CPD requirement for social workers set to increase
By Gemma Raw
It's been announced that, from December 2021, social workers must submit at least two pieces of continuing professional development (CPD) to renew their Social Work England registration.
CPD is an important part of professional practice for all those in social work. It's not just about attending training courses and seminars. It's about embedding learning, development and reflection to improve your practice. Therefore, it can include anything from downloading social work podcasts or attending webinars to doing project work, reading articles or reviewing your day-to-day activities.
The new CPD requirement
Social Work England requires all registered social workers to record CPD. This applies to all practitioners, including those not currently working in social work roles, such as those on extended leave. Until recently the requirement for registered social workers was one piece of CPD per registration year, although this has always been seen as minimum, and Social Work England recommends recording CPD at least four times per year for good practice.
Community Care has reported that, following a 12-week consultation, the regulator intends to increase the minimum requirement for CPD for registered social workers to two pieces per registration year. This will apply from the new registration year, which runs from 1 December 2021 to 30 November 2022. In addition, social workers will be required to reflect on one piece of CPD with a colleague.
According to Community Care, Social Work England said that the plan to increase the CPD requirement received a broadly positive response during the consultation, with the 618 respondents giving it an approval rating of 3.32 out of 5. However, the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) and trade union UNISON both reportedly expressed reservations, saying that this was not the right time to increase the regulatory burden on social workers because the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tailored CPD support
Leading on CPD is one of BASW's key priorities. Their CPD Policy clarifies what they consider to be the professional rights and responsibilities of social workers in relation to CPD and the essential role that BASW has in supporting members with their development.
BASW's programme of social work training is designed to support social workers in meeting the CPD regulatory requirements in all four of the UK's nations. The programme features a range of learning and development opportunities, including courses and masterclasses focusing on areas such as: social work practice and skills development; developing knowledge and skills to support the education and training of others; research, policy, service development and service improvement; and leadership and management in social work.