Debate on PRTL

    We asked:- Should post-registration training and
    learning be left to the employer and employee?

    These are some of the comments we received.

    “As a relatively new social worker, I think that
    post-qualifying training should not only be left to the
    employer/employee. I feel that social work as a profession needs
    some regulatory body that lays down a set standard that social work
    training should be aimed at nationally. I say this to guard against
    those agencies that does not set training as a priority which means
    that those staff ultimately miss out on valuable training needed
    for professional development.

    I appreciate the argument that some practitioners feel that
    making social work more academic does not necessarily make a good
    social worker, that it is more about skills; but is that not the
    same for any profession? Maybe more needs to be done at the point
    of being a student in terms of being more stringent when passing
    students.  I think that if social work wants to raise its profile
    against other disciplines (where academia plays a more integral
    role) then something needs to be done (I am aware with the new
    degree this is beginning to be addressed).

    Maybe a system that allows those of us who actually want to
    progress down a more advanced academic route could be thought
    about. In turn practitioners could be acknowledged for it in terms
    of salary or specialist posts for example? Some social workers
    already have masters degrees relevant to the profession but it
    doesn’t feel recognised, but for those that don’t want to pursue
    this route then they do not have to (instead just doing the
    mandatory training).”

    Adele Leyland

    “No.  There should be legislation that ensures employers pay
    for training but get to keep worker for a minimum of 10 years. This
    would create a better workforce with experience and
    qualifications. 

    Employers should give sponsorship to children or young people at
    sixth form colleges to be trained in their specialist area with
    university degree sponsorship.  Also people in their 50s’ should
    also be valued for development in the industry for they are more
    responsible and stable in their outlook.
     
    Those who can study for a degree to bring them in line with work
    requirement should be sponsored as they could train others to take
    over when they retire.”

    Izell Greenlea

    “Social work is diverse and therefore post-registration
    training must encompass the needs and roles of individuals rather
    than treat social workers as a homogenous group. 

    The ‘one cap fits all’ approach will not work.  Let the
    employers and employees agree what training is necessary for the
    development of each individual.”

    Jayne Kirk

    “At some point post-registration training and learning will
    be linked with the proposed common core requirements www.dfes.gov.uk/commoncore
    which will leave employers and employees with little choice in the
    matter.

    There do not appear to be any links between common core and PQ
    but it makes sense to combine/link them.  Otherwise there will be
    two systems running alongside each other using different criteria
    to judge social worker competence.

    It would be useful to put common core into the BA Hons in Social
    Work programme. This would give students the chance to develop core
    skills and knowledge in preparation for their chosen
    career.”

    Mark Harrison

     “We welcome the comments that have been put forward to the survey
    on post-registration training and learning.

    To keep their skills up-to-date every registered social worker
    needs to spend a minimum of 90 hours or 15 days on training and
    learning over the three-year registration period. 

    The activities that will produce the most useful learning
    outcomes for any individual social worker will need to fit in with
    their current responsibilities, their own learning style and the
    training opportunities that their employer support. The new
    post-qualifying framework in particular will provide opportunities
    to support those social workers who want to extend their practice
    competence through formal learning.

    Now that social work is a registered profession, the GSCC looks
    forward to continuing the debate and working with social workers
    and their employers to develop further the post-registration
    training and learning requirements.”

    Mike Wardle
    Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Strategy
    General Social Care Council

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