social work england standards for education and training

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Social Care Online was first launched in May 2005 by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE). Previously it was known as the Electronic Library for Social Care (eLSC). Content originated from the National Institute for Social Work library and included resources dating back to the 1980s.

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  • Professional Standards

The Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) is a framework for the nine levels of social work in England. 

The Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS) set out requirements for practice educators at two stages, commensurate with the different levels of complexity and responsibility in teaching, assessing and supervising social work degree students. The Standards are minimum requirements for all placements and were refreshed by BASW in July 2019. 

Child and Family Social Work

Knowledge and skills statements for child and family practitioners, knowledge and skills statements for practice supervisors in child and family social work, knowledge and skills statements for practice leaders in child and family social work, adult social care, knowledge and skills statements for social workers in adult services, postqualifying standards for social work practice supervisors in adult social care, capabilities statement for social workers who work with older people, capabilities statement for social workers working with adults with learning disability, capabilities statement for social work with autistic adults.

For more information about how the PCF and KSS relate to each other, you can read BASW and the Chief Social Workers’ Joint statement on the relationship between the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) for Social Work and the Knowledge and Skills Statements for Children and Families and Adults.

BASW also launched a PCF, KSS and Regulatory Standards mapping guide on 28th January 2021.

Social Work England Guidance

The professional standards set out what a social worker in England must know, understand and be able to do after completing their social work education or training (Social Work England took over from HCPC as the regulator of the social work profession in December 2019). There’s also a guidance document to supplement the standards.

Qualifying Education and Training Standards

In response to COVID-19, Social Work England has taken the decision to delay the implementation of the 2020 standards until September 2021, so the 2019 standards continue to be the standards by which they monitor, inspect and approve courses until that time. There’s also a guidance document to supplement the standards.

Local Government Association Guidance

Standards for employers of social workers in England

Evidence submitted to the Social Work Task Force highlighted the need for a set of standards and supervision framework for all employers of social workers. These standards and framework set out the shared core expectations of employers which will enable social workers in all employment settings to work effectively.

National Assessment and Accreditation System (NAAS)

NAAS Toolkit

Resources for NAAS leads, child and family social work practitioners and practice supervisors to help them prepare for the assessment and practice endorsement.

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Regulator introduces higher standards for social work education providers

Social work england’s new standards say providers must offer counselling services to students, and reintroduce placement days requirement, but academics say they reflect longstanding practice.

Philip Hallam, Social Work England

Social Work England has introduced higher standards for education providers, including requirements to support students’ health and wellbeing and offer at least 200 days on placements.

The regulator’s new education and training standards , which came into force on 1 September, also include additional requirements for admissions and higher standards on involving people with lived experience in courses.

But academics said the standards reflected longstanding practice and there were respects in which they needed to go further.

Social Work England consulted on many of the new standards before it went live as the regulator in 2019 but did not include them in its initial education standards, which were adapted from those used by predecessor the Health and Care Professions Council and involved less stringent requirements .

The new standards were due to come into force last year but were delayed due to the pandemic.

Pastoral support for students

Social Work England’s new standards require educators to ensure students “have effective educational and pastoral support to progress through their course and meet the professional standards when they qualify”.

The regulator’s previous standards included no requirements on social work education providers to do this.

Under the new requirements, educators must ensure students have access to confidential counselling services, careers advice and support and occupational health services.

Minimum number of placement days

The new standards require providers to ensure that students spend at least 200 days, including up to 30 skills days, on placement in at least two different practice settings that provide contrasting experiences.

At least one of these must be a statutory setting and provide students with experience of sufficient numbers of statutory social work tasks involving high-risk decision making and legal interventions.

This is a return to the requirements that existed prior to the HCPC taking responsibility for social work education in 2012, but it has long been standard practice on courses since.

However, during the first coronavirus lockdown, the fact that Social Work England did not specify a minimum number of days meant providers were not in breach of standards if they had to cut, reduce or delay placements.

Under the new standards, unlike their predecessors, providers must also ensure that, while on placements, students have appropriate induction, supervision, support, access to resources and a realistic workload.

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  • How Social Work England is battling fitness to practise caseloads in face of Covid, legacy and high referrals

Increased admissions requirements

Social Work England has also strengthened the requirements that prospective social workers should meet to be admitted to courses.

Unlike previously, education providers must ensure prospective students are able “to use information and communication technology methods and techniques to achieve course outcomes”.

Applicants must also “have the potential to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the professional standards”.

But Philip Hallam, executive director of registration, quality assurance and legal at Social Work England, said the regulator did not intend to make it harder for students to join social work courses or lower dropout rates.

Speaking to Community Care, he said the new rules were designed to ensure that all social work students have the “same consistent understanding of what they are expected to do”.

“It is continuing to ensure that social work courses meet the demands of society as it is now and as it will be in the future and that those students that go through the courses are able to understand the important role they’ll play when they go into practice in society in the future,” he said.

“Once we’ve done this activity to reapprove and reinspect every course, I’ve no doubt that in three to five years we’ll refresh those standards again.”

The regulator’s new standards also require education providers to include people with lived experience of social work in the design of their admissions processes, as well as their monitoring, evaluation and improvement systems and design, ongoing development and review of their curriculum.

Writing in a blog , Hallam said: “Social Work England works closely with people with lived experience of social work across many of its functions and it’s hugely important that people using social services help educate the educators.

“We encourage innovative and creative approaches to course development, but practice must be embedded and students must be prepared for the real world, within reason, as well as for the exam hall.”

Standards ‘do not go far enough’

Despite the tougher requirements, academic leaders said the standards would not challenge providers as they reflected how courses were already run.

Dr Janet Melville-Wiseman, chair of Joint University Council Social Work Education Committee, (JUCSWEC), said courses had been run in line with the then Department of Health’s Requirements for Social Work Training since their publication in 2002. This also required providers to ensure that all social work students spent at least 200 days in at least two different practice settings and gained experience of statutory social work tasks involving legal interventions

Melville-Wiseman said higher education providers also typically provided counselling and wellbeing services to students.

She added that there were areas in which she would have liked standards to be tougher, particularly in relation to requirements on academic staff.

“We do have concerns that the standards do not go far enough in terms of ensuring the standards of academic educators,” she said.

“For example, practice educators have long been required to have completed both levels of practice educator training but standard 3.8 simply requires academics to have ‘subject knowledge and expertise’.

“We would like this to include relevant teaching skills, expertise and qualifications as educators as well which is expected within universities but may not be required within current fast-track provision.”

social work education , social work students

More from Community Care

Related articles:, 10 responses to regulator introduces higher standards for social work education providers.

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A hologram has more substance than SWE. For a regulator so concerned that students are equipped to practice in “society”, they need to inhabit the environments in which social work takes place. As Dr Mellville-Wiseman says these ‘new’ academic and placement requirements have been in place for nearly two decades. Counselling services? Most academic institutions, including many FE colleges, have been providing pastoral care for ages. Some have qualified counsellors providing a level of mental health support better than in LA/NHS. Some counsellors are even registered and practising social workers like me. As for requiring placement providers to put in place adequate induction, appropriate resources, supervision, support and a manageable case load, please feel free to walk into any social work team meeting and listen the experiences qualified staff regarding these. Or just read our comments in Community Care. Saying the right things while mired in paralysis to ensure they happen is negligent regulation at best, demoralising to the regulated at worst. Still, I’ve stumped up the £90 so somethings have inbuilt consistency.

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What is so difficult about listening to students and practitioners SWE. Why don’t you hear students when they tell you how dissatisfied they are with what they are veing taught and with those teaching them? Why don’t you hear when practitioners tell you their experiences of poor supervision, lack of resources, unmanagable caseloads and bullying management cultures? Just employ some social workers who know about and understand the language we speak so we can move away from this Polyanna vision of robust regulation and improving standards. We are exhausted by our employers but you demoralise us by the out of touch inanity that you expect us to accept and promote SWE. Please just employ some social workers.

