Partnership, service needs and assessing competence in post qualifying education and training

Brian J Taylor, Judith Mullineux, Geraldine Fleming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
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Education and training must extend beyond initial qualifying courses into post qualifying professional development throughout a social worker’s career if practice is to be most effective in meeting clients’ needs. In the United Kingdom a Framework for Post Qualifying Education and Training was introduced from 1990. Revised Frameworks have been put in place from autumn 2007 in each of the four home countries of the UK. This paper reflects on lessons learned in implementing these post qualifying frameworks in Northern Ireland. Within the overarching theme of relevance to practice, issues are drawn out under three main themes: (1) partnership working between employers and universities including the importance of leadership from policy makers and senior managers; (2) assessing competence including providing an Independent Assessment Route to increase access and to benchmark professional standards; and (3) meeting service needs including specifying learning outcomes to cover a range of practice contexts and accrediting employer-based programmes. Meeting service needs more closely is identified as a key issue driving the new Northern Ireland Post Qualifying Framework introduced in 2007.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-489
JournalSocial Work Education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - May 2010


  • social work education
  • social work training
  • post qualifying
  • partnership
  • continuing professional development
  • CPD
  • lifelong learning
  • employers.


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