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

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
which will leave employers and employees with little choice in the

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

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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