Consolidation Programme for Newly Qualified Social Workers

Consolidation Programme for Newly Qualified Social Workers

The Consolidation Programme is for all newly qualified Social Workers who are in their first period of registration and forms the first step within the Continuing Professional Education and Learning (CPEL) framework. The programme builds on the learning undertaken within your qualifying programme and focuses on embedding core professional knowledge and skills within practice. The programme’s aim is to consolidate and extend the learning achieved since qualifying as a registered social worker so that as practitioners, you are able to intervene and apply professional judgement in increasingly complex situations.

All the Social Workers undertaking this Consolidation Programme will have completed their first year in practice. The guidance for this period is outlined in the Social Care Wales (SCW) document “The first three years in practice: a Framework for Social Workers’ induction into qualified practice and continuing professional education and learning”. The consolidation programme will be undertaken within the second or third year of practice and builds on this guidance.

The Consolidation Programme focuses on three key areas, with particular emphasis on the third area:

  • Applying analysis in assessment to inform interventions.
  • Working collaboratively with individuals in need of care and support and their carers and other professionals.
  • Intervention and application of professional judgement in increasingly complex situations.

The programme module attracts 30 credits at Level 6.

All candidates are qualified Social Workers who are currently registered with Social Care Wales.

The programme reflects current research, legislation and policy and incorporates the Welsh context which includes the language, culture, geography and legislation within Wales. The Code of Professional Practice for Social Care Workers (2017) and the relevant National Occupational Standards (2012) underpin the learning. The inter-professional context of Social Work practice is highlighted. The perspectives of individuals in need of care and support and their carers are prevalent throughout the management, delivery, and development of the module.

The delivery of the Consolidation Programme is in collaboration with the University of South Wales and Cardiff Metropolitan University and 10 Local Authorities to include Rhondda Cynon Taff, Merthyr Tydfil, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Vale of Glamorgan, Bridgend, Monmouth, Newport and Torfaen. This ensures that the module is relevant to the needs and demands of the workforce. The Higher Education Institution (HEI) will be the awarding body. The Programme is validated by both HEI’s and approved by Social Care Wales under The Approval and Inspection for Post Qualifying Social Work Courses (Wales) 2019.

The Consolidation Programme at University of South of Wales is taught face-to-face on Campus. It is interactive and is taught by experienced lecturers who hold relevant professional qualifications and/or have a wide range of specific qualifications at Degree and Master’s. The three taught days (in addition to a half day induction) provide the opportunity for you to acquire evidence-informed knowledge and meet other candidates.

As a Consolidation candidate, you will be assigned a Consolidation Practice Assessor based within your Local Authority who will assess and support you throughout your learning journey.

Introduction/Induction Day

The aim of the introduction day is to provide you with an outline of the taught days and an overview of the extensive range of support services available to you at USW. Additionally, an explanation of the assessment process will be given from both an academic and practice perspective along with an overview of their portfolio of evidence. All students must enrol with USW prior to attending induction and student ID cards are issued at induction.

Day 1: Assessment & Analysis within Practice

The aim of the first day will be risk assessment & risk management and working with complexity. We will explore how we make sense of the information that we are presented with during assessment considering how/what/why we prioritise information making links between theory and practice. We will examine how we assess risk and vulnerability including how we identify risks to ourselves how we identify risks for others, when/how we challenge others perception of risk along with the wider structural understanding of risk and how these impact on practice. Different theoretical models of risk assessment will be explored along with the concept of risk vs. resilience. The day will also look at different levels of responsibility, intervention and how and why we make decisions. Throughout the day, reference will be made to individuals in need of care and support and their carers and carer involvement within the assessment process and underpinning legislation.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Applying analysis and assessment to inform interventions.
  • Working collaboratively with people in need of care and support and their carers and other professionals.
  • Intervention and application of professional judgement in increasingly complex situations.

Day 2: Social Context of Social Work. Legal Frameworks & Social Policy

The aim of the second day will be to give you an overview of international policies relating to Social Work identifying how the international focus influences policy and practice in Wales. We will explore the impact of social justice, social policies & legislation and the differences in the delivery of social service provision between the devolved countries particularly focussing on the Welsh context and candidates will reflect on how their organisation and team have influenced their practice since qualification. The day will assist you to make the links between your team/practice and the delivery of services to the community in Wales.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Applying analysis in assessment to inform interventions.
  • Intervention and application of professional judgement in increasingly complex situations.
  • Understand the relationship between social policy, legislative frameworks and guidance with social services provision in Wales and to use critical reflection in their application.
  • Managing and developing self.

Day 3: Critical Reflection in Practice

Within this final session we will consider the different levels of reflection that can be utilised in practice. We will consider how critical reflection assists you in managing complexity and enables you to critically evaluate your own analysis and decision making within Social Work assessments. Drawing on legislation, policy and theoretical perspectives, we will consider how being a critically reflective practitioner increases your knowledge base and further enhances your skills as professionals. The consequences of the interplay between personal and professional values will be explored and ethical decision making through enhanced use of critical thinking skills will be examined.

The final day will also offer a ‘Consolidation’ session where there will be an opportunity to recap on all taught days and explore the nature of assessment of the Consolidation Programme. This session will also recap on the support that is available to yourself around strengthening academic skills and academic processes around requesting extensions and submitting mitigating circumstances claims.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Applying analysis and assessment to inform interventions.
  • Working collaboratively with people in need of care and support and their carers and other professionals.
  • Intervention and application of professional judgement in increasingly complex situations.

The Consolidation Programme at USW is taught face-to-face on Campus and consists of three and a half days of teaching. There are two cohorts for this programme per year.

The Consolidation Programme is a blended learning approach including taught days at university, work-based training opportunities, direct observation of practice and self-directed study and reflection.

The Programme is taught using a myriad of teaching and learning strategies and methods, to aid and support learning of the diverse adult student community, such as lectures, exercises, case studies, videos, discussions, and interactive exercises to promote candidates own learning.

There are two parts to the assessment of this module, an academic summative assessment (3,000 words) and a portfolio of evidence, the latter of which comprises of one direct observation with individuals who use services and their carers (and feedback from this direct work), one peer group exercise and, four supervision minutes from your Consolidation supervision with your Consolidation Practice Assessor. Both elements of the assessment must be passed for the 30-credit module to be awarded.

The criteria for admission on to the programme are that the applicant is:

  • A qualified social worker and on the Register of Social Care Wales, or Social Work England, or the Scottish Social Services Council or the Northern Ireland Social Care Council, (and then be required to remain on the Register to obtain an award).
  • Is currently in practice, (and/or can access practice learning opportunities to meet the learning and assessment needs of the intended modules of study). In most instances this is evidenced by employer and/or line manager support.
  • Appropriate academic skills and practice experience for study at Level 6 which would normally, but not exclusively, involve one year’s post qualifying experience.
  • Applicants will normally be nominated and supported by their employing agencies, who must give written confirmation that candidates will be released to attend the course, and that they will be provided with adequate support for the module(s) undertaken, e.g., assessor for any direct observations required.
  • All applications must be submitted on the appropriate University application forms.
  • All applications for the Consolidation Programme at USW from independent candidates should be sent to [email protected]
  • Applicants will normally have completed the First Year in Practice requirements at the point of application.

Key Information

Department: Faculty of Life Sciences and Education

Course Length: Three and a half days of teaching.

Course Cost: £550

Start Dates: For start dates of the next cohorts which run Bi-annually and any enquiries, please contact Kathryn Johnstone, Social Work Lecturer and Module Leader.

Email: [email protected]

Mobile: 07425192714