Social workers to face typing speed tests to practice

Social workers who can't type at 100 words per minute won't be allowed to continue in the profession, shock plans have said

Photo: lassedesignen/Fotolia

This is an April Fool’s story

Social workers will have to be able to type at 100 words per minute to continue practicing, shock plans announced this week have said.

The minister for the Department of Ideas That Fall Apart Under Any Scrutiny said making the ability to type quickly a condition of practice for social workers is a sensible step to freeing up their time.

“Research suggests social workers can spend up to 80% of their time on administrative activities, we think this shows there are a lack of high-quality typists in the social work profession. Rather than reduce the amount of recording, we think its more sensible if we only let people who can type quickly become social workers,” minister Peter Ian Staker said.

He added: “Its not about getting rid of bureaucracy, its about making bureaucracy happen quicker.”

Because of the announcement social workers will face weekly, three-hour typing tests to ensure they are still compliant. Those who can’t type quickly will be forced out of the profession to work for the online chat support of company customer service departments.

Minimum speeds

The minimum speed required for social workers under the new rules will be 100 words per minute, but those who can type at 120 words per minute or higher will be fast-tracked into management.

The announcement came at the same time as the government pledged a multi-million pound investment in TypeFirst, a new speed typing training course for professionals that promises reinforced keyboards and intense finger muscle training.

TypeFirst said it hoped to attract and support the “nimblest and most dextrous” into the profession.

April Loof, chief executive of The UK Association of Social Workers, said the announcement would likely prompt fevered discussions about how fast 100 words per minute is: “100 just feels like a number to me. I’m sure I can match that. Does spelling matter? How fast can you type? How long are the words?”

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62 Responses to Social workers to face typing speed tests to practice

  1. Maria Morgan April 1, 2018 at 8:37 am #

    He ha… on a serious note. Being able to touch type is an important skill. It should be taught at college and it should be reinforced through work training. Some of the case notes I read are appalling, they are full of spelling mistakes and dramatically incorrect to the point you have no idea what the hell the author is trying to say! Stop it! It drives me crazy. Learn to type! It’s not hard!

    • Maria Morgan April 1, 2018 at 8:38 am #

      Lol grammatically incorrect not dramatically….. ha ha. Sorry auto blinking correct !!!!

  2. Jacqui Gaunt April 1, 2018 at 8:56 am #

    It’s a brilliant idea! Also, finger exercises to increase finger strength and speed, that you can do with little rhymes to sing while you practice, could be part of the daily routine. E.g. ‘make those fingers strong and tall or you’ll be an April fool’ xx

  3. John pilcher April 1, 2018 at 9:09 am #

    So no reflection, no consideration, just type as quickly as you can. Sod the court case that will follow. It’s shocking that such incompetent nit wits are allowed into government. It is the 21st century and we have computers and voice recognition which is amazing. So maybe insted of someone in the government giving tax payers money to one of their friends to run a course on teaching social workers to type. It should be looking at our rubbish systems and train people to record straight after events using voice recognition which will be more accurate and less time consuming.

  4. Mandy - Social Worker and Practice Tutor April 1, 2018 at 9:24 am #

    If this is endorsed then many of us who came into the profession to work with people as opposed to in an office will need to be made redundant. There is a retention issue already. It’s not a lack of typing skills that’s the problem it’s a socially constructed culture of blame so social workers are spending too much time following procedures that lend themselves to duplication of documents and unnecessarily recording information that is not required.

  5. Helen Webb April 1, 2018 at 9:26 am #

    WTF …is this an April’s fool joke

  6. Nick H April 1, 2018 at 9:49 am #

    Scarily accurate…. dear god you will have given them an idea!!

  7. Karen Yeomans April 1, 2018 at 10:03 am #

    Ha ha Happy 1st April

  8. Anne April 1, 2018 at 10:11 am #

    It would be funny if there was not so much typing and so little time. April fool near the mark.

  9. HP April 1, 2018 at 10:43 am #

    April fool!

  10. Stephanie Paulett April 1, 2018 at 10:48 am #

    April fools ! Ha ha

  11. Elizabeth Chimbangu April 1, 2018 at 10:58 am #

    LOL you almost had me, until you got to April Loof!!!

  12. Angela SIM April 1, 2018 at 11:02 am #

    You can be able to type 100 words per minute. However if what you are typing is not understandable what is the point. This also means that you have to make sure your manuscript is up to a high standard before you can start typing. Meaning again that you have to go over every note you have taken during your assessment before you can start typing. I am not sure that minister knows what he is talking about and why don’t he recruit typists to help social worker? This would mean inscreased cost and waste of more time because once more the social worker will have to go through her notes before she can pass them on. Typist is a highly skilled job. But in order for any work done by a typist to make sense the person who has initiated the document has to have spent lots of time on it. On the other hand a social worker’s note would make sense and be faster if she types notes and makes her changes at the same time. This is common sense and I think that this minister is trying to impress with so.ething he does not understand. Has he spoken to typist or to professionals who train in typing speed because at that speed you cannot think at the same time. This also undermi as the work of highly skilled social worker who have to compete with the court and law body with their notes. Should we prioritise typing speed wig documents that make no sense, or children or adults safety with accurate and understandable notes.


