Competence in Social Work.

The Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work revised the Rules and Requirements for the Diploma in Social Work in 1995.

To qualify for the Award of the DipSW students must provide evidence of

(see extract from the Rules and Requirements for the DipSW, revised 1995, Part 2: Requirements for Qualification)

CCETSW has defined the requirements for qualifying social workers and although set out consecutively, it is the integration of them all which is essential for competent social work practice. Competence in social work is, therefore, the product of values, skills and knowledge and competence can only be reached when all these components are used within social work practice.

1. Integration of social work values in practice

Social work values are integral to competent practice and achievement of core competences cannot be separated from demonstration of these values in practice. "It is the clear, consistent and thoughtful integration of values in practice that students must demonstrate and programme providers seek evidence of in all assessable work." (The Rules and Requirements for the DipSW, Revised 1995). Therefore, within DP1 and DP2, students must provide evidence that the value requirements have been met, drawing from and referring to the specific practice undertaken in relation to the achievement of the practice requirements.

In the meeting of the core competences, students must demonstrate achievement of the required values which are:

(see extract from the Rules and Requirements for the DipSW, revised 1995)

Thus, throughout practice, students must demonstrate that they have analysed the impact of oppression, disadvantage and discrimination. Planned intervention must take account of the identified issues in an integrated and explicit way.

2. Acquisition and application of the key areas of knowledge for social work

Students must take a rigorous approach to the acquisition of knowledge, and be able to select and apply it in practice. Students should be able to explain in a coherent, comprehensive and convincing manner how their practice is informed by their knowledge base.

3. Reflection upon and critical analysis of practice

Students must be able to conceptualise, reflect, analyse and critically evaluate their underpinning values, skills and knowledge and their own practice.

4. Transferability of knowledge, skills and values in practice

Students must be able to transfer their knowledge, skills and values from one situation to another, through appraising what is general and what is particular in each situation.

5. Meeting the practice requirements for the six core competences

Qualifying social workers are required to meet the six core competences, but these can only be met through the integration and achievement of the above 1 - 4, each grouping being interdependent on the other for competent practice.

The core competences to be met for the DipSW Award are -

Within The Rules and Requirements for the DipSW, Revised, 1995, under each core competence, there are a varying number of practice requirements listed. These practice requirements are the means through which each core competence is achieved. Under each practice requirement, there are listed a number of evidence indicators. The evidence indicators identify the activities that students will normally undertake in order to demonstrate achievement of the practice requirement. The evidence indicators are not a prescriptive list but are provided as guidance only and do not, therefore, require to be individually demonstrated.

Practice requirements and evidence indicators are written at a general level so that they apply across the range of social work practice.

©West of Scotland Consortium for Education and Training in Social Work 2001.