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CPD is a legal requirement, says HCPC

Regulator urges locum social workers to document CPD

Published on 24th March 2017

There is a statutory requirement on all locum social workers to undertake Continued Professional Development, the regulator of the social work profession reminded delegates at a Locum Today event.

Speaking at the Futureproofing your Locum Social Work Career event in Birmingham, Jonathan Jones said that it is the registrant’s responsibility to keep their knowledge and skills up to date.

“CPD is an essential factor in keeping knowledge and skills up-to-date and ensuring continued fitness to practise,” said Jonathan Jones, the Stakeholder Communications Manager, HCPC.

A locum social worker must:

  1. maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities;
  2. demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice;
  3. seek to ensure that their CPD has contributed to the quality of their practice and service delivery;
  4. seek to ensure that their CPD benefits the service user;
  1. upon request, present a written profile (which must be their own work and supported by evidence) explaining how they have met the standards for CPD.

CPD is not based on points or hours completed but outcomes and some registrants would prefer the HCPC to be more prescriptive in what is counted as CPD, added Jones. However the HCPC says it would like to see a mixture of learning from five categories of CPD activities which are:

Work-based learning - in-service training, reflective practice, work shadowing

Professional activity - mentoring, professional body involvement

Formal / educational - courses, conferences, research

Self-directed learning - reading journals and books, internet research

Other - voluntary work

The HCPC does not state that registrants must complete activities in all five categories but likes to see a mixture of activities and examples of activities in three out of the five categories are judged to be a good mixture.

During re-registration, which for social workers happened last year and so is not sue until 2018, a random computer-generated sample of 2.5% of the social work workforce will be asked to provide an audit of their CPD activities.

If you are selected to complete a CPD audit, you will be required to:

  • Compile a list of CPD activities (for last two years between 2016 and 2018)
  • Provide a summary of recent work (between 2016 and 2018 so the auditors can ensure the CPD is relevant to your role) – 500 words
  • Write a statement of how the standards have been met – 1,500 words
  • Provide supporting evidence (such as certificates, PDP plans)

Across all 16 professions that the HCPC regulates, http://www.hcpc-uk.co.uk/aboutregistration/protectedtitles/ 80.8% of registrants met the standards required. A further 18.9% had ‘other outcomes’ which may have included having their audit deferred for maternity leave etc. Just 0.3% of registrants were removed from the register.

“It is a statutory requirement that you document your CPD,” said Jones.

A delegate asked what the situation would be for a locum social worker asked to provide an audit had they been out of work for six months during the two year registration period.

“The HCPC would want to see what you had been doing during the period. It would not be enough to say you were out of work. We would still wish to see evidence of your CPD activities. While you would not be able to carry out the work-based learning activities, we would expect to see examples of other CPD activities,” said jones.

Registrants who were taking time out to travel should explain in their accompanying statement why there are fewer CPD activities documented during a certain period during the two year registration period compared to during other months.

More from HCPC:

Removing social workers from register is 'last resort measure'

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