Effective assessment: A key knowledge and skill for a sustainable profession

Janne Fengler, Brian Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
192 Downloads (Pure)


Assessment is an essential element of social work practice. However, by trying to realize the so-called triple-mandate of social work, professionals and students on qualifying training sometimes struggle to consider simultaneously client and organizational aspects, and to embrace both outcome-orientation and process-orientation. Societal requirements focus on outcomes and standardized procedures whereas client’s needs require individualized and situationally appropriate consideration. The tensions are more acute with demands for rigorous professional decision making based on evidence, with increased attention to risks. Multiprofessional working has many benefits for clients, but places new demands on social work assessment. Current models are limited in embracing these tensions, and more integrated models are required. Established frameworks together with practice and teaching experience are applied in this paper to extend the traditional Taylor and Devine model to address these contemporary challenges. Elements of a new model (ALOHA) have been trialled on professionals as well as students on qualifying social work training. Such robust assessment models synthesized from theory, research, and best practice are essential to meet contemporary practice challenges, maintain public credibility, and sustain social work internationally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-405
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Work Education: The International Journal
Issue number3
Early online date15 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 11 Mar 2019


  • Assessment
  • decision making
  • professional judgement
  • social work
  • Model
  • curriculum development
  • practice theory
  • skills teaching
  • practice methods
  • risk
  • person-centred


Dive into the research topics of 'Effective assessment: A key knowledge and skill for a sustainable profession'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this