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From my experience of SWE and quite a few of my colleagues, not worth the £90 we pay, no support, blame culture and as for SW providers of education, maybe get those who sit in university lecturing about a social work that isnt reality to come and see what we are faced with every day, support your students more when they have bad placements and teach about resilience and communicating. SWE are there to represent us and value us, not seen much of that lately, just pay your money, upload CPD and do it now.

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If there was a satirist of the year category at the social work awards, this would be my nomination.

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Is this suppose to show Social Work England getting tough? Laughable. Lagging behind what is already happening is not really improving standards now is it?

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Maybe we should be grateful that a SWE survey wasn’t needed to reach this feeble conclusion. They can spaff our registration fees up another wall.

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The immaterial huffing up irrelevance to the indifferent. Meanwhile at the food bank….

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Be kind. It can’t be easy trying to guess what social work education should be about when you are not a social worker.

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employsomesocialworkers.

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The moon is made of cheese.

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  • Social Work England

Social Work England has been the specialist regulator for social workers in England since 2019. They are an independent public protection body, setting professional, education and training standards for social workers.  Social Work England will also investigate and manage ‘fitness to practice’ cases brought against social workers.

All qualified social workers must register with the relevant regulator before they can practice social work.

In its January 2016 paper 'A vision for change', the Department for Education announced it would set up a new regulatory body for social work in England. The new regulatory body would have a ‘wider remit’ to look at post-qualification, accreditation and CPD. From Monday 2 December 2019, regulation of social workers was transferred to Social Work England from the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC).

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Who is on the board at Social Work England?

The Interim Chair is Dr Andrew McCulloch.

He is chair of GMC Services International, a national committee member for Healthwatch England and a freelance consultant in health and social care and international development. Until 2017 he was chief executive of the Picker Institute Europe – a world leader in evaluating and reporting on patient/staff experiences in health and social care. Prior to joining Picker, Andrew was chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation. He was previously a civil servant at the former Department of Health.

The Chief Executive is Colum Conway.

Colum became Chief Executive of Social Work England in September 2018. He is a registered social worker and previously led the professional regulator for social work and social care in Northern Ireland from 2013 to 2018. Prior to this, Colum spent six years as Chief Executive of a large not-for-profit organisation providing care services in all programmes of care across both jurisdictions in Ireland. Colum has worked in statutory family and child care services, early years policy, funding and service provision, and family systems support services in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

View the other board members at Social Work England.

What involvement have BASW had with Social Work England so far?

BASW is represented on the Social Work England Professional Expert Group and staff meet with representatives from Social Work England on a regular basis.

Find out what social workers need to know about the change of regulator by visiting this Community Care article .

CPD Requirements

I've been called upon to submit cpd.

Social Work England look at a 2.5% sample of CPD to ensure that it is valid. 

You won’t be asked to upload any additional CPD if selected for validation, they will base this on the CPD that has already been recorded in your online account.

Do annotated slides from training count as CPD?

It is up to you what you include as CPD. We’ve not specified an amount or type of CPD that you should complete. You should decide how much CPD you need to do, taking into account your personal circumstances and how you’re practising at the time. You are the best person to determine your own learning needs and we want to encourage your learning to happen in diverse, flexible and innovative ways that support your work. For more information about how to meet the CPD requirements , please see the Social Work England website.

Is there a minimum number of hours training that should be completed each year?

CPD registration requirements workshop

Hosted by Social Work England, this workshop offers you an overview of continuous professional development (CPD), how to meet the CPD requirements and how to maintain your registration requirements for this registration year.  BASW England Professional Officer, Wayne Reid provides an insight into the wide-ranging opportunities to access CPD via BASW. 

View the full workshop here.

Fitness to Practise

If a complaint is made against a social worker, the regulator carries out a triage test to help decipher whether there are reasonable grounds to investigate your fitness to practise. Fitness to practice is guided by the professional standards which set out the requirements expected by all social workers to meet.

Only a small proportion of social workers will ever be involved in fitness to practise proceedings. Social Work England only investigate concerns that are serious enough to raise concerns about a social worker's fitness to practise.

Stages for proceeding include:

  • Triage - initial risk assessment of information received to determine if it is necessary to open an investigation
  • Investigation - a more detailed enquiry into the concern raised. 
  • Case Examination - case examiners decide whether there is a realistic prospect that impairment of fitness to practice will be found at a final hearing.
  • Pre-Hearing Case Management - if it's decided a hearing is required, the case will be referred to the adjudicators where further evidence is obtained to prepare the case for a hearing.
  • The Hearing - SWE presenter will present evidence relating to fitness to practice concerns and may call witnesses to provide evidence.

BASW, SWU & UNISON press for action to resolve fitness to practice delays

In May 2024, BASW England, The Social Workers Union (SWU) and UNISON wrote to Social Work England raising concerns about fitness to practice hearing delays and seeking an urgent resolution to the issue. 

Read the full letter and statement here.

How soon is a social worker notified that a fitness to practice referral has been made?

This varies depending on the nature of the concern, and the outcome of the triage process. Please see the guidance (pages 9 to 14) which outlines the fitness to practice process.

Find more information and guidance for social workers under investigation.

What happens if I no longer practice as a social worker but a fitness to practice referral is made?

If you are still registered as a social worker, then the fitness to practice rules will still apply to you. If you are no longer on the register then our fitness to practice rules would not apply.

Are hearings open to the public? Are the press in attendance?

The hearing before the adjudicators will usually take place in public. This means that members of the public, including representatives from the media, have the right to attend and report on proceedings.

In exceptional circumstances, evidence at a hearing will need to be heard in private, for example, to protect the private lives of certain parties involved, particularly if there are health issues involved Even in circumstances where evidence is heard in private, any decisions the adjudicators make, and the reasons for them, still need to be given in public.

Social Work England consultations

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Rules and Standards

  • Reshaping standards, enabling change: Social Work England consultation response (July 2019)
  • Social Work England: Revised rules and standards for social work (June 2019)
  • Social Work England: Rules and standards for social work (April 2019)
  • Government response to Social Work England consultation on secondary legislation (June 2018)

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International Federation of Social Workers

Global Online conference

Global Standards for Social Work Education and Training

August 1, 2020

Latvian Translation Spanish Translation

PREAMBLE RATIONALE THE SCHOOL     1. Core Mission, Aims and Objectives     2. Resources and Facilities     3. Curriculum     4. Core Curricula             Social Work in Context             Social Work in Practice             Practice Education (Placement)     5. Research and Scholarly activity THE PEOPLE     1. Educators     2. Students     3. Service Users THE PROFESSION     1. A shared understanding of the Profession     2. Ethics and Values     3. Equity and Diversity     4. Human rights and Social, Economic and Environmental Justice MEMBERS OF THE JOINT TASKFORCE

back to top The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) and the International Association of  Schools of Social Work (IASSW) have jointly updated the Global Standards for Social Work Education and Training. The previous version of the Global Standards for Social Work Education and Training document was adopted by the two organisations in Adelaide, Australia in 2004. Between 2004 and 2019, that document served as an aspirational guide setting out the standards for excellence in social work education.

With the adoption of a new Global Definition of Social Work in July 2014, and the publication of the updated Global Social Work Statement of Ethical Principles in 2019, the Global Standards for Social Work Education and Training document should be updated to integrate the changes in these two documents and to reflect recent developments in global social work.

