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Completing the annual monitoring return 2020

Guidance to help education providers understand what they need to do to comply with our annual monitoring process.

Guidance for completing annual monitoring

Last updated: 7 October 2020


Introduction

Every year, Social Work England reviews approved social work courses to ensure they continue to meet our current education and training standards. This guidance is designed to help education providers understand what you need to do to comply with our annual monitoring process, and how we can support you.

It’s essential that you provide the information we need by 5pm on Friday 27 November 2020.

Information you will need to provide

This year we will do this by asking you as a provider to send us an online declaration with supporting evidence to show that your courses continue to meet the education and training standards 2019. We will also ask for:

  • Details about how your course(s) are preparing for the introduction of the new education and training standards and the changes you will make to meet the standards. The revised education and training standards have been postponed until September 2021.We would like to see evidence that you’re getting ready.
  • Equality and diversity data connected to your social work courses.
  • An up to date position on any changes that have been made to courses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is the deadline?

Please return an electronic copy of your documents by Friday 27 November 2020 at 5pm.

The annual monitoring return for each course is a mandatory requirement and failure to provide the information could result in the approval of the course to be withdrawn. Please note that not all of the sections of the form are mandatory. Those which are have been indicated on the form, in the heading for that section.

Some of the information is not required and will not affect your approval. The voluntary section of the form has also been indicated in the section heading.

The annual monitoring return for each course is a mandatory requirement and failure to provide the information could result in a decision to set conditions on approval in accordance with rules 12 and 13 education and training rules or withdraw approval under rule 14.

Following the return of the annual monitoring form(s), we will decide that either:

  • there is enough evidence that the course continues to meet our standards
  • the evidence provided suggests that the programme may not be meeting our standards and that an approval visit is required to consider ongoing approval of the course

How to provide information

This year we are asking you to submit your information using Word-based form. A copy of the form is available from your education quality assurance officer. You can download the form

For each area, we are requesting an outline and any supporting evidence to demonstrate your answer. You should be able to provide responses based on information already routinely gathered and considered for the internal management and quality assurance of an approved programme.

This guidance is intended to provide more detail on completing the form and our data collection requirements within section 3: data collection (including COVID-19, preparing for the 2020 education and training standards, and equality and diversity).

The annual monitoring process gives us the opportunity to continue to build a picture of the social work profession from education to post qualifying. Your response to this survey will support our strategic ambition around raising the standards of social work education and training provision.

Next steps

Following the return of the annual monitoring form(s), we will decide that either:

  • There is enough evidence that the course continues to meet our standards or
  • The evidence provided suggests that the programme may not be meeting our standards and that an approval visit is required to consider ongoing approval of the course.

Completing the annual monitoring return

You will be sent the declaration questions in a Word-based form. The same return should be used for each approved course that you run. The annual monitoring return is split into 3 main sections.

Section 1

Section title: Information about the education provider

Requirements: Completion of the form

Mandatory/voluntary: Mandatory

Section 2

Section title: Declaration

Requirements: Completion of the form

Mandatory/voluntary: Mandatory

Section 3

Section title: Data collection

Requirements: Completion of the form, documentary evidence, data reporting

Mandatory/voluntary: Mandatory (COVID-19, preparation for 2020 standards), Voluntary (equality, diversity and inclusion data)

Sections 1 and 2: Details and declaration

Section 1 should be self-explanatory to identify and update any details about the courses delivered.

Section 2 is a declaration to confirm that the course continues to meet our education and training standards and that those who successfully complete the course meet the standards required to join the Social Work England register.

Where we refer to the numbers of registered social workers involved in the course, we appreciate that ad-hoc numbers may be estimates. We still ask that this information is provided. By completing the declaration, it confirms that recent and future potential significant changes to course provision are reported to us.

If there are changes that need to be made as a result of the completion of this annual monitoring return, please follow our course change processor make contact with us through your education and quality assurance officer.

Section 3: COVID-19 questions

As part of the annual monitoring return we are asking for information about how the course may have changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in the following areas:

  • Admissions
  • Placement provision
  • Learning and teaching
  • Assessment
  • Any other relevant areas

On the annual monitoring form, we have asked some specific questions in relation to above but would ask that you consider the following areas in preparing your answers and provide additional documentary evidence where relevant to support your response.

If you are submitting documentary evidence, it would be helpful if you could provide a list of the documents you are submitting and the corresponding question they relate to using the table at the end of the monitoring form (section 6 of the form).

Admissions 2020 to 2021

Are you likely to increase or decrease the number of places offered on your courses?

Did you adapt any admission processes as a result of social distancing/lock down challenges? If so, what did you adapt, and why?

Possible documentary evidence may include:

  • Feedback questionnaires from people with lived experience involved with admission processes
  • Internal quality monitoring documents, for example reports from curriculum reviews or annual monitoring
  • Any action plans as a result of impact analysis of COVID-19 and following the revision of A levels to centre assessed grades
Placement provision

What arrangements have you made to adapt placements at this time?

What, if any, support processes have your put in place for students and practice educators due to start placements at this time?

Has the placement been reconfigured (for example, by increasing work from home, reducing the number of placement days or increasing reflective practise exercises) to adapt to the current situation?

