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Subject knowledge and awareness of current issues

You can tell us about how you have applied knowledge of current events to evidence that you have met standard 4.4

Subject knowledge of social work practice and awareness of current issues in society

4.4: Demonstrate good subject knowledge on key aspects of social work practice and develop knowledge of current issues in society and social policies impacting on social work.

Why subject knowledge and awareness of current issues is important

Having good social work knowledge is required for you to carry out good practice. It also provides reassurance to the people you support, as well as the public.

Social workers need to be aware of diverse aspects of people’s lives to best support them. Changes in policies, guidance and legislation around health, care, justice, policing, housing, employment, benefits, and any number of other areas can affect and change the way you practice.

It’s important to be aware of developments and changes that may affect social work or the social work profession. This means you can prepare for and deal with those changes to the benefit of the people you work with.

What you could do

Make sure you keep up to date with changes in policy and legislation and take into account the social, political and economic climate when considering your practice.

Awareness of policies and legislation

Policies and legislation around social work, rights, privacy, information and many other aspects of social work practice can change. Be aware of any changes that have an impact on the way you practice, think about these changes, and adapt your practice accordingly.

Knowledge of current events

You should keep your knowledge of current events up to date. This includes the political landscape locally, nationally, and globally, as well as wider societal issues that might impact people around you, for example different types of discrimination, healthcare access, or economic instability.

Consider if there are any current events or topical issues you feel less equipped to deal with. You could use CPD to address gaps in your knowledge and build your confidence in these areas.

Some of the ways you can do this include:

  • reading online articles or blogs
  • listening to podcasts
  • watching documentaries
  • following and engaging in discussions on social media
  • having open discussions with colleagues, peers, or your manager.

How to record subject knowledge and awareness of current issues in your online account

Your CPD should reflect on what you have learned about the current issue or issues, and how this learning will impact your practice.

For example, if you watched a documentary about the Black Lives Matter movement, you might reflect on what you learned, how it made you feel, and how you will take your learning with you into your work. Consider how your perspective has been changed, or if your decision-making might look different as a result of your learning.

Whilst a resource such as an article or a documentary can be a good starting point for a reflection on current issues, and help you address gaps in your knowledge, it is not the only way to build your subject knowledge and awareness. You could draw on discussions with peers, consider how someone you work with has been impacted by these issues, or simply reflect on your own feelings and experiences.

Record what you’ve learned, how it may affect your practice, and what changes you may need to make to improve.

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