Skip to main content

One of the 2.5% being audited? Don’t panic!

“Never tell me the odds” - the famous words of Han Solo in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. The response was to C3PO’s anxiously reporting the statistically low chances of survival in their latest predicament.

Had Han Solo listened he might not have found himself being captured by the villainous Darth Vader and frozen until Carrie Fisher saved him one sequel later.

We may love Solo’s cavalier attitude, however, as social workers we have to confront the odds particularly if we were one of the 2.5% selected by the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) to provide evidence of Continuous Professional Development (CPD).

As someone previously selected for a HCPC audit and as someone who has given advice to fellow ‘2.5 per-centres’, the prospect of being unable to practise unless we prove our CPD can be daunting.

The reality is that most practitioners I know don’t keep a record of their CPD. Training certificates are often lost, stashed in lofts, under beds and in glove compartments.

Furthermore, evidence of how our CPD has improved outcomes for service users is often either not explicitly recorded or buried away in case files and just out of practical reach at the point we really need it.

But don’t panic.

One of the problems I find is that the panic and fear linked to having to produce evidence of CPD can be so stifling it serves to be counter-productive. Of the practitioners I have advised on evidencing CPD, it is nearly always the case that the evidence is out there, somewhere – the challenge is in finding the best way to capture the evidence.

To help in this matter, BASW England and I shall be running a webinar in October when there will be an opportunity for social workers to put any questions on renewals and CPD to a panel that includes the HCPC.

I’d encourage everyone (whether or not you are a 2.5 per-centre) to join in with this webinar as registration renewal remains essential for any social worker in England, who wishes to remain in practice, and all of us are required to be able to evidence continuous learning.