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Recording CPD: a social worker’s experience

In this guest blog, we catch up with social worker Jack as he starts to use his Social Work England online account to record CPD.

Recording CPD: a social worker’s experience

7/30/2020 9:00:00 AM

In an ongoing series of guest blogs, people from a range of backgrounds share their lived and learned experiences of current social work practice. In this blog, we caught up with social worker Jack to shares his tips and views on continuing professional development (CPD).

As a social worker, how and where do you learn the most?

I learn most through speaking to practitioners, managers and leaders in the field in which I work. I also spend time reading literature and on social media. People often share developments and thoughts online and I find it interesting to see what other people are thinking.


What have you uploaded as CPD and why?

To date, I have uploaded four pieces of CPD to my Social Work England online account.

The first was about a conference that I helped to organise and attended. I didn’t have CPD in mind as I was more focused on making sure the day ran smoothly, but the speaker was so engaging that I was moved to record some CPD so that I could look back and remind myself. I just wanted to ensure that the way he made me feel about my work and the impact it had on my practice didn’t fade.

My second piece of CPD was a review of a book on advocacy I read whilst I was self-isolating and on annual leave. I really enjoyed the book and my review was published in Professional Social Work magazine.

I have also recorded two teaching sessions as CPD. I held a session for students on behalf of BASW to discuss my role and introduce them to the organisation. I also did a teaching session for our in-house best interest assessors with a presentation to help them make sense of all the new national policy documents that have been produced over the past few months.


How do you think CPD helps your practice and career as a social worker?

The actual recording of CPD is a reflective exercise. Reviewing CPD entries helps me to understand how I am developing as a practitioner and what I would like to develop next.

In mental capacity I think keeping up to date with case law developments is vital, so without realising it I’ve been doing lots of CPD quite naturally for a long time.

COVID-19 has provided many opportunities to record CPD. We have had to respond to the pandemic, keep people safe and ensure we are advocating an approach that meets the demands of public health balanced with human rights. COVID-19 has created complexities, particularly around which piece of legislation can be used lawfully, the deluge of guidance and the need to help practitioners and care providers on the ground.

I can’t remember how many webinars and policy documents I’ve watched and read to try and keep up with it all. I want to provide the best steer that I can for my senior managers and for the team I supervise. I think that time to do CPD both directly related to work and as a break away is an absolute necessity.


What are your top tips for other social workers doing CPD?

Be organised! If you are a bit of a perfectionist, then perhaps use the CPD area on your online account as more of a place holder so that at the very least something is on and CPD is recorded. It can be tidied up in the future, ahead of your renewal, and perhaps going back to it will add a further opportunity to reflect on whatever you were recording.

My view is that CPD is whatever you interpret it as, that also meets Social Work England’s professional standards. Be creative. Think about things you do every day that you may take for granted in your job, a difficult conversation with someone, or a documentary that made you think.

Helpful links

Activating your online account and recording CPD as soon as possible will help you get ready for renewals, which now take place annually from 1 September to 30 November.

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