Trowler sets out accreditation test for children’s social workers

The chief social worker said a different method will have to be used to assess practice leaders for the accreditation

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Social workers will take two computer-based test. Photo: LNF/ flickr posed by model

Chief social worker Isabelle Trowler has outlined the test which will be used to accredit children’s social workers.

The four stage process was outlined in a letter to participating authorities and will apply to both practitioners and practice supervisors.

Employer endorsement

Social workers will first have to be endorsed by their employers to take the test, based on observations of their practice and written work.

They will then take an online test, where questions will only have one right answer, on legislation, procedures and child development.

Following this, candidates will then take a scenario-based online assessment of their critical reasoning and decision-making, applying competencies set out in the knowledge and skills statement, before they can move onto the practice simulation.accreditation graphic

Practice simulations

The final stage will feature three observed practice simulations and candidates must then also submit an essay discussion of the simulated situations and their reasoning behind decisions and actions.

In order to assess the validity of this proposed assessment format, those involved in the pilot stage will also feature employers observing candidates direct practice and comparing their findings with the outcomes of the assessment.

‘Robust and reliable’

In the letter Trowler said: “If the analysis of the assessment proves it to be the robust and reliable system we need it to be, those candidates who reach the accreditation standard will be given a passport to an accredited status once the system has been completed and put in place.

“I can reassure you no candidate will be given a fail mark during this stage and every social worker that sits the assessment will be given a full breakdown of their results and areas where further training may be required.”

She also stated this assessment method would not be appropriate to assess practice leaders. Instead they will most likely be continuously assessed with a peer group dimension. Details of exactly how practice leaders will be assessed are still being decided.

8 Responses to Trowler sets out accreditation test for children’s social workers

  1. JJ McCarron November 10, 2015 at 7:52 pm #

    I think we, the social workers involved in this additional test, should boycott it. The operating assumption behind this scheme is that we are not already qualified to work in child protection/safeguarding…outrageous.

    • Wiseacre November 12, 2015 at 1:48 pm #

      Sorry, JJ McCarron but too many of you are not really “qualified”. You may have the bit of paper but you need to recognise that a proportion of your colleagues are not up to doing the job properly. Read the Court judgments, the Serious Case Reviews, the OFSTED reports.

      • AB December 8, 2015 at 10:15 pm #

        So how will a Q&A test achieve this? SW’ are grown not accredited overnight Yes we should test specialist knowledge and practice skills but the AYSE was appropriate for NQSWs
        I don’t rely on Judges or Ofsted to tell me about e range of skills across our profession but I don’t see anything different in many other professions none of whom would accept such a poor and limited approach being externally imposed on them

  2. NQSW November 12, 2015 at 6:20 am #

    What is the point of the ASYE now?

    It is another hurdle for NQSW/social workers to jump through? It is piling on more work, which was the fundamental problem and the purpose for the ASYE anyway!

  3. Rebecca November 12, 2015 at 9:04 pm #

    big contract for government chums. what a waste of money.

  4. dr. street November 14, 2015 at 7:42 pm #

    Will this “accreditatiom” result in a higher wage for the accredited vs. the unaccredited?

  5. dr. street November 14, 2015 at 7:46 pm #

    Will this “accreditation” result in an increase of wages for the accredited vs. the unaccredited?

  6. dave ryan November 16, 2015 at 11:52 am #

    How does this apply to existing social workers as opposed to nqsw?