The government is inviting bids for an £192,000 contract to take on several functions it had funded The College of Social Work to provide.
The ‘College of Social Work legacy projects’ contract will run for three years and includes funding for three functions:
- To host the principal social worker networks;
- To issue certificates to adult social workers completing the assessed and supported year in employment and
- To host a series of government-commissioned resources produced by the College.
The College will shut by the end of September due to a lack of funds. The functions have been put out to tender by the Department of Health in a bid to “protect its previous investment” and ensure that the sector can access the resources after the College has closed.
The tender had also been expected to include responsibility for running a national validation scheme to improve the consistency of employer’s implementation of the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE). The scheme was due to be rolled out next month but the DH has decided to delay its introduction.
Community Care understands that a second separate tender notice will be issued for a contract to run the qualifications verification service that had been the responsibility of The College. The service verified the qualifications of social workers who trained prior to the introduction of the social work degree.
The government has still to determine how it will fulfil one statutory function that was carried out by The College of Social Work. The power to accredit best interests assessor training courses was delegated to the College by health secretary Jeremy Hunt. The function will not be tendered and the government will instead try to allocate it to an alternative provider. A decision on how the statutory duty will be fulfilled after the College closure is expected shortly.