Excellent social work with older people - Capabilities Statement and Continuing Professional Development Pathway

Social work with older people

Development of Capabilities Statement and Professional Development Pathway for Social Workers in England working with older people.
The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) is leading the development of a Capabilities Statement and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Pathway for social workers, who work with older people.

The Statement and Pathway are commissioned by the Chief Social Worker for Adults. They will be co-produced with stakeholders, including social workers and older people, those who support them as informal carers and family members, and relevant organisations.

The final products will be owned by the social work profession, through BASW, endorsed by the Department of Health and implemented by the sector. They will provide a national practice excellence framework for social work with older people that builds upon the Knowledge and Skills Statement for Social Workers in Adult Services and the Professional Capabilities Framework.

Social work with older people is one of the most important areas of social care. In 2014-15 people over 65 years of age were responsible for 72% of requests for adult social care. The numbers and needs of older people and older carers are increasing. Social work with older people is a growing priority as the population ages. Despite this, practice standards for excellence in social work in this area have not yet been developed and implemented.

The Capabilities and Pathway will increase recognition of what social work can offer and strengthen social work capabilities and confidence in this field.


Following extensive consultation from February to April 2017, we have completed the Capabilities Statement. Thank you to all who contributed; this consultation is now closed.

We are currently consulting on a draft CPD pathway, developed using ideas from the consultation about the statement and from three events with social workers in June to July 2017. You can comment on the draft CPD pathway here. Please give your views by 5pm on the 8 September.

We aim to launch the statement and pathway during the National Children and Adult Services Conference 11-13 October 2013.


  1. Information for forums about the project
  2. Outline for forum discussions
  3. Draft Capabilities Statement
  4. Terms of Reference for the External Reference Group
  5. Minutes of the External Reference Group December 2016
  6. Minutes of the External Reference Group March 2017
  7. Presentation for consultation on the project
  8. Minutes of the External Steering Group April 2017
  9. Future directions for investment: Social work with older people

If you are able to help, or wish to know more please email: Zan Hoang, the project administrator zan.hoang@basw.co.uk
Joe Godden (BASW England Professional Officer)