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Social Work Directorate prepares practitioners for new assessment

Jan 03, 2019

Social workers from Manchester City Council prepare for their NAAS assessment
Social workers from Manchester City Council prepare for their NAAS assessment

The Social Work Directorate is helping regional social workers prepare for the new National Assessment and Accreditation Scheme (NAAS) introduced in a voluntary roll out by the Government in 2017. The Government hopes that the new NAAS will promote a stronger focus on learning and development within the children’s social work sector profession.

As part of the Greater Manchester Social Work Academy Teaching Partnership, the Directorate has always worked collaboratively across Greater Manchester in promoting social work standards and since July last year, our social work lecturers have been working with five local authorities in phase one of the initial roll out of NAAS. Phase 2 is now underway with the addition of Salford council and Stockport.

Gabi Hesk, School of Health and Society lead on the NAAS preparation course said:

“This has been an evolving programme for the Social Work Directorate here at Salford; we have been guided by the Department for Education in terms of content of the NAAS programme and are committed to working closely with the local authority leads on NAAS and also the Social Work practitioners who provide crucial feedback on the direct experience of the ‘real’ NAAS assessment. We are confident that we have created a realistic programme of preparation which assists our colleagues in practice.

We realise that this is a voluntary scheme, however the pressure for our social work practitioners to prepare for this assessment, on top of a service which is already stretched in terms of resources, is an immense undertaking.  To take the time out of such a demanding job, to undertake continuing professional development (CPD) is testament to their commitment to social work practice and the service users whom they support. For us as a team, it has been a real privilege to work with ex- colleagues and also former students; seeing them now working as practising social work professionals, has been lovely.”

Feedback from participants has been extremeley positive with comments such as:

  • “Really useful to have a 'test run'. Very informative and good preparations for the 'real thing' ".
  • "Staff were lovely and reasurring"
  • "It was good to reflect on practice after the simulation role play"
  • "Good to have an idea of what to expect and good to be able to have a go"
  • " The reflective discussion was the most helpful- the purpose of the assessment became clearer. I memorised the KSS" - (*KSS- Knowledge and Skills Statements)