  13. Angela SIM April 1, 2018 at 11:09 am #

    The minister knows


    Wig by with

  14. Carol April 1, 2018 at 11:18 am #

    I have lost the will to live. This has got to be the only profession that someone comes up with these stupid rules. Its embarrassing.

  15. Nazret April 1, 2018 at 11:50 am #

    Is this a joke? I am dyslexic and i take long to type dose this mean i wont have a job?

  16. Hels April 1, 2018 at 11:54 am #

    April fool

  17. April April 1, 2018 at 12:03 pm #

    APRIL fool

  18. debi thould April 1, 2018 at 12:04 pm #

    I see what your doing with the April fool’s. .

  19. Jaye April 1, 2018 at 12:11 pm #

    Wow; 1st April is certainly the day to read such stories. I guess I got away with it. Though my fingers are not as nimble as they used to be ( so long in practice, shows my age), I guess my experience and other social work skills might shine through. Anyway I’m not a ‍, been there, done that, worn the t . Anyway maybe by 1st April, next year, it will be some other requirement. Maybe ability to type without using the ‘spell check’.

  20. Wen dee April 1, 2018 at 12:20 pm #

    you nearly has me lol!

  21. Ann April 1, 2018 at 12:30 pm #

    Ha ha…April fool!!!

  22. Loulou April 1, 2018 at 1:28 pm #

    April fools

  23. Jenny April 1, 2018 at 1:31 pm #

    Well done… good April Fools joke

  24. Karen Shaw April 1, 2018 at 1:38 pm #

    That’s the worst April fool prank I’ve heard today. And I’ve seen some pretty crap ones

  25. Passionate SW April 1, 2018 at 2:35 pm #

    Happy April Fools

  26. julie petre April 1, 2018 at 2:54 pm #

    Great April fool haha

  27. Ciaran Murphy April 1, 2018 at 3:08 pm #

    Haha… At first I was thinking ‘surely not’… then ‘what?!’ and finally ‘oh!! ‘

    April fools! (the government that is)

  28. Matthew Shand April 1, 2018 at 3:16 pm #

    Sounds like an April fools prank to me.

  29. Anonymous April 1, 2018 at 4:03 pm #

    This must be an April fool

  30. Joanne Salisbury April 1, 2018 at 4:10 pm #

    I thought that there was a bid to increase the number of well qualified graduates, able to compose good quality reports into the profession. That sounded like good sense to me given what Social Workers do. Obviously I was mistaken.

  31. Imelda April 1, 2018 at 5:14 pm #

    Ha!!!! When will this madness STOP!!!! Fast track into management??!! Takes more than fast typing to be either a manager or a social worker!!! In an already depleted workforce that’s under pressure….erm let’s give them a typing test!!!!!! I have never checked how fast I can type and yes, maybe I could do a little better but the quality of my written work is pretty much spot on, Oh and my analysis is pretty good too, my grammar and spelling, also up to speed!!!!
    Research suggests we can spend up to 80% of our time on administrative activities. I would probably have to agree with this but hey, I love the repetitiveness of having to complete forms with the same information, NOT!!!! Oh, and the many commands you need to give to open a form on the database, and then get it signed, documents are saved in many places depending on what you’re working on etc and don’t even get me started on the bloody emails!!!! I am in e-mail hell on a fairly constant basis. I haven’t checked how long it takes me to read them (maybe we could have a test for that!!??). Then we have to process them – we might have to call someone – or 2 or 3 – or leave our desk to get advice or even put it on our to-do list for later after giving it some careful consideration or because we need other info before responding or need to compose a careful and respectful email that is sensitive to the nature of the content. (Oh and btw, and we aren’t allowed to have auto email addresses because they allegedly pose a security risk, so searching for recipients is another time waster).
    Here’s an idea, I actually think you need to test the mentality and capability of The minister for the Department of Ideas (which I think actually sounds like a Department straight from the wizarding community in Harry Potter and made me LOL to discover there is such a Department!) to see if s/he actually can have any worthwhile or half decent ideas!!

  32. Edward Kontoh April 1, 2018 at 5:23 pm #

    Absolute nonsense! What is the purpose of speech to text programmes. He should be removed for having obsolete IT knowledge applicable to his own sector. Professionals are not stenographers. When they sit down to write, they have to think, evaluate, analyse and conclude. They don’t just type. This is an attempt to drive out most of the experience people in the sector. He should resign if has run out of ideas.

  33. Jac Sue April 1, 2018 at 5:36 pm #

    Almost fell for that one! Although it would not surprise me if it were true as social workers are invariably at fault and always need ‘fixing!’