To this effect, the two organisations created a joint task group comprising the IFSW Interim Global Education Commission and IASSW’s Global Standards Taskforce. This task group engaged with the global social work community through a rigorous consultation that lasted for over 18 months and included feedback from 125 countries represented by 5 Regional Associations and approximately 400 Universities and Further Education Organisations. In addition, members of the joint task force facilitated two international seminars involving service user representatives.

Therefore, we are confident that the present document has been the product of a dynamic and collective process. It has also been the culmination of a rigorous exploration of epistemological, political, ethical and cultural dilemmas.

The main objectives of the Global Standards are to:

  • Ensure consistency in the provision of social work education while appreciating and valuing diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Ensure that Social Work education adheres to the values and policies of the profession as articulated by the IFSW and IASSW.
  • Support and safeguard staff, students and service users involved in the education process.
  • Ensure that the next generation of social workers have access to excellent quality learning, opportunities that also incorporate social work knowledge deriving from research, experience, policy and practice.
  • Nurture a spirit of collaboration and knowledge transfer between different social work schools and between social work education, practice and research.
  • Support social work schools to become thriving, well-resourced, inclusive and participatory teaching and learning environments.

While appreciating the overarching objectives, we are also mindful of the fact that the educational experience and policy framework in different countries varies significantly. The Global Standards aim at capturing both the universality of social work values and the diversity that characterises the profession through the articulation of a set of standards that are divided between compulsory (those that all programmes must adhere to) and aspirational (those standards that Schools should aspire to include when and where possible). The former represents foundational elements, which are intended in part to promote consistency in social work education across the globe.

Professor Vasilios Ioakimidis Professor Dixon Sookraj

back to top We took the following realities of social work across the globe into account in developing the standards:

  • Diversity of historic, socio-cultural, economic and political contexts in which social work is practiced, both within countries and across the globe.
  • Diversity of practices according to: 1) practice setting (e.g. government, NGO, health, education, child and family services agencies, correctional institutions, other community-based organizations and private practice settings); 2) field or area of practice (e.g. population served, type of personal and social, economic, political and environmental issues addressed); and 3) practice theories, methods, techniques and skills representing practice at different levels – individual, couple/family, group, organization, community, broader societal and international (i.e., micro, mezzo and macro levels).
  • Diversity of structures and delivery methods of social work education. Social work education varies in terms of its position within the structures of education institutions (e.g., units, departments, schools, and faculties). Some social work education programs are aligned with other disciplines, such as economics and sociology, and some are part of broader professional groupings such as health or development. In addition, the level, attitudes toward, and integration of distance education and online learning vary a great deal among programs.
  • Diversity of resources available to support social work education, including social work educators and directors across the globe.
  • Diversity in levels of development of the social work profession across the globe. In many countries, it is a well-established profession backed by legislation and accompanying regulatory bodies and codes of ethics. A recognized baccalaureate social work degree is often the minimum educational requirement for professional practice. These mechanisms serve in part to protect the use of the title of ‘social worker’, define the scope of practice (what social workers can or cannot do in practice), ensure that practitioners maintain competence and protect the public from harm by social workers. In other countries social work takes different forms. Social work educational programs may be added to existing curriculum offerings rather than standing as separate academic units. They may range from individual course offerings, to one-year certificate programs, to two-year diploma programs. The curriculum standards presented in this document apply primarily to social work degree programs. Shorter certificate and degree programs may use the standards, but they may not be able to incorporate all the standards.
  • The adverse effects of colonization and educational imperialism on the development of social work in the Global South. We believe and stand firm that the theoretical perspectives and practice methods, techniques and skills developed in the Global North should not be transported to the Global South without critical examinations of their suitability and potential effectiveness for the local contexts.
  • The growing number of common issues and challenges affecting social work education and practice across the globe. These include growing inequalities produced by neoliberal globalization, climate change, human and natural disasters, economic and political corruption and conflicts.
  • Many new developments and innovations, especially those relating to sustainable development, climate change and UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, are occurring in the Global South. Thus, connecting the global and the local within the curriculum would strengthen the academic preparation of social workers everywhere; it will facilitate assessments for transferability of social work education across jurisdictions, including international borders;  it will also help strengthen students’ professional identities as members of a global profession.
  • Finally, curriculum specializations’ contribution to fragmentation in education and practice. Regardless of the area of specialization delivered in the curriculum, the program should prepare students to understand the interconnectedness of practice at all levels – individual, family, group, organization, community, etc. (i.e., micro, mezzo, macro). This broader understanding will help students to become critical, ethical and competent practitioners.

This version of the Global Standards is organised around three overarching domains that capture the distinct, yet intertwined, elements of Social Work education: The School, The People and The Profession 

back to top Social Work education has historically been delivered by a wide and  diverse range of organisations, including Universities, Colleges, Tertiary, Further and Higher Education bodies- public, private and non-profit.  Notwithstanding the diversity of education delivery modalities, organisational and financial structures, there is an expectation that social work schools and programmes are formally recognised by the appropriate education authorities and/or regulators in each country. Social Work education is a complex and demanding activity that requires  access to adequate resources, educators, transparent strategies and up- to-date curricula.

1. Core Mission, Aims and Objectives

back to top All Social Work Programmes must develop and share a core purpose statement or a mission statement that:

  • Is clearly articulated, accessible and reflects the values and the ethical principles of social work.
  • Is consistent with the global definition and purpose of social work
  • Respects the rights and interests of the people involved in all aspects of delivery of programmes and services (including the students, educators and service users).

Where possible, schools should aspire to:

  • Articulate the broad strategies for contribution to the advancement of the Social Work profession and the empowerment of communities within which a school strives to operate (locally, nationally and internationally).

In respect of programme objectives and expected outcomes, schools must be able to demonstrate how it has met the following requirements:

  • Specification of its programme objectives and expected higher education outcomes.
  • Identification of its programme’s instructional methods that support the achievement of the cognitive and affective development of social work students.
  • A curriculum that reflects the core knowledge, processes, values and skills of the social work profession, as applied in context-specific realities.
  • Social Work students who attain an initial level of proficiency with regard to self-reflective use of social work values, knowledge and skills.
  • Curriculum design that takes into account of the impact of interacting cultural, political, economic, communication, health, psychosocial and environmental global factors.
  • The programme meets the requirements of nationally and/or regionally/internationally defined professional goals
  • The programme addresses local, national and/or regional/international developmental needs and priorities.
  • The provision of an education preparation that is relevant to beginning social work practice interventions with individuals, families, groups and/or communities (functional and geographic) adaptable to a wide range of contexts.
  • The use of social work methods that are based on sound evidence regarding the effectiveness of interventions whenever possible, and always promote dignity and respect.
  • Governance, administrative supports, physical structure and related resources that are adequate to deliver the program.
  • The conferring of a distinctive social work qualification at the certificate, diploma, first degree or post-graduate level, as approved by national and/or regional qualification authorities, where such authorities exist.

In order to further enrich their mission and objectives, schools should aspire to:

  • External peer evaluation of the programme as far as is reasonable and financially viable. This may include external peer moderation of assignments and/or written examinations and dissertations, and external peer review and assessment of curricula.
  • Self-evaluation by the education programme constituents to assess the extent to which its programme objectives and expected outcomes are being achieved.

