Knowledge and Skills for social workers in adult services

Closed 12 Dec 2014

Opened 10 Oct 2014


In February this year the Department of Health published Professor Croisdale-Appleby’s review of the education of social workers with adults: Re-visioning Social Work Education: an independent review.  

In his report, Professor Croisdale-Appleby recommended a national and consistent process for assessing social workers. He recommended that there should be standard assessment criteria at the end of the assessed supported year in employment and that there should also be an independent validation of the assessment framework.

Sir Martin Narey (in his review of social work education for children and families) made the point that there are a number of standards for social work education but none of them (in his view) set out a clear statement of the knowledge and skills that a social worker needed to become an effective practitioner.

Following these two reviews, the Chief Social Workers were asked to produce a Knowledge and Skills Statement (KSS) for all newly qualified social workers at the end of the first year in employment, building on the generic social work qualification.


Why We Are Consulting

The Chief Social Worker for Adults is now consulting on the draft statement of knowledge and skills for social workers in adult services:

- as a statement of what a social worker with adults needs to know and be able to do at the end of their first year in practice; and

- to provide social workers and their employers with a framework for assessment which will help to ensure newly qualified social workers become effective social workers in adult social care.  

The Knowledge and Skills Statement will be used to enable social workers to understand more clearly what is expected of them as practitioners.  Employers will be able to more easily identify whether social workers have the requisite knowledge and skills, and will therefore be able to identify and put in place the support and training needed for employees.

Ministers have announced a further year of funding for the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment. Our proposal is that all newly qualified social workers in adult services should be assessed consistently on the basis of the Knowledge and Skills Statement and that continued employment in statutory adult social work to be dependent upon successful completion of the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment.

Your views are sought on whether:

  1. the right knowledge and skills have been identified (and at the right level);
  2. there is anything you would like to see added; and
  3. the proposed national requirements for the assessment of social workers at the end of their assessed year in employment are appropriately designed.


Please use the consultation response form at to provide your comments to the Chief Social Worker for Adults by Friday 12 December 2014.

What Happens Next

The results of the consultation and the Department’s response will be published on the Department of Health’s e-consultation website in early 2015.


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