Employer Zone

Medway Council

In the spotlight

Career progression

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Credit: Ruff Jane Reyes on Unsplash

Medway Children's Services

Career progression

Our career progression scheme was re-launched in April 2020 to demonstrate our commitment to establishing a skilled, permanent social care workforce

Social workers agree a learning and development plan linked to their annual Performance Development Review, which recognises and rewards the acquisition and application of additional ‘specialist’ knowledge and skills.

The scheme allows social workers to demonstrate their ability against the criteria for progression and advancement through the career grade. Social workers will be supported in this transition through a wealth of opportunities including an extensive training and CPD offer as well as coaching and individual supervision.

Progression from social worker to experienced social worker will be dependent on the employee submitting a portfolio of evidence. Progression to the role of senior practitioner is through a portfolio and interview process. Progression to all other roles are through an interview and presentation.

Learning and development

This is a key focus for Medway and the training and learning on offer will continue to develop and strengthen. At the moment the learning offered to social workers includes:

  • Induction: A five day protected induction helps ensure you are effectively integrated into the council. While this runs alongside the probationary process, and is complementary, it is a separate process. Staff will serve only one probationary period upon entry to Medway Council but should be inducted into each and every role they undertake.
  • Medway Social Work Academy: A programme of training and support for NQSWs (newly qualified social workers), qualified and experienced practitioners and managers. There are four learning streams which include student social workers, newly qualified social workers (ASYE), continuing professional development (CPD), leadership and development. The academy has links with local universities and leading London universities.
  • Knowledge and skills training: Signs of Safety training is complemented by core offer of skills and knowledge-based training programme relevant to the individual worker and service needs.
  • Practice educator roles: These roles are encouraged in order to support our learning culture and help bring new talent into the organisation. Medway Council run a Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS) stage 1 and stage 2 course annually. This helps ensure all staff who wish to have an opportunity to undertake the qualification within their employment with Medway.
  • Leadership programmes: We are focused on developing leadership in our first line managers. The programmes that Medway offer include the Firstline programme for new frontline managers, (delivered by Frontline) and a Leadership and Management Programme developed by Medway Council in conjunction with the training provider T-Three who also delivers the programme.
  • Workshops: Monthly workshops are delivered by our own internal experts to enhance the skills and knowledge of our social workers. The topics are determined by regular internal audits and quality assurance of work being undertaken so sessions can be tailored for current gaps in knowledge and skills. It includes learning from mistakes as well as cases that have achieved successful change.
  • Legal practice development workshops: These are delivered regularly to ensure all our social workers have up to date knowledge on laws that relate to social work.
  • Online resources: Medway has invested in a range of online resources and e-learning to help social workers learn while on the job. These include an e-learning suite from the Kent, Medway and South East Social Work Teaching Partnership as well as subscription based resources such as Community Care Inform.