2. Resources and Facilities

back to top With regard to structure, administration, governance and resources, the school and/or body  designated as the education provider must ensure the following:

  • Social work programmes are independent of other disciplines and should therefore be implemented through a distinct unit known as a Faculty, School, Department, Centre or Division, which has a clear identity within education institutions.
  • The school has a designated Head or Director 1 who has demonstrated administrative, scholarly and professional competence, preferably in the profession of social work.
  • The Head or Director has primary responsibility for the co-ordination and professional leadership of the school, with sufficient time and resources to fulfil these responsibilities.
  • The social work programme’s budgetary allocation is sufficient to achieve its core purpose or mission and the programme objectives.
  • The budgetary allocation is stable enough to ensure programme planning and delivery in a sustainable way.
  • The necessary clerical and administrative staff, as well as educators, is made available for the achievement of the programme objectives. These staff members are provided with reasonable amounts of autonomy and opportunity to contribute programme development, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Irrespective of the mode of teaching (in the classroom, distance, mixed-mode, decentralised and/or internet-based education) there is the provision of adequate infrastructure, including classroom space, computers, texts, audio-visual equipment, community resources for practice education, and on-site instruction and supervision to facilitate the achievement of its core purpose or mission, programme objectives and expected outcomes.
  • Internet-based education should not fully substitute spaces for face-to-face instruction, practice learning and dialogue. Face-to-face spaces are critical for a well rounded social work education and therefore irreplaceable.

Social Work courses tend to be administratively complex and resource-demanding due to the synthesis of the theoretical, research and practice-based elements, including relational training and service user interaction. Therefore, Schools could aspire to achieve the following:

  • Sufficient physical facilities, including classroom space, offices for the educators and the administrative staff and space for student, faculty and field- liaison meetings.
  • Adequate equipment necessary for the achievement of the school’s core purpose or mission and the programme objectives.
  • High quality of the education programme whatever the mode of delivery. In the case of distance, mixed-mode, decentralised and/or internet-based teaching, mechanisms for locally based instruction and supervision should be put in place, especially with regard to the practice component of the programme.
  • Well-resourced on-site and online libraries, knowledge and research environment, and, where possible, internet resources, all necessary to achieve the programme objectives.
  • Access to international libraries, international roaming services (e.g., EduRoam), e-journals and databases.

3. Curriculum

back to top With regard to standards regarding programme curricula, schools must consistently ensure the following:

  • The curricula and methods of instruction are consistent with the school’s programme objectives, its expected outcomes and its mission statement.
  • Clear mechanisms for the organisation’s implementation and evaluation of the theory and field education components of the programme exist.
  • Specific attention to undertaking constant review and development of the curricula.
  • Clear guidelines for ethical use of technology in practice, curriculum delivery, distance/blended learning, big data analysis and engagement with social media

Schools should always aspire to develop curricula that:

  • Help social work students to develop skills of critical thinking and scholarly attitudes of reasoning, openness to new experiences and paradigms and commitment to lifelong learning.
  • Are sufficient in duration 2 and learning opportunities to ensure that students are prepared for professional practice. Students and educators are given sufficient space and time to adhere to the minimum standards described herein.
  • Reflect the needs, values and cultures of the relevant populations.
  • Are based on human rights principles and the pursuit of justice.

4. Core Curricula

back to top Social work education programs vary by economic and political contexts, practice settings, population served, type of personal and social, economic, political, or environmental issues addressed, and practice theories and approaches used. Nevertheless, there are certain core curricula that are universally applicable. Thus, the school must ensure that social work students, by the end of their first Social Work professional qualification 3 , have had sufficient/required and relevant exposure to the following core curricula which are organised into the following broad conceptual components:

a) Social Work in Context: refers to the broader knowledge that is required in order to critically  understand the political, socio-legal, cultural and historical forces that have shaped social work.

b) Social Work in Practice: refers to a broader set of skills and knowledge required to design and  deliver e ff ective, ethical and competent interventions.

The above two conceptual components are interdependent, dynamic and should be considered simultaneously.

Social Work In Context

back to top In relation to Social Work in Context, education programmes must include the following:

  • Critical understanding of how socio-structural inadequacies, discrimination, oppression, and social, political, environmental and economic injustices impact human development at all levels, including the global must be considered.
  • Knowledge of how traditions, culture, beliefs, religions and customs influence human development across the lifespan, including how these might constitute resources and/or obstacles to growth.
  • Knowledge of theories of social work, social sciences, humanities and indigenous knowledges
  • Critical understanding of social work’s origins and purposes.
  • Critical understanding of historical injustices affecting service user communities and the role of social workers in addressing those.
  • Sufficient knowledge of related occupations and professions to facilitate interprofessional collaboration and teamwork.
  • Knowledge of social welfare policies (or lack thereof), services and laws at local, national  and/or regional/international levels
  • Understanding of the roles of social work in policy planning, implementation, evaluation and in social change processes.
  • Knowledge of – human rights, social movements and their interconnectedness with class, gender and ethnic/race-related issues.
  • Knowledge of relevant international treaties, laws and regulations, and global standards  such as the Social Development Goals.
  • Critical understanding of the impact of environmental degradation on the well-being of our communities and the promotion of Environmental Justice.
  • A focus on gender equity
  • An understanding of structural causes and impact of gender-based violence
  • An emphasis on structural issues affecting marginalised, vulnerable and minority populations.
  • The assumption, identification and recognition of strengths and potential of all human beings.
  • Social Work contribution to promoting sustainable peace and justice in communities affected by political/ethnic conflict and violence.

Social Work in Practice

back to top In relation to Social Work In Practice, education programmes must prepare students to:

  • Apply knowledge of human behaviour and development across the lifespan.
  • Understand how social determinants impact on people’s health and wellbeing (mental, physical, emotional and spiritual).
  • Promote healthy, cohesive, non-oppressive relationships among people and between people and organisations at all levels –individuals, families, groups, programs,  organizations, communities.
  • Facilitate and advocate for the inclusion of different voices, especially those of groups that have experienced marginalisation and exclusion.
  • Understand the relationship between personal life experiences and personal value  systems and social work practice.
  • Integrate theory, ethics, research/knowledge in practice.
  • Have sufficient practice skills in assessment, relationship building, empowerment and  helping processes to achieve the identified goals of the programme and fulfil professional obligations to service users. The programme may prepare practitioners to serve purposes, including providing social support, and engaging in developmental, protective, preventive and/or therapeutic intervention – depending on the particular focus of the programme or professional practice orientation.
  • Apply social work intervention that is informed by principles, knowledge and skills aimed at promoting human development and the potentialities of all people
  • Engage in critical analysis of how social policies and programmes promote or violate human rights and justice
  • Use peace building, non-violent activism and human rights-based advocacy as intervention methods.
  • Use problem-solving and strengths-based approaches.
  • Develop as critically self-reflective practitioners.
  • Apply national, regional and/or international social work codes of ethics and their applicability to context-specific realities
  • Ability to address and collaborate with others regarding the complexities, subtleties, multi-dimensional, ethical, legal and dialogical aspects of power.

Practice Education (Placement) 4

back to top Practice education is a critical component of professional social work education. Thus practice education should be well integrated into the curriculum in preparing students with knowledge, values and skills for ethical, competent and effective practice. Practice education must be sufficient in duration and complexity of tasks and learning opportunities to ensure that students are prepared for professional practice. Therefore, schools should also ensure:

  • A well-developed and comprehensive practice education manual that details its practice placement standards, procedures, assessment standards/criteria and expectations should be made available to students, field placement supervisors and field placement instructors.
  • selection of practice placement sites;
  • matching students with placement sites;
  • placement of students;
  • supervision of students;
  • coordination of with the program;
  • supporting students and the field instructors;
  • monitoring student progress and evaluating student performance in the field; and
  • evaluating the performance of the practice education setting.
  • Appointment of practice supervisors or instructors who are qualified and experienced, as determined by the development status of the social work profession in any given country, and provision of orientation for practice supervisors or instructors.
  • Provision of orientation and ongoing supports, including training and education to practice supervisors.
  • Ensuring that adequate and appropriate resources, to meet the needs of the practice  component of the programme, are made available.
  • Policies for the inclusion of marginalized populations, and reasonable accommodation and  adjustment for people with disabilities and special needs.
  • The practice education component provides ongoing, timely and developmental feedback to students.

