Progression for social workers to build skills, knowledge and confidence

It can take a minimum of two and a half years from qualification to Level 3 (with one year being the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) and one and half years of Early Professional Development (EPD).

Most social workers will take three years to consolidate their practice. The ability to fast track will need to be agreed by your line and operations manager.

It can then take 18 months or 2 years to complete the requirements at Level 3 to apply for Level 4. The ability to fast track will need to be agreed by your line and operations manager.

  • Social Work Secondment – opportunities for social care workers (SCW). A secondment offers employer sponsorship, financial support and study leave
  • ASYE - 12-month programme for newly qualified social workers (NQSW) building a portfolio based on professional competency framework (PCF) and knowledge and skills statement (KSS) and a moderation panel. The aim of the programme is to develop your knowledge and skills to achieve better outcomes for service users. The ASYE offers a national programme of support, additional supervision, study leave and workshop programme, tutorial support, 10% learning and development time and 10% reduction in workload.
  • Early Professional Development Programme (EPD) - This is an 18-24 month programme building a portfolio based on PCF, completion of two university continuing professional development (CPD) modules and a moderation panel. The aim of the programme is to consolidate your knowledge and skills to achieve better outcomes for service users. The programme offers the opportunity to study two modules to contribute to post-graduate certificate in social work practice and study leave.
  • Experienced social workers – 18-24 months consolidation of practice at Level 3, completion of two university practice teaching modules and managing two students

Advance progression

You are now an experienced practitioner and have various choices, these are:

  • Become an Advanced Practitioner (developing expertise to deliver better outcomes for service users). Opportunities to stay in practice and use your knowledge and expertise to support and develop students and colleagues, and work on challenging cases.
  • Become a Principal Practitioner (delivering best practice to achieve better outcomes for service users). Opportunities to stay in practice and develop a specialism, mentor and support NQSWs, opportunities for advanced training and work in collaboration with universities to deliver training, work on complex cases.
  • Become an Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) (supporting improvements to social work practice through scrutiny and challenge). Opportunities to develop your leadership skills and support improvements in practice through oversight and scrutiny. Opportunity to undertake the post-qualifying (PQ) award.
  • Become a Team Manager (supporting improvements to social work practice through line management). Opportunities to develop your leadership skills and move into management and support the professional development of social workers.

Advanced practitioner

  1. Application, audit and interview to progress
  2. Must have completed all the components of the Career pathway or equivalent
  3. 18+ months experience at level 3
  4. Demonstrate the ability to work more autonomously and support the work of less experienced team members

Independent reviewing officer

  1. Application, interview, and presentation to interview panel, demonstrating evidence of high-quality advanced practice in child protection children looked after (CLA)
  2. Must have completed all the components of the Career Pathway or equivalent
  3. Significant experience as an experienced social worker
  4. Advanced/level 3

Principal practitioner

  1. Application, interview and presentation to interview panel, demonstrating evidence of high-quality advanced practice.
  2. Must have completed all the components of the Career Pathway or equivalent
  3. Significant experience as an experienced social worker

Team manager

  1. Application, interview and presentation to interview panel, demonstrating evidence of high-quality advanced practice
  2. Must have completed all the components of the Career Pathway or equivalent
  3. Significant experience as an experienced social worker