Professional Capabilities Framework

The Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) is an overarching professional standards framework, originally developed by the Social Work Reform Board, and now managed and delivered by BASW. The PCF:

  • Sets out consistent expectations of social workers at every stage in their career
  • Provides a backdrop to both initial social work education and continuing professional development after qualification
  • Informs the design and implementation of the national career structure
  • Gives social workers a framework around which to plan their careers and professional development.

2018 refresh of the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF)

The first look of BASW’s refresh of the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) was shared at a launch event in London in March 2018. The refresh is an ongoing joint effort across key stakeholders and representative organisations in social work in England.

  • A new PCF with the updated Fan, background information and an overview is available to view here.
  • A joint statement between BASW CEO Dr Ruth Allen and the two Chief Social Workers for England, Lyn Romeo and Isabelle Trowler, which describes the relationship between the PCF and KSS and how the same principles and guidance interweave between the two is available here.

A consultation is now open on final draft of proposed changes to the ‘fan’ graphic, domains, level descriptors. Let us know your views on the new PCF here.

Browse through the current capability descriptions of the framework with our interactive tool. Get started by selecting a level from below:

Alternatively you can Search for Capabilities

The PCF applies to all social workers in England (including independent social workers), in all roles and settings. For social workers in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, National Occupational Standards for Social Work still apply.

Whether you are a qualified social worker, a student, academic or employer, you need to know about the PCF - find out more on the following pages:

Additional PCF capability statements

Adoption and Fostering capabilitiesAdoption and Fostering capabilities

Adoption and Fostering capability gridAdoption and Fostering capability grid