Schools also should aspire to:

  • Create practice placement opportunities that correspond to at least 25% of the overall education activity within the courses (counted in either credits, days, or hours).
  • Nurture valuable partnerships between the education institution and the agency (where applicable) and service users in decision-making regarding practice education and the evaluation of student’s performance.
  • If the programme engages in international placements, additional standards, guidelines and support should be provided to both students placed abroad and agencies in the receiving end. In addition the programme should have mechanisms to facilitate reciprocity, co-learning genuine knowledge exchange.

5. Research and Scholarly activity

back to top As an academic discipline, social work is underpinned by theories of social work, social sciences,  humanities and indigenous knowledges. Social work knowledge and scholarship are generated  through a diverse range of sources, including education providers, research organisations,  independent researchers, local communities, social work organisations, practitioners and service users.  All education providers should aspire to make a contribution to the development, critical  understanding and generation of social work scholarship. This can be achieved, when and where  possible, through the incorporation of research and scholarship strategies, including:

  • An emphasis on the process of knowledge production in social work, by explaining  different methodological approaches within the discipline and how these have evolved.
  • An appreciation of the rigorous and diverse methods used by social workers in order to  appraise the credibility, transferability, confirmability reliability and validity of information.
  • Teaching that is informed by current, valid and reliable evidence.
  • Provision of opportunities for students to critically appraise research findings and acquire  research skills.
  • Involvement of students in research activities.
  • Support students to acquire and develop programme/practice evaluation skills, including  partnering with them in such work.

1 Depending on the setting, other titles may be used to signify administrative leadership. 2 In many contexts, a first professional qualification (or baccalaureate degree in social work) is completed in within three  or four years of full-time  studies, although the amount of non-social work course contents included may  vary. 3 See description above. 4 The terms “field education” and “field instruction” are also commonly used.

back to top Social Work programmes comprise a dynamic intellectual, social and material community. This community brings together students, educators, administrators and service users united in their effort to  enhance opportunities for learning, professional and personal development.

1. Educators

back to top With regard to social work educators 5 , schools and programmes must ensure:

  • The provision of educators, adequate in number and range of expertise, who have  appropriate qualifications, including practice and research experience within the field of  Social Work; all determined by the development status of the social work profession in any given country.
  • Educator representation and inclusion in decision-making processes of the school or programme related to the development of the programme’s core purpose or mission, in the formulation of the objectives, curriculum design and expected outcomes of the programme.
  • A clear statement of its equity-based policies or preferences, with regard to considerations of gender, ethnicity, ‘race’ or any other form of diversity in its recruitment and appointment of members of staff.
  • Policies regarding the recruitment, appointment and promotion of staff are clearly articulated and transparent and are in keeping with other schools or programs within the education institution.
  • Policies that are in-line with national labour legislation and also take into consideration International Labour Organisation guidelines. f. Educators benefit from a cooperative, supportive and productive working environment to facilitate the achievement of programme objectives.
  • Institutional policies regarding promotion, tenure, discipline and termination are transparent and clear. Mechanisms for appeal and decision review should be in place.
  • Teaching and other relevant workload are distributed equitably and transparently.
  • Variations in workload distribution in terms of teaching, scholarship (including research) and service are inevitable. However, workload allocation should be based on principles such as equity and respect for educators’ diverse skills, expertise and talents.
  • When there are differences and conflicts, transparent and fair mechanisms are in place to address them.

All Schools should also aspire to:

  • Provide a balanced allocation of teaching, practice placement instruction, supervision and administrative workloads, ensuring that there is space for engagement with all forms of scholarship including creative work and research.
  • With regards to educators involvement, a minimum of a Master’s level qualification in social work is preferred.
  • Staff reflect the ethics, values and principles of the social work profession in their work on behalf and with students and communities.
  • The school, when possible, nurtures interdisciplinary approaches. To this effect, the School, strives to engage educators from relevant disciplines such as sociology, history, economics, statistics etc.
  • At least 50% of educators should have a social work qualification, and social work modules or courses should be taught by educators with a Master of Social work qualification, in line with the status of the profession in each country.
  • The School has provisions for the continuing professional development of its educators.

2. Students

back to top In respect of social work students, Schools must ensure:

  • Clear articulation of its admission criteria and procedures. When possible, practitioners and service users should be involved in the relevant processes.
  • Non-discrimination against any student on the basis of race, colour, culture, ethnicity, linguistic origin, religion, political orientation, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, functional status, and socio-economic status.
  • Explicit criteria for the evaluation of practice education
  • Grievance and appeals procedures which are accessible, clearly explained to all students and operated without prejudice to the assessment of students.
  • All information regarding, assessment, course aims and structure, learning outcomes, class attendance, examination rules, appeals procedures and student support services should be clearly articulated and provided to the students in the form of a handbook (printed or electronic) at the beginning of each academic year.
  • Ensure that social work students are provided with opportunities to develop self-awareness regarding their personal and cultural values, beliefs, traditions and biases and how these might influence the ability to develop relationships with people and to work with diverse population groups.
  • Provide information about the kinds of support available to students, including academic, financial, employment and personal assistance
  • Students should be clear about what constitutes misconduct, including academic, harassment and discrimination, policies and procedures in place to address these.
  • Comprehensive retention policies that prioritise student well-being.
  • Positive action should be taken to ensure the inclusion of minority groups that are underrepresented and/or under-served.
  • Democratic and sustained representation of students in decision-making committees and fora.

3. Service Users 6

back to top With regards to service user involvement Schools must :

  • Incorporate the rights, views and interests of Service Users and broader communities served in its operations, including curriculum development, implementation and delivery.
  • Develop a proactive strategy towards facilitating Service User involvement in all aspects of design, planning and delivery of study programmes.
  • Ensure reasonable adjustments are made in order to support the involvement of Service Users.

Also aspire to:

  • Create opportunities for the personal and professional development of Service Users involved in the study programme.

5 Different terminologies are used to represent and or describe the people providing the education (ie academics, faculty, instructors, pedagogues, teachers, tutors, lecturers etc.). For the purposes of this document we have adopted the term “Social Work Educators” to represent these diverse terminologies. 6  Depending on the context, other terms, including clients and community constituents are used instead of service users.

The Profession

back to top Social Work Schools are members of a global professional and  academic community. As such, they must be able to contribute to  and benefit from the growth of scholarly, practice and policy  development at a national and global level. Nurturing, expanding  and formalising links with the national and international  representative bodies of the social work profession is of paramount  importance.

1. A shared understanding of the Profession

back to top Schools must ensure the following:

  • Definitions of social work used in the context of the education process should be congruent with the Global Definition of Social Work as approved by IASSW and IFSW including any regional applications that may exist.
  • Schools retain close and formal relationships with representatives and key stakeholders of the social work profession, including regulators and national and regional associations of social work practice and education.
  • Registration of professional staff and social work students (insofar as social work students develop working relationships with people via practice placements) with national and/or regional regulatory (whether statutory or non-statutory) bodies.
  • All stakeholders involved in social work education should actively seek to contribute to and benefit from the global social work community in a spirit of partnership and international solidarity.

Schools should also aspire to:

  • monitor students’ employability rates and encourage them to actively participate in the national and global social work community.

