Develop your social workers

Young lady sat at a table with a book open

Provide effective continuing professional development for your social workers.

We can help you to identify the best continual professional development (CPD) opportunities for your social workers.

The Standards for Employers of Social Workers outline your responsibility to provide a flexible approach and provision for CPD for your workforce.

Our core principles for CPD, case studies and supporting resources will help you to develop your social work workforce.

This section also includes information about measuring the impact of CPD activity, supporting practice development educators and action learning facilitation. 

Our core principles can help you to provide effective CPD for social work workforce. 

The principles will:

  • provide a framework for strategic planning 
  • support recruitment and retention 
  • provide evidence of best practice for external inspection 
  • help your social workers meet their HCPC re registration requirements 
  • help you to a quality of your staff training.

Using the CPD principles

We have created case studies to show how to use of the core principles.

The case studies were identified by employer partnerships  who have been involved in previous CPD projects.

We have created case studies, top tips  and an infographic to show how you can measure the impact of your CPD activity.

Impact assessment looks at what your social workers have learned and how this has had a positive impact on the people they support.

Working with a group of employers we have identified the most commonly used tools and models used to measure the impact of CPD activity. 

The practice development educator (PDE) role is for registered social worker who  support, assess and/or supervise social workers undertaking post qualifying professional development and learning.

This includes the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE), Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities and Approved Mental Health Practitioner (AMHP) programmes.

The Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS) provide the two stages of progression for practice educators, which are linked to the complexity and responsibility of their role.

There is guidance to further support the PDE role. It builds on learning from the PEPS and help PDEs to support and assess NQSWs.

There are learning outcomes, an assessment framework and FAQs to further support this role.

Action learning is a grouped based activity which uses the learning of others to solve professional challenges.

It encourages the individual to reflect on their experience to develop their own practice.

The videos below show how action learning has benefitted NQSWs and their managers.


Here are some examples of NQSWs who have participated in an action learning programme.

Jessica Walton

Lynne Hyland

Angela Cunneyworth 


Here are some examples of managers who have used action learning to develop of their social workers.

Diane Stratulis 

Sheila Beswick

Carolyn Nice 

Yvonne Hobday