Possible documentary evidence may include:

  • Information regarding ongoing practice-based learning capacity
  • Information regarding the outcomes of practice-based learning quality monitoring activity
  • Feedback from stakeholders, areas identified for development and any information regarding action plans
  • Minutes of discussions with practice education providers about capacity of practice-based learning and/or feedback for development of practice-based learning and resulting actions
  • Questionnaire for practice education providers which includes information about capacity
  • Minutes of programme committee meetings or local or regional practice education planning meetings
  • Analysis of results from practice-based learning monitoring and any resulting actions
  • Learner or practice educator feedback, including any action plans
  • Internal quality monitoring documents
Learning and teaching

How is your course being delivered during this time?

If possible, we would like to understand the different models of blended learning that are being delivered. Please give details about the proportion of the course being delivered in a virtual ‘away from site’ environment, classroom based or using simulated examples.

Possible documentary evidence may include:

  • Internal quality assurance documents
  • Proposals for changes to course delivery or timetables
  • Correspondence to students detailing course delivery structures
Assessment

If you adjusted assessment methods what measures are you continuing with into the new academic year?

Possible documentary evidence may include:

  • Assessment strategy
  • Course documentation for students detailing assessment requirements
Any other areas

Are there any other areas of your course delivery that has changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Section 3: preparing for the 2020 education and training standards

These questions have been included so we can understand how you are preparing for the new education and training standards. As with the COVID-19 section, if you want to submit documentary evidence, you should provide a list of the documents you are submitting and the corresponding question they relate to using the table at the end of the monitoring form (section 6 of the form).

Section 3: equality and diversity data collection

The collection of data and information relating to equality and diversity aims is a voluntary part of the annual monitoring return. This section is a core component of our strategic ambition and although voluntary, your support will help us to build a more detailed picture of the social work sector.

We know through our engagement with students that there are genuine concerns around representation and inclusiveness on their course, which can have a lasting impact beyond qualification. We hope that providers will help us to build a foundation to aid in our understanding of experiences of the student cohort and work to improve key competencies within the profession.

It will also help us to better understand the completion of different stages of social work courses in relation to those with protected characteristics. We will not use this data to draw provider specific conclusions, nor will the providers response affect the outcome of the annual monitoring approval process. Any analysis will be aggregated and considered at a national level.

You must apply the Information Commissioners Office’s code of practice for anonymisation of data, so that you are not providing us with personal data. This may include suppressing small numbers so that we cannot identify individuals from the information you provide through data which may be available online or through other means. This may involve replacing small numbers with, for example, ‘<5’ or ‘<10’ as you consider appropriate. The chance of us being able to identify individuals should be remote.

In developing these questions, we consulted the Equality Act 2010, the practices at the Higher Education Statistics Agency and The Office for National Statistics. To aid with organising the data, we are adopting the Higher Education Statistics Agency’s data specifications for each protected characteristic (see below table).

We know that this data is not always immediately available at a course level but we would appreciate your effort to engage with the central administration in your institution to help fulfil our request.

Protected characteristics: data specifications

Age

Age groups:

  • 18-20
  • 21-24
  • 25-29
  • 30-34
  • 35-39
  • 40-44
  • 45-49
  • 50-54
  • 55-59
  • 60-64
  • 65-69
Gender reassignment 

Please provide overall number of social work students/academic staff, according to their own self-assessment, who indicate if their gender identity is the same as the gender originally assigned to them at birth.

  • Yes
  • No
Being pregnant or on maternity leave

Please provide overall figure on the course for academic staff/students, if available.

Disability

How many, on the basis of the academic staff/student's own self-assessment, identify as having a disability under the following specification:

  • 2 or more impairments and/or disabling medical conditions
  • A specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or AD(H)D
  • A social/communication impairment such as Asperger's syndrome/other autistic spectrum disorder
  • A long-standing illness or health condition such as cancer, HIV, diabetes, chronic heart disease, or epilepsy
  • A mental health condition, such as depression, schizophrenia or anxiety disorder
  • A physical impairment or mobility issues, such as difficulty using arms or using a wheelchair or crutches
  • Deaf or a serious hearing impairment
  • Blind or a serious visual impairment uncorrected by glasses
  • A disability, impairment or medical condition that is not listed above
Race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin

Please outline how many students/staff identify as:

  • Black or Black British – African
  • Other Black background
  • Asian or Asian British – Indian
  • Asian or Asian British – Pakistani
  • Asian or Asian British – Bangladeshi
  • Chinese
  • Other Asian Background
  • Mixed – White and Black Caribbean
  • Mixed –White and Black African
  • Mixed White and Asian
  • Other mixed background
  • Arab
  • Other ethnic background
Religion or belief

Please outline how many students/staff identify as:

  • No religion
  • Buddhist
  • Christian
  • Hindu
  • Jewish
  • Muslim
  • Sikh
  • Spiritual
  • Any other religion or belief
Sexual orientation

Please outline how many students/staff identify as:

  • Bisexual
  • Gay man
  • Gay woman/lesbian
  • Heterosexual
  • Other

Questions and contact details

Please complete your return by Friday 27 November 2020, 5pm.

Social Work England has a dedicated Education and Quality Assurance Team who can assist with any questions. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any queries about your return. You can contact us at [email protected].

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