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Our findings from the 2021 to 2022 CPD review

The assessors share some of their key learning from the most recent CPD review.

Our findings from the 2021 to 2022 CPD review

6/20/2022 3:47:36 PM

What is CPD review?

Each year, after the CPD deadline on 30 November, we carry out a CPD review. We randomly select 2.5% of social workers from the register and review the CPD they have recorded. We are looking to ensure social workers meet professional standard 4 (the standard relating to CPD). The CPD review offers valuable insight into what CPD social workers are recording and how it impacts their practice.

Who are the CPD assessors?

The CPD review is carried out by a team of 10 independent assessors. We recruited the assessors under our appointment rules for their experience of working in quality assurance in social work (or in a similar setting). 5 of the assessors are registered social workers. This means they can offer a diverse mix of skills and knowledge from within the social work sector, and outside of it. When one assessor does not accept a social worker’s CPD, another assessor will review it as well. This ensures the process is fair.

Recommendations from our assessors

We carried out our most recent CPD review between January and March 2022. In this review, the assessors accepted 2,225 social workers’ CPD. They gave advice to 129 social workers on how their CPD records could be improved. When a social workers is given advice, we automatically select them for review the following December (if they apply to renew their registration).

The assessors have shared some of their key learning from the 2022 CPD review. Their reflections and recommendations may be helpful to consider as you record your CPD this year.

Focus on impact

The assessors told us that some records did not show a clear link between the CPD and its impact on practice. In these cases, they did not accept the CPD and gave advice.

For example, some social workers reflected on feedback they had received. However, they did not go into enough detail about how this feedback would impact their practice moving forward.

Evidencing impact is an essential part of recording CPD. It shows that your learning is effective and has a positive effect on the people you work with. To explore what impact your CPD has had, you could ask yourself (any of the following questions):

  • How has the support you offer people changed or improved as a result of doing this CPD?
  • Can you give a specific example of someone who has benefited from this improvement? (Make sure it is anonymised)
  • If you are a manger, how has the CPD changed or improved your management style? How has this impacted on your staff, and helped them to deliver the best possible social work?
  • If you are not currently working, how do you think this CPD will impact the people you work with in the future?

Structure your CPD

The assessors found that some good examples used the STAR methodology. They recommend this as one of the effective ways of structuring your CPD. The STAR methodology follows 4 steps:

  • Situation: set the scene. Introduce the situation and its context.
  • Task: describe the challenges and expectations, and what your role and responsibilities were. What did you need to do, and why?
  • Action: explain what you did to achieve your goal, and how you did it.
  • Results: share the outcome. What was the positive result? How did it impact on your practice?

Start early

The assessors shared that it was often easy to notice when social workers had rushed their CPD, completing it at the last minute. Quality CPD was recorded in good time, ahead of the deadline. This allowed the social worker to take time to properly reflect.

The CPD form has changed for 2022. We recommend familiarising yourself with the new form as soon as possible, so you know what you need to do.

Proof read your work

Many records contained spelling errors and grammatical issues. Whilst the assessors do not assess CPD on the quality of spelling and grammar, poorly written records can be difficult to understand. Taking time to proof read your record before submitting ensures that the assessors will understand it. It also shows that you have taken care when recording your CPD.

You can use CPD to reflect on wellbeing

The assessors shared that some social workers used their CPD to reflect on their mental and emotional wellbeing.

Whilst references to COVID-19 were fewer than the previous year, social workers continued to reflect on the impact of the pandemic. They gave examples of personal support they needed to manage their work, and the anxieties they were experiencing.

You can use CPD recording as a tool to reflect on your experiences, and identify what support you might need.

Meeting the new CPD requirements

This year, the CPD requirements are to record:

  • a minimum of 2 pieces of CPD, including
  • at least one piece of CPD with a peer reflection

You should do this by 30 November 2022 to renew your registration for 2022 to 2023.

For further guidance, you can:

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