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Excellence in Social Work Leadership

Professional Leadership Development Programme for Social Work Leaders and Managers in Challenging Times

Public service organisations need social work leaders who are confident, inclusive and effective decision makers – and who can work in often uncharted and complex settings with creativity and resilience. Social work leaders need time to reflect, renew and learn. Originally developed with SCIE, the Excellence in Social Work Leadership (ESWL) programme is a highly regarded professional leadership course which has been commissioned by many organisations nationally over past 10 years. ESWL provides tailored support to each participant to develop and sustain and develop their capabilities.

This programme enables social work leaders and managers to connect their professional values to their impact as leaders. ESWL relates management and professional development to the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) and to the relevant Knowledge and Skills Statements (KSS) in a rigorous and applied way.

The programme is delivered over six days in 3 x 2-day modules (non-residential) at intervals of four to six weeks. Between modules, participants are asked to apply the principles and knowledge they are gaining in their local context and bring their experience into discussion. Inter-module projects are set which help embed the course in local leadership challenges.

It is delivered in 3 x 2-day modules (non-residential);

  • 25 & 26 March 2019 
  • 7 & 8 May 2019
  • 3 & 4 June 2019 

The sessions will run from 9.30 am to 5.00 pm on each day. 


By the end of this course participants will have:

  • Received, discussed and acted on feedback on their leadership style and impact on others
  • Explored their core motivations, values and ethics and how these affect their leadership and social work approach
  • Worked on developing their effectiveness at personal, team/organisational and wider system/community levels
  • Explored resolutions to real challenges through action learning with their peers and facilitators
  • Progressed their core social work skills in leadership or management contexts, in terms of using professional authority; holding self and others to account; decision making; inspiring and holding hope; analysis and use of evidence; influencing and change-making; continuous learning for self and others; personal confidence, selfawareness and strength; application of professional ethics; commitment to social justice and rights; co-production; developing systems-level skills/awareness
  • Heard from diverse senior leaders


  • Dr Ruth Allen, CEO BASW
  • Claire Barcham, Senior social work manager, facilitator and consultant
  • Dr Karen Linde, Developer, Academic and Researcher

Download the full information sheet for the "Excellence in Social Work Leadership" Course