2. Ethics and Values

back to top In view of the recognition that social work values, ethics and principles are the core components of the profession, Schools must consistently ensure:

  • Adhered to the Global Ethics Statement approved bythe IFSWW and IASSW.
  • Adherence to the National and Regional Codes of Ethics.
  • Adherence to the Global Definition of Social Work as approved by the IFSW and IASSW.
  • Clear articulation of objectives with regard to social work values, principles and ethical conduct. Ensuring that every social work student involved in practice education, and every academic staff member, is aware of the boundaries of professional practice and what  might constitute unprofessional conduct in terms of the code of ethics.
  • Taking appropriate, reasonable and proportionate action in relation to those social work students and academic staff who fail to comply with the code of ethics, either through an established regulatory social work body, established procedures of the educational institution, and/or through legal mechanisms.

Schools should also aspire towards:

  • Upholding, as far as is reasonable and possible, the principles of restorative rather than retributive justice in disciplining either social work students or academic staff who violate the code of ethics.

3. Equity and Diversity

back to top With regard to equity and diversity Schools must :

  • Make concerted and continuous efforts to ensure the enrichment of the educational experience by reflecting cultural, ethnic and other forms of diversity in its programme and relevant populations.
  • Ensure that educators, students and service users are provided with equal opportunities to learn and develop regardless of gender,socioeconomicc background, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and other forms of diversity.
  • Ensure that the programme has clearly articulated learning objectives in upholding the principles of respect for cultural and ethnic diversity, gender equity, human rights.
  • Address and challenge racist, homophobic, sexist and other discriminatory behaviours, policies and structures.
  • Recognition and development of indigenous or locally specific social work education and practice from the traditions and cultures of different ethnic groups and societies, insofar that such traditions and cultures are congruent with our ethical codes and human rights commitments.

4. Human rights and Social, Economic and Environmental Justice

back to top Social, Economic and Environmental Justice are fundamental pillars underpinning social work theory, policy and practice. All Schools must :

  • Prepare students to be able to apply human rights principles (as articulated in the International Bill of Rights and core international human rights treaties) to frame their understanding of how current social issues affect social, economic and environmental justice.
  • Ensure that their students understand the importance of social, economic, political and environmental justice and develop relevant intervention knowledge and skills.
  • Contribute to collective efforts within and beyond school structures in order to achieve social, economic and environmental justice.

They should also aspire to:

  • Identifying opportunities for supporting development at grass roots level and community participatory action to meet the aspirations of the Social Development Goals.
  • Making use of opportunities to exchange knowledge, expertise and ideas with global peers to support the advancement of social work education free from colonial influences.
  • Creating platforms for Indigenous social workers to shape curricula and relevant courses.

Members of the Joint Taskforce 

back to top

IFSW Interim Education Commission

Chair : Vasilios Ioakimidis

Members: African Regional Commissioners: Lawrence Mukuka and Zena Mnasi Asia and Pacific Regional Commissioner: Mariko Kimura European Regional Commissioner: Nicolai Paulsen Latin American and Caribbean Regional Commissioner: Marinilda Rivera Díaz North American Regional Commissioners: Dr.  Joan Davis-Whelan and Dr. Gary Bailey

IASSW Global Standards Taskforce

Chair: Dixon Sookraj

Members: Carmen Castillo (COSTA RICA): Member, Latin American Rep. Karene Nathaniel-DeCaires (TRINIDAD & TOBAGO): Member, North American/Caribbean Rep. Liu  Meng (CHINA): Member, China National Rep. Teresa Francesca Bertotti (ITALY): Member, European Association Rep. Alexandre Hakizamunga (RWANDA): Member, African Association Rep. Vimla Nadkarni (INDIA): Member, Past IASSW President Emily Taylor (CANADA): Student Rep. Ute Straub (GERMANY): IASSW Co-Chair & Board Representative

Consultants: Carol S. Cohen (USA): Commission on Group Work in Social Work Education of the International Association for Social Work with Groups, Co-Chair. Shirley Gatenio Gabel (USA). Journal of Human Rights and Social Work, Co-Editor Varoshini Nadesan (SOUTH AFRICA). Association of South African Social Work Education Institutions, President.

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social work england standards for education and training

Updated Global Standards for Social Work Education and Training (Archived)

The updated global standards for social work education and training: the new chapter in social work profession.

The International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) and the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) are announcing the launch of the Global Standards for Social Work Education and Training.

The updated Global Standards for Social Work Education and Training is a product of the extensive global consultation that lasted for more than 18 months and included a wide range of social work academics, practitioners and experts by experience across 125 countries, represented by 5 Regional Associations and approximately 400 Universities and Further Education Organisations. In addition, members of the joint task force facilitated two international seminars involving service user representatives.

The consultation, analysis and development of the document was co-ordinated by a joint task group comprising the IASSW’s Global Standards Taskforce and IFSW Global Education Commission. The task group was chaired by  Professor Dixon Sookraj  and  Professor Vasilios Ioakimidis .

The updated Global Standards were approved by the membership of IASSW and IFSW through the biennial General Meetings of the two organisations in the period June – July 2020.

Rationale for change and aims of the new Standards

The social work education and practice landscape has changed significantly since 2004, when the first version of the standards was launched. The adoption of a new Global Definition of Social work (2014), the publication of the updated Global Social Work Statement of Ethical Principles (2018), and the new Global Agenda (2020) require that the Global Standards for Social Work Education and Training document also reflects broader changes and recent developments in global social work. These developments also include social work’s role in supporting bottom up development to meet the aspirations of the SDGs, ensuring countries that are new to social work have global peers to support the advancement of social work education free from colonial influences and creating platforms for Indigenous and local approaches to shape curricula and relevant courses.

The specific aims of the new Global Standards for Social Work Education and Training are:

  • Ensure consistency in the provision of social work education while appreciating and valuing diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Ensure that Social Work education adheres to the values and policies of the profession as articulated by the IASSW and IFSW.
  • Support and safeguard staff, students and service users involved in the education process.
  • Ensure that the next generation of social workers have access to excellent quality learning opportunities that also incorporate social work knowledge deriving from research, experience, policy and practice.
  • Nurture a spirit of collaboration and knowledge transfer between different social work schools and between social work education, practice and research.
  • Support social work schools to become thriving, well-resourced, inclusive and participatory teaching and learning environments.

The Authority publishes its first performance review of Social Work England

30 Sep 2021

The Professional Standards Authority has published its first annual performance review of Social Work England. This review covers Social Work England’s first year as the regulator of social workers in England, from December 2019 to November 2020. At the end of 2020, there were over 95,000 social workers on Social Work England’s register.

We review each of the statutory health and social care regulators each year to assess whether they are meeting our Standards of Good Regulation . Because Social Work England was a new organisation with some new powers, we adapted our oversight to respond to new risks that might arise. For this review period, Social Work England met 15 of the 18 Standards.

Social Work England did not meet Standard 3 because it had made limited progress in its first year on gathering data about the diversity of its registrants and on developing and implementing its strategy for equality, diversity and inclusion. It did not meet Standard 11 because it was taking too long to deal with applications for registration. It met four of our five Standards for fitness to practise: it did not meet Standard 17 because we had concerns about risk assessments in fitness to practise. Social Work England met Standard 18, about supporting people to participate in the fitness to practise process, and we recommended that it consider some further action for improvements in this area.

Social Work England has engaged constructively with feedback and has shown commitment to improvement. It has already made some progress in addressing the issues we identified: this includes starting to implement its strategy for equality, diversity and inclusion, and improving its risk assessment process at the first stage of fitness to practise cases. We think it has made an encouraging start, particularly in the difficult circumstances of the pandemic. We will continue to monitor its work and will report on its progress next year, including in relation to our recommendations.

You can find more information about how we reached our decision in our Performance Review - Social Work England 2019/20  or read a summary in our snapshot .

