Professional development training for social workers in Wales has been given a solid endorsement by practitioners who have already been involved in the courses.
Eighty eight per cent would recommend the courses to their colleagues and an average of 91 per cent said they hoped to move onto the next level of training after completing their current course. Almost all of them (99 per cent) also said they were proud to be a social worker.
These were average scores taken across four programme groups and are among the main findings from an independent evaluation of the Continuing Professional Education and Learning (CPEL) framework, which was developed by the Care Council for Wales and its partners.
The CPEL framework aims to help develop professional, competent, confident and safe social workers to provide excellent front-line services.
Two training programmes for newly-qualified social workers are run by social work employers, working with three Welsh universities, while another two, for experienced and senior practitioners, are run by an Alliance of another four Welsh universities. A programme for consultant social workers is due to start this autumn.
This is the first report in a five-year evaluation of the impact of the CPEL framework on social work practice in Wales. It will assess how the CPEL framework improves the quality of social work practice, social workers’ perceptions of their profession, social workers’ confidence levels as well as the take-up and completion of CPEL training.
Gerry Evans, Care Council Director of Regulation and Professional Standards, said: “The value of this particular report is that it provides a baseline from which we can build a picture over the coming years. That said, it does contain some important and useful findings both to celebrate and discuss.
“Although it’s early days, it is highly-encouraging to hear that so many of those who have already taken part in the courses would be happy to recommend them to their colleagues and are prepared to continue with their development by undertaking a follow-on course. The CPEL framework is a major plank of our work to raise the professionalism of the social work workforce. We hope that, at the end of the five-year evaluation, we will see clear evidence that the training programmes have helped improve the quality of social work practice, supported better career progression, kept more people in the profession and, most importantly, resulted in better outcomes for those receiving services.
“We would like to thank all those who took part in the evaluation and we hope the report will be shared widely and discussed,” he added.
The evaluation report can be seen in full on CCW website: www.ccwales.org.uk