An Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) was recommended by the Social Work Task Force in their final report. The aim of the ASYE is to ensure that newly qualified social workers (NQSWs) receive consistent support in their first year of practice so that they are able to become confident, competent professionals.
We have been supporting the Social Work Reform Board (SWRB) to develop proposals for the ASYE that build on the existing Newly Qualified Social Worker (NQSW) programmes, deliver a single programme across all service areas, and fit with the SWRB's national reform programme.
ASYE is due to begin in September 2012 and will succeed the existing Newly Qualified Social Worker (NQSW) programmes.
How the ASYE proposals have been developed
We worked in partnership with the Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC) to support the SWRB in developing the ASYE. Since September 2011 we have drawn on the experience and advice of over fifty employers across the adults and children's sector to formulate recommendations to the SWRB. We have also learned from the evaluations of the NQSW programmes.
We have worked closely with other partners, including The College of Social Work
and Local Government Association to ensure that the proposals are consistent with other parts of the SWRB process, such as the Professional Capabilities Framework and the Standards for Employers and Supervision Framework. Implementation of all these SWRB products, including ASYE, is complementary.
The SWRB issued a detailed proposals paper in September 2011 asking for views on key aspects of ASYE. We have analysed those responses to help us make recommendations about ASYE implementation.
The aim of this work has been to enable the SWRB to make recommendations for how the ASYE should be implemented from September 2012. The SWRB is expected to decide how to take forward the recommendations when it meets later in March.
The ASYE development process in more detail
Between September 2011 and March 2012 we gathered views and information to develop the proposals for the ASYE and analysed them against the experience and views of those implementing the existing NQSW programmes.
The process included working with employers, higher education institutions and the profession to build on their learning from implementing the NQSW programme and to:
- develop potential approaches to assessing the ASYE;
- develop ASYE capability statements, as part of the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF);
- consider how the ASYE should be implemented, including support for NQSWs and guidance for employers.
To do this, we:
- held three workshops with employers and HEIs to discuss the ASYE draft capability statements and potential approaches to assessing the NQSWs' progress against the capability statements.
- asked these employers through an online survey to tell us about their current approaches to assessing NQSWs, the types of tasks and evidence requirements they use and what their strengths and weaknesses were, and what they considered were important for use in ASYE.
- visited and phoned a number of employers to find out how they were implementing the current NQSW programmes and what lessons we could learn about how ASYE might be implemented.
- tested the draft capability statements with employers, frontline practitioners and managers at a range of events and via our website during autumn/winter 2011.
- consulted with the sector on the development of ASYE via a detailed proposals paper in autumn/winter 2011.
- gathered advice and guidance throughout the development process from an ASYE technical group, including representatives from employers, HEIs, practitioners and professional bodies from across children's and adults' social work.
We have continually developed and refined the proposals, testing them with employers, HEIs, social workers and service users. Throughout the process the SWRB, its Careers Working Group and its Chairs' Group have been kept informed and have provided feedback on developments and emerging products.
The SWRB is expected to decide how to take forward the recommendations at its meeting in March 2012 and we will keep the sector informed of news once this has taken place.
Responses to the proposals for ASYE
A number of employers were involved in developing the ASYE model that will build upon learning from the existing NQSW framework to ensure that employers can effectively assess and support their newly qualified staff. The responses to the consultation are now available; Responses to proposals for ASYE.
We will continue to support employers to deliver the existing NQSW programme in 2012 while these developments take place.