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CPD workshop for social workers

Your CPD should be personal to you and your practice. These examples should not be viewed as best practice.

CPD workshop for social workers

Example of CPD recorded by a registered social worker

Title of CPD

Designed and delivered a CPD workshop for Social Workers

Date CPD completed

02/12/2019

What was your role in this example?

Social Work Educator/ Adviser -Designed a workshop for Social Workers, ASWP's and Managers to discuss the changes to the new regulator and the new CPD standards and processes.

What did you do?

I used SWE website, press releases and articles, I created a power point presentation which included the 8 CPD standards. I designed CPD related activities to give people ideas about how they could creatively capture the CPD they are already doing.

Thinking about this example, what would you do differently and how did this learning activity impact on your practice?

Following the first Social Work England workshop I provided in September 2019, I asked participants to fill in evaluation forms. I established that people felt that the workshop needed to be longer and people were still worried about what would constitute CPD. Following this I changed the layout of the presentation and made it 30 mins longer to facilitate more discussion and reflection. 

I discussed with my manager in supervision, my plan to change the workshop to be more reflective and more interactive to embed the learning and also asked for support to respond better to challenging questions. We used Kolb's reflective cycle to consider what I might want to change and to reflect on what I could improve.

I was aware that when asked challenging questions, particularly in the middle of the workshop I might not always respond in the most helpful way as I felt frustrated and it disrupted my rhythm. Using the reflection cycle and also considering contrasting learning styles I was able to critically reflect on my approach and I acknowledged that not everyone learns in a set, linear route, this is my preferred method of teaching and my frustration was because I am more comfortable with a very structured taught session.

I recognized that this approach isn't always the best for more visual learners or people who are quite anxious about the new regulator and they were not able to wait for me to answer the questions. I also considered that whilst at times they may have appeared, rude or angry, they were in fact just worried about the changes and looking to my specialist knowledge to reassure them.

I practiced scenario's with my manager in supervision where she would pose potentially inflammatory or evocative questions to give me a safe space to answer them, she then provided more guidance on what I was doing well and what I could develop further. I did reflect on my values when undertaking this piece of reflection. My personal beliefs mean that I can see interruptions as rude and disrespectful to the trainer, my personal preference is to wait until the workshop has finished before asking questions.

I acknowledge that actually I should see interruptions as a positive thing, people are interested and engaged in what I am teaching, they want information and they are bestowing trust on me that I will know the answer and not ridicule them for not knowing. Individuals who are very "blue" on the Insights wheel, may find all of the talking very distracting from key messages and may just want very clear answers to very direct questions and need to interrupt me to clarify.

Within supervision my manager asked me if the transition from front line Social Worker to educational strategic Social Worker had potentially affected my confidence, we discussed if I was feeling "consciously incompetent" as described in Chapman. Initially I felt a little defensive having been in practice for 10 years, but on reflection agreed that she was correct and that my need for a very rigid structured workshop was probably a way of managing my anxiety and covering up my lack of confidence about my new role.

I considered what my help me to develop and booked myself onto some "positive challenge" formal training, to help me to listen better and to help me to consider my answers and responses in my workshops. Considering Kubler Ross's theory about "Grief and Loss" I hadn't realized that I was grieving the loss of my previous position, a role which had occupied the last 14 years of my life and was deeply rooted in my identity. I considered a strength based approach and acknowledge the need to express this loss and grief safely and underwent two sessions of coaching, which is offered by my local authority.

This enabled me to work through my feelings of sadness and anger about the loss of a role I was very comfortable in, recognize the learning that I needed and also be more content with the feelings of incompetence and practice volunteered vulnerability as Choy described seemed liked a sensible way of being open about the gaps in my knowledge and trusting that attendee's to the workshop would respect that.

Whilst I am not currently in front line practice, It is essential for my role that I maintain good knowledge of the process of both adults and children's social work and am keeping myself up to date and informed about the current issues and case law or legislation updates. I used Community Care inform as well as Research in practice to look at my local authorities most searched and most read articles, I then used these articles as case examples in this workshop. I used current frameworks and legislation including case law and local policies to provide a structure to the workshop including offering a reason "why" which is very important for adult learners.

In later workshops including this on on December 2nd, I allowed the personalities and energies of the room to dictate the pace of the reflection parts and I also encouraged more free flow and more debate, not allowing myself to become frustrated if parts of the workshop were then missed as a result of this less rigid approach. I am reading articles about different teaching techniques to ensure I am incorporating different types of learning into my workshops, to maximize the learning and to suit all of the delegates as opposed to myself.

I have also changed the evaluation process to make it easier for attendee's to provide constructive feedback and find it much easier now to change parts of the workshop which are less useful, even though initially I was quite precious about keeping it as it was. I recognize that it more important that the workshop is useful in allowing workers to apply their learning to practice rather than my feelings about how it "should" look.

Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed are those of the social worker. We have not edited the content in this CPD record. It should not be viewed as best practice. Instead, it illustrates one of the activities which you could record as CPD to help you learn, improve and reflect on your practice. 

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