Develop your social workers

Young lady sat at a table with a book open

Provide effective continuing professional development for your social workers.

We can help you to identify the best continual professional development (CPD) opportunities for your social workers.

The Standards for Employers of Social Workers outline your responsibility to provide a flexible approach and provision for CPD for your workforce.

Our core principles for CPD, case studies and supporting resources will help you to develop your social work workforce.

This section also includes information about measuring the impact of CPD activity, supporting practice development educators and action learning facilitation. 

With this being the first year of Social Work England being the new regulator and the renewal process changing from every 2 years to an annual process, please note that the registration renewal period runs until 30 November 2020 and all social workers must complete the following steps to stay on the register: 

  • activate their online account at 
  • record at least one piece of CPD 
  • apply to renew their registration and pay the renewal fee. 

Our core principles can help you to provide effective CPD for social work workforce. 

The principles will:

  • provide a framework for strategic planning 
  • support recruitment and retention 
  • provide evidence of best practice for external inspection 
  • help your social workers meet their Social Work England re registration requirements 
  • help you to a quality of your staff training.

Using the CPD principles

We have created case studies to show how to use of the core principles.

The case studies were identified by employer partnerships  who have been involved in previous CPD projects.

We have created case studies, top tips  and an infographic to show how you can measure the impact of your CPD activity.

Impact assessment looks at what your social workers have learned and how this has had a positive impact on the people they support.

Working with a group of employers we have identified the most commonly used tools and models used to measure the impact of CPD activity. 

The CPD section on the Social Work England website has been updated and includes a number of different resources. These include

  • ⇨ 7 minute tutorial video that shows social workers ‘how to record CPD’ on their online account.
  • ⇨ 'What counts as CPD' – a detailed guide of all the different things that could be recorded as CPD, and how these meet the CPD standard.
  • ⇨ CPD blogs, with guest blogs from social workers about how and what they record as CPD

The following resources will help you to include the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) in your CPD activity.

The practice development educator (PDE) role is for registered social worker who  support, assess and/or supervise social workers undertaking post qualifying professional development and learning.

This includes the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE), Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities and Approved Mental Health Practitioner (AMHP) programmes.

The Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS) provide the two stages of progression for practice educators, which are linked to the complexity and responsibility of their role.

There is guidance to further support the PDE role. It builds on learning from the PEPS and help PDEs to support and assess NQSWs.

There are learning outcomes, an assessment framework and FAQs to further support this role.

Action learning is a grouped based activity which uses the learning of others to solve professional challenges.

It encourages the individual to reflect on their experience to develop their own practice.

The videos below show how action learning has benefitted NQSWs and their managers.


Here are some examples of NQSWs who have participated in an action learning programme.

Jessica Walton

Lynne Hyland

Angela Cunneyworth 


Here are some examples of managers who have used action learning to develop of their social workers.

Diane Stratulis 

Sheila Beswick

Carolyn Nice 

Yvonne Hobday

Registration renewal closes on 30 November, therefore, Social Work England are urging all social workers to act now by recording continuing professional development (CPD) and applying to renew their registration.

It’s important to remember that, as this is the regulator’s first year, you only need to record at least 1 piece of CPD in order to renew (although 4 times a year is recommended as good practice.)

CPD is not just another piece of admin – it’s essential for good practice, and a legal requirement in order to stay on the register. When you take time to record CPD, you reflect on your practice and decision-making. This can help you to approach situations in a thoughtful way, grounded in research, reflection, and personal experience. Structured learning benefits both you as a professional and the people you support.

Social Work England has been tackling misconceptions that CPD must involve formal training, and encourages social workers to consider different activities they already do that can count as CPD. This could include listening to a podcast, reading an article online, attending a webinar, having a discussion with colleagues, or simply asking for and recording feedback.

The regulator has also created resources to support social workers, to help make the process of recording CPD and renewing as simple as possible.

Tutorial videos

These short videos (both under 10 minutes) walk you through the process of uploading CPD to your online account, and renewing your registration. Click the links to watch.


The regional engagement leads at Social Work England publish regular blogs. The ‘Reflecting on’ blog series is aimed at social workers who might be a bit stuck with what to write; they offer prompts to help you reflect on topics and get started with CPD. Click the links to read.

New blogs on CPD are regularly added to the website so be sure to check back.

For updates from Social Work England, including further content to help you record CPD, visit their website, or follow­ them on Twitter and LinkedIn.