Professional capabilities framework review ‘severely restricted’ by College closure

The review of the professional capabilities framework ends up recommending further reviews and development work

A review of the professional capabilities framework, published today, was subject to “severe restrictions” in the wake of the closure of the College of Social Work.

In its final act before closing its doors at the end of the month, the college made a set of recommendations including establishing a clearer relationship between the PCF and other pieces of guidance for social workers.

Unforeseen restrictions

However, a final report stated the outcomes of the review should be seen in the context of the “extraordinary circumstances” of the college’s closure.

“[The closure] has imposed unforeseen restrictions on what is achievable at this point,” the report said.

The review, designed to ensure the framework remains fit for use in the future, recommended a coherent relationship should be established between the college’s definition of leadership and that set out in the chief social workers’ knowledge and skills statements for practice leaders and supervisors.

The loss of the college created a “void” in this work, the report said.

The key recommendations were:

  1. That PCF level descriptors should be enhanced and made a focal point for signposting and integration;
  2. That Domain 9 – Professional Leadership  – is reviewed so that it encompasses a broader and more up to date definition of leadership, and establishes a coherent relationship with the Knowledge and Skills Statements for practice leaders and practice supervisors.
  3. That joint statements are developed to explain priorities and relationships between the PCF and other guidance, including the Knowledge and Skills Statement for Child and Family social work, the Knowledge and Skills Statement for social workers in Adults Services and the Health and Care Professions Council Standards of Proficiency for Social Workers in England.
  4. That visual presentation of the PCF is improved, and the refreshed version is disseminated widely

Knowledge and skills

The review was led by independent consultant, Helen Keville, and drawn up in consultation with practitioners and other stakeholders.

Chief executive of the college, Annie Hudson said: “What the review process has shown us is that the PCF has many strengths and much value as a framework  for professional standards in social work.

“This period of critical review and reflection offers a solid and strong basis further to strengthen and enhance it.”

British Association of Social Workers  chief executive, Bridget Robb, added BASW was in negotiations with the college about the transfer and will make further statements once those are concluded.

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