Skills for Care

In this section

Provide effective continuing professional development for your social workers.

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. 

Social Work England, the regulator for social workers, requires all social workers to apply to renew their registration, record CPD, and pay their registration fee on an annual basis, as part of maintaining their registration. Every registered social worker has a Social Work England online account, which they must use to complete these actions by 30 November each year.


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Core principles for employers providing a flexible CPD approach for social workers, including case studies and supporting resources will help you to develop your social work workforce.


Additional CPD resources

The CPD area on the Social Work England website includes the following resourses

  • '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.


Support for practice development educators

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.

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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 for social workers

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.

Action learning programme - NQSWs 


Action learning programme - Managers 


Social Work England - CPD and registration renewal 

Social Work England want to thank social workers for their hard work in 2021, and for their commitment to continuing professional development. Following consultation with the sector, the regulator has announced new CPD requirements for the 2021-22 registration year. Now, all social workers must record:

  • A minimum of 2 pieces of CPD, including at least one piece of CPD with a peer reflection.

Social workers should do this by 30 November 2022, as part of maintaining their social work registration.

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Social Work England has provided a number of resources to support you:


Using the core principles

We have created case studies to show how to use the core principles. The case studies were identified by employer partnerships who have been involved in previous CPD projects.

Measuring the impact

Impact assessment looks at what your social workers have learned and how this has had a positive impact on the people they support. Our case studies, top tips and infographic highlight how you can measure the impact of your CPD activity.