The ASYE assessment should evidence the NQSW’s continuing progressive development throughout their ASYE with the evidence coming a wide range of sources and professionals
Employers can choose any assessment process that will demonstrate that the NQSW has met the requirements of the relevant PQS and NQSW (ASYE) level descriptor of the PCF.
The Chief Social Workers have issued a joint statement which describes the relationship between the KSS and PCF.
The assessment must be owned by an experienced and registered social worker who is usually the ASYE assessor named on the ASYE templates. The ASYE assessor may or not be a Practice Educator (holding the PEPS1/PEP2 qualification).
Who assesses the NQSW?
The ASYE assessor assesses the NQSW. The assessor must be a registered social worker, and they should have the necessary experience for the role. The assessor might already be experienced in supervising others, including students and previous NQSWs, and they may also hold the Practice Education (PEPS) qualification.
The assessor will support, assess and record the progress of the NQSW over the year – they may do this on their own or in partnership with others (e.g. line manager, ASYE co-ordinator). It is helpful for the NQSW if the assessor remains constant throughout their ASYE, although this may not always be possible. If the assessor changes, the new assessor and the NQSW should review the support and assessment agreement to discuss any changes which may need to be made to the agreement (which should then re-drafted and given a revised signatory and date)
The ASYE is a pass or fail.
We offer guidance on struggling/failing NQSWs which also explores the difference between deferral and withdrawal. The ASYE assessor makes the final ASYE pass/fail recommendation based on whether or not the NQSW has met the relevant PQS and PCF (NQSW/ASYE) level descriptor.
Through review and supervision concerns can be identified at an early stage so appropriate action can be taken, involving senior managers, HR, and a support plan if necessary. If a NQSW is failing their ASYE, employers will need to consider appropriate options on a case-by-case basis. If the employer has concerns about the NQSW’s fitness to practice, they should contact Social Work England.
A NQSW who fails the ASYE cannot re-do it.
Quality assured final assessment/recommendation
In making the final pass/fail recommendation the assessment process and its’ evidence should be judged by the moderation process to ensure it is:
accurate - consistent with the expectations of the relevant PQS and the PCF NQSW(ASYE) level descriptor
valid - based on evidence that reflects the entire range of the NQSW’s work, practice, and continual progression throughout their ASYE
robust - based on evidence that is checked and consistent and leads to a defensible judgement
sufficient - based on a sufficiently broad and varied range of different types of evidence (an holistic perspective of the NQSWs’ progressive development)
NQSW support and supervision requirements
The ‘Standards for employers of social workers in England’ (Employer Standards) specifically include access to regular reflective supervision.
The ASYE framework recommends each NQSW should have a protected case load (minimum 10%) and protected time (minimum 10%) for professional development.
If appropriate, the ASYE assessor may offer both reflective and case supervision. Alternatively, the ASYE assessor may offer reflective supervision and the line manager offer case supervision. Additionally, the ASYE programme may also offer group supervisions and/or action learning sets.
Appealing against the assessment outcome (NQSW)
Each employer should have in place a process by which a NQSW can appeal the final assessment decision. Key details of this appeals process should be mentioned at the start of the ASYE in the contained within the support and assessment agreement (template 1: SAA).