible tensions in their own practice, and possible resolutions.

Practical implications

This paper raises on‐going issues in a reportedly “challenging and complex” area of practice, and a possible resolution which is currently being developed.


This paper foregrounds the importance of the practitioner perspective in organisational development and change in the co‐delivery of WBL.



Meakin, D. and Wall, T. (2013), "Co‐delivered work based learning: contested ownership and responsibility", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 73-81.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.