Our standards for continuing professional development are very different to the General Social Care Council’s (GSCC) system of post registration training and learning (PRTL). This system required social workers to undertake ninety hours or fifteen days of learning over the three years of their GSCC registration.
Our approach is to focus on the benefits of learning rather than time spent. We do not set a minimum number of hours or days that social workers will need to spend undertaking CPD, rather their focus will be on the outcome of their learning activities and the impact on their practise and service users.
Set out below is information on our standards, the process and where to find more information. We hope that, like our existing professions, social workers will embrace the challenge of seeking out opportunities for learning and continuous improvement.
The standards for CPD
A registrant must:
- maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities;
- demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice;
- seek to ensure that their CPD has contributed to the quality of their practice and service delivery;
- seek to ensure that their CPD benefits the service user;
- upon request, present a written profile (which must be their own work and supported by evidence) explaining how they have met the standards for CPD.
Every professional registered with us is required to maintain a record (portfolio) of their learning. This can be either online or paper based. It should also be evidenced. It is this this portfolio which we will draw upon if they are selected for audit.
In September 2014 we will begin auditing the CPD of social workers in England. We do this for each profession we regulate every two years, in line with their registration renewal dates. We will randomly select 2.5 per cent of social workers in England and give those selected around three months to prepare and submit a CPD profile.
This is not a professional’s entire portfolio of evidence, it is more a snapshot of their learning and changes in their practise over the previous two years. If selected, we will send a form to be completed which tells us about their learning and development over the past two years.
The work of assessing the profile will be undertaken by ‘partners’, HCPC registered social workers and other professions working in pairs to assess whether the standards have been met.
The CPD profile
A CPD profile has four components
- List of CPD activities (for the last two years)
- Summary of recent work (for the last two years) – 500 words maximum
- Statement of how standards have been met – 1500 words maximum
- Supporting evidence
The list of activities (1) shows that you have met standard one, whilst the summary (2) gives you an opportunity to highlight your recent scope of practise. This is so we can assess whether your CPD is relevant to your area of work.
The statement (3) is the largest part of the profile. It is where you can highlight in detail a number of activities which you feel have benefited your practise and service users. The most straightforward approach to doing this is to select three or four activities which you feel have made a difference to your work.
You will need to explain:
- what the activity was;
- what you learnt; and
- what you now do differently as a result.
Ideally, a reflection of 300–500 words per activity. The key thing is to focus on standards three and four and the benefits to your practise and service users.
Finally we will ask to see a small selection of evidence (4) which supports what you have told us in the CPD profile. This can be almost anything ranging from journal reviews to research notes, certificates and reflections.
For more information, visit our website which has links to publications, presentations and sample CPD profiles. www.hcpc-uk.org/cpd
Marc Potter is the Stakeholder Communications Manager @The_HCPC and will be our especial guest for the evening on Tuesday (27 November) to discuss and answer questions relating to registration, regulation, and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) of Social Workers in England.
In a especial evening with Marc Seale (Chief Executive and Registrar @The_HCPC) and Mark Potter (Stakeholder Communications Manager @The_HCPC) explore the changes to social work regulation and their implications for practitioners, employers, service providers and service users… Tuesday (27 November) at 8:00 PM GMT / 3:00 PM EST.