The new regulator plans to provide a “supportive structure, not a bureaucratic burden” with its ground-breaking recording process
From December 2019, rules regarding social workers’ continuing professional development (CPD) will change. Failure to record CPD in the new online format may result in removal from the register. Social Work England, the new regulator has said that social workers must record at least one CPD entry before November 2020, or face removal from the register.
As it prepares to take over from HCPC in December 2019, Social Work England has engaged in public and sector-specific consultation to discuss the process for carrying out and recording CPD. The response, they say, acknowledges that CPD is already happening – they know this because the HCPC asked social workers to declare they have met required standards at the point of renewal. According to Social Work England, social workers want “a straightforward process, with a system that is easy to use, allows for a variety of learning, and that demonstrates an impact on practice” – rather more than a simple declaration of compliance.
Breaking new ground
Social Work England therefore proposes a ground breaking online recording system which comprises both structured and free text template options. Social Work England aims to provide a “supportive structure” rather than bureaucratic burden and the emphasis will be on reflection and impact on practice.
During Social Work England’s first year, in which social workers will be reminded about the new requirements and provided with support, the new process underpins a longer term CPD development strategy. It forms the basis for “intelligence led improvements to our CPD approach so that we can use CPD in a meaningful way to raise standards of practice”.
Have your say
Social workers may well receive this news with a collective eye-roll. Could the positives that come with mandatory, qualitative recording really outweigh the increased bureaucratic load? You can have your say, as Social Work England would like to hear your thoughts. The consultation is open until 17 October and social workers can respond to the CPD consultation by completing a survey, or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some social workers have already responded online. On 28 August, Bob* wrote: “Good social workers do this, good managers encourage it. Unfortunately a lot of managers no longer see the value in this kind of developed practice as they go off short term performance figures”. In an ideal world (one that Social Work England is aspiring to?) there might be the opportunity to carry out what Bob calls “good quality practice and decision making based on best evidence, research and considered interventions”. After all, the aim of good, relevant CPD is to “make long term and life changing impacts to the people who matter most: Service users”.
Social Work England welcomes feedback on the guidance: Send your response to: email@example.com.