  34. Jayne April 1, 2018 at 6:29 pm #

    Social work today is such that I would believe this even though it is an April fool

  35. Phill wheatley April 1, 2018 at 7:15 pm #

    Make speech recognition technology standard. Typing is sooo last year

  36. Keith April 1, 2018 at 7:48 pm #

    Ha ha

  37. Bev Harvey April 1, 2018 at 7:55 pm #

    You almost got me there. Nice try!!

  38. Sarah April 1, 2018 at 8:15 pm #

    Hilarious April Fool! Well done, had me going for a second there.

  39. Janet Clark April 1, 2018 at 9:17 pm #

    In my professional experience as a Child Protection Social Worker, this is rediculous. I would imagine many social work collegues will agree.

    I did not train and study to become a professional social worker for four years to spend 80% plus of my time sat at a desk completing forms that are often repetative in sections, and having to be an expert in secretarial tasks and judged on how fast I can type.

    Recording is a vital part of social work for children and families, but so is spending quality time in the field listening and working with children where it matters most.

    Those who have thought of testing social workers on how many words or how fast they can type seriously need to spend a week in the life of a social worker and then tell me typing a 100 words a minute is the way forward.

  40. Edward mudiwakure April 1, 2018 at 9:42 pm #

    Typing has nothing to do with the social work or any profession.

    I am aware this is the 1st of April, this maybe one the jokes of the day.

  41. Ms F April 1, 2018 at 9:47 pm #

    April fool!!!

  42. Sue Taylor April 1, 2018 at 9:56 pm #

    What a load of tosh, the most advanced typists only type at 80 wpm, guess you get readers by winding people up.

  43. David Marcus April 1, 2018 at 9:59 pm #

    Absolute joke doesn’t matter how good they are at there jobs just as long as they can type and as for fast tracking to management if they can type 120 a minute silly

  44. guess April 1, 2018 at 10:34 pm #

    Review case loads first. what are the national average expected case loads per social worker? 28 to 35 case load will still be difficult to manage with 100 words per minute typing speed. KCC AND Medway case load are un believable.

  45. F. Dixon April 1, 2018 at 10:51 pm #

    April Fool

  46. June April 1, 2018 at 11:35 pm #

    April Fool..

  47. Amina April 2, 2018 at 12:11 am #

    Is this really a sensible idea? Forcing passionate and driven social workers out of a profession they love because of the speed they are able to work at? This is something that can be learned with time and simply requires practice. It is much too extreme to ask dedicated workers to leave a profession they have worked hard to get into without a plausible reason.

  48. Val April 2, 2018 at 12:38 am #

    It is 1st April today, isn’t it?

  49. Mollie April 2, 2018 at 6:43 am #

    April fools.

  50. D Grant April 2, 2018 at 9:00 am #

    Glaringly obviously an April Fool’s ditty Don’t go planting ideas now…..

  51. Mick April 2, 2018 at 9:27 am #

    This is an April fool right?!

  52. Social Worker April 2, 2018 at 9:31 am #

    Typing fast would definitely help with recording and reduce time behind computer, however, it would be irrational to make this as a primary criterion. Understanding young people and families’ needs, good assessment, providing physical and emotional support and bringing families back together have little to do with the typing skills of a social worker.

    The article acknowledges hurdles in the work, however, there are better ways of reducing bureaucracy and providing support to SWs than making typing speed so important.

    I am a very fast typer, yet I have more or less the same 80/20% issues at work.

    • Social Worker April 2, 2018 at 9:39 am #

      Or could it be April’s FOOL!!!

  53. Hilary Searing April 2, 2018 at 11:04 am #

    Seems like a good idea if it produces social workers with a sound grasp of English grammar.

  54. BlessedK April 2, 2018 at 1:30 pm #

    Really? Are the diverse unique needs of individual social workers taken into consideration here?The professional ethics includes promoting diversity,inclusion and equal oportunities for the service users and likewise all employers are also bound by equal opportunities Act 2010, Disability Discriminatiin Act amongst others or is it lip token? I hope the unions and disability group movements as well as social workers stand up against this propised injustice.

  55. Mark April 2, 2018 at 4:42 pm #

    Do they want professionals to leave the social work? I know a lot of graduates that cannot type at 100 words a minute. Where will this end? A range of workers with great social work experience will be denied the opportunity to practice.

    By the way managers no longer write reports so getting them to type faster has no real bearing as they don’t write the 5-10,000 words I have to per week!

  56. Miss A. Fool April 2, 2018 at 6:25 pm #

    April loof…..

  57. Leon Summerfield April 3, 2018 at 1:31 am #

    That was an April fool… Right!?

  58. emma April 3, 2018 at 11:55 am #


  59. Sw111 April 9, 2018 at 6:12 pm #

    Why not use voice recognition typing software – it’s ridiculous.

  60. Lisa Cassius April 12, 2018 at 12:40 pm #