Minister welcomes new qualification

Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People. Pic Lisa McPhillips

Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People. Pic Lisa McPhillips

Scotland’s most senior social workers are leading the way to achieving the very highest professional standards by studying for a new postgraduate qualification for Chief Social Work Officers (CSWO).

The first cohort started the CSWO qualification last autumn and today (8 March) Aileen Campbell MSP, minister for Children and Young People welcomed their progress.

She said: “I’m pleased the Scottish Government has been able to provide support for development of this new programme and funds to encourage early take-up.

“It can be challenging to fit learning into a demanding work schedule and undertaking this qualification demonstrates the participants’ commitment to continuous professional learning and to strengthening their leadership role in the sector.

“Social work services provide vital support and services to people in Scotland and the Chief Social Work Officer role is key to maintaining effective social work services and supporting good practice. I know this programme will be of great benefit and I congratulate the Scottish Social Services Council, the universities and the social service sector for getting us to this stage.”

The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) worked with universities to develop the qualification. The second cohort will start studying this spring.

Glasgow Caledonian University, working in partnership with the University of Dundee, is delivering the CSWO postgraduate diploma. SSSC has approved it.

On the qualification, Anna Fowlie, SSSC chief executive, said: “I’m really pleased that already 13 chief social work officers and others aspiring to the role are studying for this qualification.

“It recognises the unique set of skills needed for this pivotal role. High quality care is at the heart of our communities and this qualification is helping to make sure that we have strong leaders and a consistent approach. I’m sure the next cohort will build on the strengths we’ve seen this first time round.”

Developed in close consultation with CSWOs and other key stakeholders, the qualification is tailored to the learning needs of CSWOs and offers candidates: a flexible, work-based, part time programme, encouraging a synthesis of current knowledge and skills with exciting new learning the opportunity to enhance their skills and knowledge a chance to have their existing skills and abilities recognised and accredited.

The qualification is for those currently in the CSWO role or who aspire to the role.

The Standard for Chief Social Work Officers underpins the qualification which will attract 120 credits at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) level 11. Beyond the postgraduate diploma, there is also an option to proceed to a Masters.

The first two cohorts of candidates undertaking the qualification are receiving partial financial support from the Scottish Government with employers expected to meet all other costs.