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New standards for social workers unveiled by HCPC

HCPC launches consultation on standards of proficiency

Social workers will need to be able to present reports in formal settings under new standards proposed by the Health and Care Professions Council.

The HCPC has launched a consultation on changes to the standards of proficiency for social workers in England which are standards that the regulator considers necessary for the safe and effective practice of each of the professions they regulate.

“They are ‘threshold standards’,” says the HCPC. “This means that they must be absolutely necessary or the ‘minimum’ that we consider are required for safe and effective practice.”

Under the proposals, a new dedicated standard has been created about being able to present reports in formal settings. A new standard about understanding the concept of leadership and its application to practice has also been added.

A new standard about working effectively whilst holding alternative, competing explanations in mind is also included in the proposals. The HCPC says that this is based on feedback about the importance of social workers being curious and enquiring of the information they receive and being always willing to reassess their conclusions, particularly in matters which concern the safety and wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults.

“This is intended to augment the existing standard (4.4) about being able to make informed judgements on complex issues, based on the information available,” says the consultation.

A new standard about social workers being able to identify strategies for professional resilience has been added. Social workers will also need understanding of the principles of information governance and the safe use of health and social care information.

The consultation closes on 24 June.


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