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HCPC launches consultation on standards of proficiency for social workers in England

04/04/2016 - 11:44

Consultation on standards of proficiency for social workers in England

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) has launched a consultation to invite stakeholders for their views on proposed changes to the profession-specific standards of proficiency for social workers in England.

The standards of proficiency are the threshold standards for safe and effective practice in the UK and play a key role in public protection. They are divided into generic standards (which apply to all of the 16 professions we regulate) and standards specific to each of the professions regulated. They are used when an individual professional applies for or renews their registration, or when concerns are raised about their competence. They are also used to approve education and training programmes.

The review is an opportunity to make sure the standards of proficiency are relevant to each profession. No appropriate or useful standards will be lost, but the language used may change to ensure the standards are appropriate and applicable to individual professions. Where it is appropriate to do so, we also aim to maintain as much consistency as possible between different professions.

We have proposed a small number of new standards, including the following:

• being able to identify strategies for professional resilience
• working effectively whilst holding alternative, competing explanations in mind (4.5). This is intended to augment the existing standard (4.4) about making informed judgements on complex issues, based on available information.
• understanding the principles of information governance and the safe use of health and social care information
• being able to present reports in formal settings
• understanding the concept of leadership and its application to practice

Director of Policy and Standards, Michael Guthrie, said:

“We committed to reviewing the standards of proficiency for social workers in England once we had concluded a three year programme of visits to pre-registration education and training programmes. It is important to ensure the standards continue to be set at an appropriate level for entry to the HCPC Register and that they reflect the current practice.

“We will analyse the responses after the consultation and publish the final standards as approved by our Council. We will then work with education and training providers to phase them in.”

These consultations will be of interest to social workers in England, relevant education providers, employers, professional bodies, and those who use the services of this profession.

The consultation will run from 1 April 2016 to 24 June 2016.

For more information about how to participate in the consultation, visit www.hcpc-uk.org/aboutus/consultations/

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