Contact: [email protected]

Note to Editors

  • The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care oversees 10 statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK.
  • We assess their performance and report to Parliament. We also conduct audits and investigations and can appeal fitness to practise cases to the courts if we consider that sanctions are insufficient to protect the public and it is in the public interest.
  • The Standards of Good Regulation are designed to ensure that the regulators are protecting the public but also promoting confidence in health and care professionals and themselves. The Standards cover the regulators’ four core functions: setting and promoting guidance and standards for the profession; setting standards for and quality assuring the provision of education and training; maintaining a register of professionals; and taking action where a professional’s fitness to practise may be impaired.
  • We also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those that meet them.
  • We share good practice and knowledge, conduct research and introduce new ideas to our sector. We monitor policy developments in the UK and internationally and provide advice on issues relating to professional standards in health and social care.
  • We do this to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of users of health and social care services and the public. We are an independent body, accountable to the UK Parliament
  • Our values are – integrity, transparency, respect, fairness and teamwork – and we strive to ensure that they are at the core of our work.
  • Social Work England regulates social workers in England. It sets and maintains standards of conduct and practice for social workers in England; sets standards for the education and training of practitioners and assures the quality of education and training provided; maintains a register of practitioners (‘registrants’) who meet its standards; requires registrants to undertake continuing professional development to ensure they maintain their ability to practise safely and effectively; and acts to restrict or remove from practice individual registrants who are considered not fit to practise. As at 31 December 2020, there were 95,251 registrants on its register. Its registration fee is £90.
  • More information about our work and the approach we take is available at  www.professionalstandards.org.uk
  • Performance Review - Social Work England 2019/20 snapshot
  • Performance Review - Social Work England 2019/20

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CDC's Core Infection Prevention and Control Practices for Safe Healthcare Delivery in All Settings

At a glance.

Core Infection Prevention and Control Practices for Healthcare

Introduction

Adherence to infection prevention and control practices is essential to providing safe and high quality patient care across all settings where healthcare is delivered

This document concisely describes a core set of infection prevention and control practices that are required in all healthcare settings, regardless of the type of healthcare provided. The practices were selected from among existing CDC recommendations and are the subset that represent fundamental standards of care that are not expected to change based on emerging evidence or to be regularly altered by changes in technology or practices, and are applicable across the continuum of healthcare settings. The practices outlined in this document are intended to serve as a standard reference and reduce the need to repeatedly evaluate practices that are considered basic and accepted as standards of medical care. Readers should consult the full texts of CDC healthcare infection control guidelines for background, rationale, and related infection prevention recommendations for more comprehensive information.

The core practices in this document should be implemented in all settings where healthcare is delivered. These venues include both inpatient settings (e.g., acute, long-term care) and outpatient settings (e.g., clinics, urgent care, ambulatory surgical centers, imaging centers, dialysis centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation centers, alternative medicine clinics). In addition, these practices apply to healthcare delivered in settings other than traditional healthcare facilities, such as homes, assisted living communities, pharmacies, and health fairs.

Healthcare personnel (HCP) referred to in this document include all paid and unpaid persons serving in healthcare settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials, including body substances, contaminated medical supplies, devices, and equipment; contaminated environmental surfaces; or contaminated air.

CDC healthcare infection control guidelines 1-17 were reviewed, and recommendations included in more than one guideline were grouped into core infection prevention practice domains (e.g., education and training of HCP on infection prevention, injection and medication safety). Additional CDC materials aimed at providing general infection prevention guidance outside of the acute care setting 18-20 were also reviewed. HICPAC formed a workgroup led by HICPAC members and including representatives of professional organizations (see Contributors in archives for full list). The workgroup reviewed and discussed all of the practices, further refined the selection and description of the core practices and presented drafts to HICPAC at public meeting and recommendations were approved by the full Committee in July 2014. In October 2022, the Core Practices were reviewed and updated by subject matter experts within the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion at CDC. The addition of new practices followed the same methodology employed by the Core Practices Workgroup but also included review of pathogen-specific guidance documents 21-22 that were created or updated after July 2014. These additions were presented to HICPAC at the November 3, 2022 meeting. Future updates to the Core Practices will be guided by the publication of new or updated CDC infection prevention and control guidelines.

Core Practices Table

Infection control.

CDC provides information on infection control and clinical safety to help reduce the risk of infections among healthcare workers, patients, and visitors.

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Blog The Education Hub

https://educationhub.blog.gov.uk/2024/05/16/new-rshe-guidance-what-it-means-for-sex-education-lessons-in-schools/

New RSHE guidance: What it means for sex education lessons in schools

RSHE guidance

R elationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) is a subject taught at both primary and secondary school.  

In 2020, Relationships and Sex Education was made compulsory for all secondary school pupils in England and Health Education compulsory for all pupils in state-funded schools.  

Last year, the Prime Minister and Education Secretary brought forward the first review of the curriculum following reports of pupils being taught inappropriate content in RSHE in some schools.  

The review was informed by the advice of an independent panel of experts. The results of the review and updated guidance for consultation has now been published.   

We are now asking for views from parents, schools and others before the guidance is finalised. You can find the consultation here .   

What is new in the updated curriculum?  

Following the panel’s advice, w e’re introducing age limits, to ensure children aren’t being taught about sensitive and complex subjects before they are ready to fully understand them.    

We are also making clear that the concept of gender identity – the sense a person may have of their own gender, whether male, female or a number of other categories   – is highly contested and should not be taught. This is in line with the cautious approach taken in our gu idance on gender questioning children.  

Along with other factors, teaching this theory in the classroom could prompt some children to start to question their gender when they may not have done so otherwise, and is a complex theory for children to understand.   

The facts about biological sex and gender reassignment will still be taught.  

The guidance for schools also contains a new section on transparency with parents, making it absolutely clear that parents have a legal right to know what their children are being taught in RSHE and can request to see teaching materials.   

In addition, we’re seeking views on adding several new subjects to the curriculum, and more detail on others. These include:   

  • Suicide prevention  
  • Sexual harassment and sexual violence  
  • L oneliness  
  • The prevalence of 'deepfakes’  
  • Healthy behaviours during pregnancy, as well as miscarriage  
  • Illegal online behaviours including drug and knife supply  
  • The dangers of vaping   
  • Menstrual and gynaecological health including endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and heavy menstrual bleeding.  

What are the age limits?   

In primary school, we’ve set out that subjects such as the risks about online gaming, social media and scams should not be taught before year 3.   

Puberty shouldn’t be taught before year 4, whilst sex education shouldn’t be taught before year 5, in line with what pupils learn about conception and birth as part of the national curriculum for science.  

In secondary school, issues regarding sexual harassment shouldn’t be taught before year 7, direct references to suicide before year 8 and any explicit discussion of sexual activity before year 9.  

Do schools have to follow the guidance?  

Following the consultation, the guidance will be statutory, which means schools must follow it unless there are exceptional circumstances.   

There is some flexibility w ithin the age ratings, as schools will sometimes need to respond to questions from pupils about age-restricted content, if they come up earlier within their school community.   

In these circumstances, schools are instructed to make sure that teaching is limited to the essential facts without going into unnecessary details, and parents should be informed.  

When will schools start teaching this?  

School s will be able to use the guidance as soon as we publish the final version later this year.   

However, schools will need time to make changes to their curriculum, so we will allow an implementation period before the guidance comes into force.     

What can parents do with these resources once they have been shared?

This guidance has openness with parents at its heart. Parents are not able to veto curriculum content, but they should be able to see what their children are being taught, which gives them the opportunity to raise issues or concerns through the school’s own processes, if they want to.

Parents can also share copyrighted materials they have received from their school more widely under certain circumstances.

If they are not able to understand materials without assistance, parents can share the materials with translators to help them understand the content, on the basis that the material is not shared further.

Copyrighted material can also be shared under the law for so-called ‘fair dealing’ - for the purposes of quotation, criticism or review, which could include sharing for the purpose of making a complaint about the material.

