Regulation council proposes training and education shake up

    The General Social Care Council has proposed three new social
    work post-qualifying awards, a session at Community Care
    LIVE on training and education heard.

    The awards were proposed in the GSCC’s consultation on
    training and education structure, which finished last week

    Professor Steve Trevillion, head of social work education at the
    GSCC, told delegates that the proposed awards are: graduate diploma
    in specialist work, post-graduate diploma in advanced social work,
    and a masters degree. All awards will include a significant element
    of practice learning.

    The existing system of post-qualifying awards was set up in
    1990. They contribute to the minimum 90 hours or 15 days of study
    necessary to complete the three-year registration social work
    period. However, Trevillion said: “The structure needed to be
    reformed because of the advent of the social work degree, workforce
    regulation and changing social work roles.”

    He said that the new awards should be linked to minimum
    standards and to a system that will enable universities to accept
    and exchange credits for other awards such as the social work
    diploma. They should also be focused on practice assessments and
    joint working with other professionals from health and housing.

    The existing awards are run by 17 regional consortia, each made
    up at least one employer and one education body. Asked whether the
    GSCC will take on a greater regulation regarding the awards,
    Trevillion said that its function was to ensure minimum educational
    standards and relevancy of the course and not to be prescriptive or
    takeover their running.

    Sue Rastrick, a social worker with Kent Council, told delegates
    of her experience of completing a child care post-qualifying award.
    She said that even though it was difficult finding time to study
    while doing a full-time job, completing the awards was worth it. It
    gave her greater confidence in her work and she felt it
    “contributed to improving the public’s image of social
    work”.

    Patrick Ayre, senior social work lecturer at Luton University,
    also said that students who completed post-qualifying awards found
    that their “confidence, skills and prospects were
    enhanced”.

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