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25/05/2023  •  Blog

Social work CPD ideas, guidance and examples of good practice

Committing to continuing professional development (CPD) in social work is essential. Required as part of the professional standards set by Social Work England, it allows you to update and strengthen your skills while demonstrating your professional abilities.

There are many different types of CPD that you can complete. In this article, we have outlined several examples of social work CPD that you can carry out, the CPD requirements for your registration renewal along with information on how to submit your CPD as part of the renewal process.

Social work CPD requirements

As a registered social worker, you are expected to record at least two pieces of CPD activity every year, between the 1st of December and the 30th of November. The activity needs to be logged online in your Social Work England account as part of your renewed registration.

Social Work England states: “You must record a minimum of 2 pieces of CPD. At least one of these pieces must include a peer reflection.”

A peer reflection is a discussion of your CPD carried out with someone else at work. It could be a one-to-one or group discussion, either formal or informal, with your manager, colleagues or other professionals. When recording your peer reflection, you need to report back on what you discussed, including the learnings you have gained and the positive impact it has had, or will have, on your practice.

You’ll also need to obtain professional feedback to inform your CPD from a variety of people you’ve worked with, whether that’s colleagues, superiors or service users. They can provide this feedback within a discussion or written communication, such as a letter or formal review. You can then incorporate this into your commentary, reflecting on how you have, or will, amend your work as a result.

Different types of CPD

You have a range of options when it comes to selecting your CPD examples. The types of CPD you can complete include:

  • Learnings or experiences from your day-to-day role responsibilities
  • Learnings from one of your, or a colleague’s, cases
  • Self-directed learning
  • Feedback from a colleague or someone you’ve supported
  • Work as part of a formal qualification or certification
  • Supervision
  • Training sessions
  • Conferences, seminars or events
  • Lecturing, teaching or research
  • Leadership, management or mentoring
  • Your own lived experience

Here is a selection of social work CPD examples that fall under the above categories: 

  • Work shadowing
  • Team meetings
  • Home visits to a service user
  • Watching a documentary
  • Reading a journal article
  • A piece of feedback or complaint you received
  • Portfolio work from a course or training
  • A contribution to academic research
  • Supervision of another staff member

This is just a selection of the options you have for demonstrating your learning and development in social work, so you have plenty to choose from. Always pick the ones that are the most appropriate to your role.

Browse our social work job vacancies

As the leading social work recruitment agency in the UK, Liquid has hundreds of jobs in social work available. Browse our vacancies and apply today.

Social work CPD – examples of good practice

Although it is mandatory to record a minimum of two pieces of CPD, it is recommended as good practice to record your CPD at least four times a year in your Social Work England online account. This is so that you have a good range of evidence to support your record and your renewed registration with Social Work England.

A good social work CPD log will reflect on your personal practice and what you have learned. Put plenty of thought into answering the reflection questions, with in-depth commentary that gives clear examples of the actions you will take.

It is also highly recommended that you show how you have considered others’ perspectives and the impact of your work on other people. Talk about why it is important for you to adapt your approach to your practice, which could extend to relevant commentary on how the field of social work itself can be improved by these approaches.

Other examples of good practice include:

  • Recording details of the CPD activities and training you’ve participated in throughout the entire year in a CPD log. They should fit within different categories to show a good variety. This is mainly for your own reflection, however, a CPD log can sometimes be presented as evidence of activity for a relevant body or employer
  • Adding plenty of detail into your personal statement within your CPD profile for renewed registration, referring to your various CPD activities, your objectives and how you’ve achieved them
  • Adhering to a length of at least a page of A4 for each CPD activity, as part of your CPD for renewing your registration
  • Following a consistent structure with your personal statement, which includes your learnings and how they’ve impacted your work and service users

How to complete your CPD for renewed Social Work England registration

To complete your CPD in social work, you’ll need to log into your online account on the Social Work England site and select to record a new CPD within the CPD overview section.

Before you start recording anything, read the displayed information. You’ll then be presented with questions to answer, statements to complete or drop-down options to select, before you can submit your CPD record. These allow you to give more information around areas such as:

  1. The nature of the CPD activity you carried out
  2. When you completed it
  3. The relevance of your chosen CPD
  4. Your learnings from the activity
  5. The benefits of the CPD to your work
  6. The standards you have met

You’ll also be able to upload supporting documentation here. Make sure you save your progress as a draft, as the site automatically logs you out every hour for security reasons

What not to do as you record your CPD for renewed registration

It is recommended that you don’t type your answers straight into the website, without first logging them in a separate document. This is to prevent you from losing your work, should the page time you out for security.

Your CPD entries must also be anonymised throughout. This means that you mustn’t include names or identifying details of any other person in your feedback.

Avoid making your commentary too general, with little personal reflection. You shouldn’t focus too much on other people’s feedback and recommendations; the aim is to talk about how you have taken their perspective onboard and made positive changes. While it can be fine to talk about your profession as a whole and how your work can contribute towards improving it, the goal is to keep the focus on your own role.

Try not to leave it too late to start recording your CPD, as this could negatively affect the quality of your entries if you end up rushing. Giving yourself enough time will also allow for any unforeseen circumstances that may prevent you from being able to complete the forms on time.

Our CPD and training portal at Liquid

If you become a temporary social worker with Liquid, you’ll join hundreds of other social work professionals already benefiting from our free CPD and training portal.  

Our portal is created in conjunction with the market-leading training provider, Chinara Enterprises, and it is packed full of unique training materials and learning opportunities, with new content added throughout the year. Whether you work in children’s or adults’ services you’ll find a range of tools to support your professional and career development, including:   

  • E-learning courses – interactive bitesize courses, ending with an assessment and the opportunity to earn a certificate on completion.    
  • Professional development resources – including a range of useful tools and literature which you can use towards your Continuous Professional Development (CPD).    
  • Case studies – an in-depth and detailed examination of a range of cases and scenarios from throughout children’s and adults’ services.    
  • Webinars – discounted access to a programme of webinars covering a range of specialist topics and hosted by subject matter experts, often with guest speakers. 

With Liquid, we’ll support you as you grow and develop, helping you to build upon your skills, gain further experience and take the next steps forward in your career.

Register today and speak to one of our consultants about our current social work job opportunities

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