Eighteen per cent of social workers in England have recorded continuing professional development (CPD) on online accounts, four-and-a-half months out from a deadline to do so or risk removal from the register.
Social Work England released the figures yesterday as it urged practitioners to record CPD on their accounts – which 28% of registrants are yet to activate – by the registration deadline of 30 November 2020.
All of the approximately 98,000 registered practitioners must record at least one piece of CPD on their accounts by this date or face possible removal from the register if they do not respond to subsequent requests from the regulator to do so.
The regulator will be carrying out a wide-ranging communications and information campaign, including a series of workshops, over the coming months to encourage social workers to record their CPD.
‘Confident but not complacent’
Speaking to Community Care about the issue, Social Work England’s executive director of strategy, policy and engagement, Sarah Blackmore, said: “We are confident but not complacent about how the figures will increase.”
She said there had been an encouraging uptick in CPD recording in the past couple of weeks, with the regulator saying 920 practitioners had uploaded CPD in the past week.
The regulator is holding 27 online workshops including practical demonstrations on recording CPD up to the end of September – to which 3,200 practitioners have signed up, said Blackmore. She said regional engagement leads – the points of contact for practitioners and employers with the regulator – were also holding workshops in their regions, including for independent practitioners.
Blackmore said the regulator was also working with national bodies, including the principal social worker networks, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, Association of Directors of Children’s Services, Unison, Skills for Care, Cafcass and Unison to encourage take-up, and would also be sending emails to registrants encouraging them to upload CPD.
‘Not a tick-box exercise’
She said that CPD should not be seen as a “tick-box exercise” and it was important that people understood the meaning behind it.
“It’s about how the profession can demonstrate it is developing the quality and sophistication of its practice.”
And, in a reference to Covid-19, she added: “I would be amazed if there was a social worker in this country who has not stopped and reflected on the impact of this crisis on their practice. That’s CPD – some lines about that is what we are looking for.”
In the regulator’s formal statement on the issue, Blackmore said: “Although formal training can be an important part of learning, CPD can be any activity social workers feel would benefit their practice. We want social workers to get into the habit of recognising and recording daily experiences as CPD. Reading a piece of research, conducting an interview or writing a reflective piece about learning from challenges all count as valuable CPD, helping to raise professional standards in the sector.”
Recording CPD on Community Care Inform
To enable you to quickly and easily record and add learning you gain from Community Care Inform articles and activities over the course of the year, our CPD log to match Social Work England’s requirements and forms. The regulator asks you to provide information on what you did, reflect on how it has impacted on your practice and say which of the CPD standards (see box below) you feel that the learning has met.
The CPD standards are:
- Incorporate feedback from a range of sources, including from people with lived experience of my social work practice.
- Use supervision and feedback to critically reflect on, and identify my learning needs, including how I use research and evidence to inform my practice.
- Keep my practice up to date and record how I use research, theories and frameworks to inform my practice and my professional judgment.
- Demonstrate good subject knowledge on key aspects of social work practice and develop knowledge of current issues in society and social policies impacting on social work.
- Contribute to an open and creative learning culture in the workplace to discuss, reflect on and share best practice.
- Reflect on my learning activities and evidence what impact continuing professional development has on the quality of my practice.
- Record my learning and reflection on a regular basis and in accordance with Social Work England’s guidance on continuing professional development.
- Reflect on my own values and challenge the impact they have on my practice.