This could consist of sharing with friends, families, faith leaders, lawyers, school organisations, governing bodies and trustees, local authorities, Ofsted and the media.  In each case, the sharing of the material must be proportionate and accompanied by an acknowledgment of the author and its ownership.

Under the same principle, parents can also share relevant extracts of materials with the general public, but except in cases where the material is very small, it is unlikely that it would be lawful to share the entirety of the material.

These principles would apply to any material which is being made available for teaching in schools, even if that material was provided subject to confidentiality restrictions.

Do all children have to learn RSHE?  

Parents still have the right to withdraw their child from sex education, but not from the essential content covered in relationships educatio n.  

You may also be interested in:

  • Education Secretary's letter to parents: You have the right to see RSHE lesson material
  • Sex education: What is RSHE and can parents access curriculum materials?
  • What do children and young people learn in relationship, sex and health education

Tags: age ratings , Gender , Relationships and Sex Education , RSHE , sex ed , Sex education

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  4. Social Work England Rules and Standards

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  5. Social Work England consultation response on education and training

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  6. (PDF) Implementing the social pedagogic approach for workforce training

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VIDEO

  1. MUST HAVE DOCUMENTS FOR SOCIAL WORK ENGLAND REGISTRATION

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  3. Practice education in England A national scoping review

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  5. Learning from fitness to practise in England through case studies

  6. Social work regulation and practice education │ Social Work Week 2023

COMMENTS

  1. Education and training standards

    About the standards. The education and training standards have been developed with education and training providers to ensure they are relevant and will mean that students who successfully complete a social work course can meet our professional standards and can apply to be registered with us. We have published 2 sets of standards for education ...

  2. Education & training

    The professional standards set out what a social worker in England must know, understand and be able to do. Education and training standards. The education and training standards are the standards against which we assess and approve social work courses.

  3. Professional standards

    The education and training standards are the standards against which we assess and approve social work courses. Registration. Registration ... Published in July 2019, our professional standards became the standards for all social workers in England when we went live on 2 December 2019. They are specialist to the social work profession and apply ...

  4. Standards

    The professional standards set out what a social worker in England must know, understand and be able to do. Education and training standards. The education and training standards are the standards against which we assess and approve social work courses.

  5. Education and training rules

    The education and training standards are the standards against which we assess and approve social work courses. Registration. Registration Apply for registration. ... Social Work England has made these Rules in accordance with regulation 3 of the Social Workers Regulations 2018. (2) These Rules are made in exercise of powers conferred by ...

  6. Qualifying education and training standards guidance (2021)

    Guidance on the qualifying education and training standards (2021) Last updated: 27 April 2023. About this guidance. Standard 1: Admissions. Standard 2: Learning environment. Standard 3: Course governance, management and quality. Standard 4: Curriculum assessment. Standard 5: Supporting students. Standard 6: Level of qualification to apply for ...

  7. Qualifying education and training standards ...

    Note: Our 2021 education and training standards will require that there is a lead social worker in place to hold overall professional responsibility for the course. This person must be appropriately qualified and experienced and on the Social Work England register.

  8. Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS)

    England. BASW England has developed refreshed standards to promote the development, and awareness, of Professional Standards in Social Work Education within the social work profession and with people with lived experience of social work. It is hoped that this document will be used to promote the Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS ...

  9. PDF Standards of Proficiency

    Standardsofproficiency-SocialworkersinEngland 1 Foreword WearepleasedtopresenttheHealthandCareProfessions Council'sstandardsofproficiencyforsocialworkersinEngland.

  10. Qualifying education and training standards 2021

    Education and training standards for social work education in England, which set out the requirements Social Work England expect courses to meet. The standards have been developed with education and training providers and will ensure that people qualify ready to become social workers. The standards cover six areas: admissions; learning environment; course governance, management and quality ...

  11. PDF SOCIAL WORK ENGLAND

    Education and Training Standards Social Work England implemented new education and training standards, a significant development in its oversight of education and training providers, which it had put back a year because of the pandemic. It liaised with course providers in advance to ensure they

  12. PDF Social Work England Performance Review Monitoring year 2021/22

    Social Work England has a long-term focus on education and training, referred to in its strategy for 2023-26. It published its approach to education and training in June 2022. This outlined that there is currently a "crowded education and training landscape" which Social Work England would be seeking to streamline.

  13. PDF Social work education in England

    Social work education in England 7 Assessment against our standards We approve programmes that meet our standards of education and training (SETs), which (in the context of social work education) ensure students that complete the programmes meet the standards of proficiency (SOPs) for social workers in England. The

  14. PDF SOCIAL WORK ENGLAND

    The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted Social Work England's plans: for example, it had to delay introducing its new standards for education. It also affected its operational capacity. We took this context into account in deciding whether Social Work England had met our Standards.

  15. Professional Standards

    The professional standards set out what a social worker in England must know, understand and be able to do after completing their social work education or training (Social Work England took over from HCPC as the regulator of the social work profession in December 2019). There's also a guidance document to supplement the standards.

  16. Regulator introduces higher standards for social work education

    Social Work England has introduced higher standards for education providers, including requirements to support students' health and wellbeing and offer at least 200 days on placements. The regulator's new education and training standards, which came into force on 1 September, also include additional requirements for admissions and higher ...

  17. Social Work Regulation (England)

    keep a register of social workers in England; set social work professional, education and training standards; and; determine an individual social worker's fitness to practise. The 2017 Act sets out the broad legal framework for Social Work England, but much of the detail of the regulatory framework will be set out in secondary legislation.

  18. Social Work England

    Social Work England has been the specialist regulator for social workers in England since 2019. They are an independent public protection body, setting professional, education and training standards for social workers. Social Work England will also investigate and manage 'fitness to practice' cases brought against social workers.

  19. Global Standards for Social Work Education and Training

    The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) and the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) have jointly updated the Global Standards for Social Work Education and Training. The previous version of the Global Standards for Social Work Education and Training document was adopted by the two organisations in Adelaide ...

  20. Updated Global Standards for Social Work Education and Training

    The updated Global Standards for Social Work Education and Training is a product of the extensive global consultation that lasted for more than 18 months and included a wide range of social work academics, practitioners and experts by experience across 125 countries, represented by 5 Regional Associations and approximately 400 Universities and ...

  21. Social Work England's first performance review report

    The Professional Standards Authority has published its first annual performance review of Social Work England. This review covers Social Work England's first year as the regulator of social workers in England, from December 2019 to November 2020. At the end of 2020, there were over 95,000 social workers on Social Work England's register.

  22. (PDF) Social Work England: A regulator that has earned ...

    Abstract. INTRODUCTION: In December 2019, Social Work England (SWE) officially took over as the regulator of the approximately 100,000 social workers in England. This article explores the ...

  23. PDF End-point assessment plan for Social worker statutory integrated degree

    Social Work England sets the standards of proficiency required for entry to the professional register and these are the professional standards for registered Social Workers. Social Work England also holds the statutory duty to set requirements of social work education in England. Its Education and Training Standards (2021) outline the key ...

  24. CDC's Core Infection Prevention and Control Practices for Safe

    2. Education and Training of Healthcare Personnel on Infection Prevention References and resources: 1-4, 6-8, 10-13: Provide job-specific, infection prevention education and training to all healthcare personnel for all tasks. Require training before individuals are allowed to perform their duties and at least annually as a refresher.

  25. New RSHE guidance: What it means for sex education lessons in schools

    Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) is a subject taught at both primary and secondary school. In 2020, Relationships and Sex Education was made compulsory for all secondary school pupils in England and Health Education compulsory for all pupils in state-funded schools. Last year, the Prime Minister and Education Secretary brought ...