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Research, theories and models

You can tell us about your use of research, theories and models to evidence that you have met standard 4.3

Research, theories and models

4.3 Keep my practice up to date and record how I use research, theories and frameworks to inform my practice and my professional judgement.

Why using research, theories and frameworks is important

It’s important that you understand developments in social work theory and practice, so you have up to date knowledge when using your professional judgement and making decisions.

By proactively using social work research, theories and frameworks, you can view your practice in different ways and continuously evaluate the impact of your practice. This may mean that you consider doing things differently, using a new approach based on something you have read, listened to, or engaged with.

What you could do

There are many ways you can keep your practice up to date. You should aim to use a variety of resources, for example:

  • reading journals, books or articles
  • listening to podcasts
  • watching documentaries or Ted Talks
  • attending seminars, webinars, lectures and forums - internally or externally
  • undertaking research

Learning from research, theories and frameworks can be a self-directed, independent activity, or something you do with peers (for example, in a group book club.)

Sharing with colleagues or peers is a great way to take your learning further. Think about how you could share your learning at work, or benefit from the learning of others, to meet standard 4.5 (contributing to an open learning culture).

How to record research, theories and frameworks in your online account

When recording your CPD, you need to demonstrate what you have learned from research, theories and/or frameworks, and how this learning has had, or will have, a positive impact on your practice. Think about how this learning has informed your professional judgement, or changed how you approach situations at work.

It is helpful to include a brief summary of what the material is about (around one or two lines) to help put your CPD into context.

However, you do not need to use formal referencing, quote large pieces of texts, or attach source documents, such as the pages of books you are referring to.

Think of the research, theory or framework as a starting point for your own reflection. Your CPD record should focus on your own learning, and how it has, or will, impact on your practice.

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