Continuing to develop social workers


The recommendations in the new approach to continuing professional development (CPD) recognise that learning takes place in different ways and is not always associated with a course. The standards for employers and supervision framework apply to all employers of social workers and outline the responsibility of employers to provide their staff with a flexible approach and provision for CPD.  

As part of our continued support to employers Skills for Care has produced core principles, resources and guidance to support employers to develop the social work workforce.




Developing social workers' practice: Core principles for employers providing a flexible CPD approach for social workers can be used by employers to support the continuing professional development (CPD) of the social work workforce. 

Employers felt that the principles helped to:

  • provide a framework for strategic planning 
  • support recruitment and retention 
  • provide evidence of best practice when undergoing external inspection 
  • bring together all of the SWRB products support employers and social workers meet HCPC re registration requirements 
  • provide a quality assurance audit tool for in house and academically accredited training.

We have also produced case studies and an infographic to show employers how the principles can be used to develop a flexible approach to CPD. 

We have worked with the employer partnerships to produce case studies and resources which demonstrate how the core principles can be applied to practice. 

Employers who have been members of the CPD and Measuring Impact development projects have shared the documentation they have developed which integrates the PCF in employment practices. 

Click here to access the CPD case studies

Impact assessment should focus on what participants learn, how they use what they have learned, and the effect on those in need of care and support and carers in the short, medium and long-term..

Skills for Care has worked in partnership with a group of employers to test models and tools and develop good practice case studies to support the process for measuring the impact of CPD for social workers. To support the case studies we have also produced a top tips document and an infographic which focuses on 'How can employers measure the impact of CPD on their social workers?'

Click here for more information. 

Employers who have been members of the CPD and Measuring Impact development projects have shared the documentation they have developed including:

The PEPS outline two stages of progression for practice educators responsible for assessing, supervising and teaching social work students. The two stages correspond with the different levels of complexity and responsibility in teaching, assessing and supervising the social work degree.

For more information refer to The College of Social Work Practice Educator Professional Standards for social work.

The PEPS have been used broadly and successfully to support and develop social work educators. However, the new Practice Development Educator guidance, developed in response to employer feedback, is now more relevant for those supporting and assessing NQSWs or others engaging in formal or informal learning and development activities

Working in collaboration with The College of Social Work and employers and universities we have developed new guidance for practice development educators, which builds on the learning from implementation of the PEPS.

The PDE is a registered social worker who takes responsibility for supporting, assessing and/or supervising social workers undertaking post qualifying professional development and learning. This includes the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE), Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes and activities and Approved Mental Health Practitioner (AMHP) programmes

This guidance includes:

For more infromation please refer to the PDE guidance FAQs.

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