Continuing Professional Development

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is about maintaining and enhancing your knowledge and expertise throughout your career.

CPD is about staying current, engaging in life-long learning that enhances your professional development, challenging preconceptions, and achieving good outcomes for the people you work with.

CPD follows a plan that addresses your training and education needs, as identified by yourself, your employer, and/or your supervisor. The goal for your CPD is to ensure you plan to meet the SWRB’s ten core competence standards.

Changes to CPD logs

  • The CPD log, which is the evidence of your learning and development activities, now needs to be updated every year, and is aligned with your Practising Certificate period, which runs from July to June.
  • The SWRB will be auditing a percentage of CPD logs on an annual basis, and it is essential you keep yours up to date and ready to be audited.
  • We may request to see your supervision contract because supervision is closely linked to CPD and maintaining competence.

The CPD log is expected to show that you have:

  • A plan of CPD activities connected to the ten core competencies, and undertaken at least 2 core competencies each year
  • Completed a minimum of 20 hours
  • Critically reflected on your CPD learning and the relevance of the learning for your practice
  • Utilised at least two types of CPD, at least one of which should involve engagement with others
  • A sign-off from your supervisor.

Change for CPD logs from July 2019 to June 2020

We are introducing a new requirement for next year’s logs, from July 2019.

Your CPD log will need to show evidence that one component of your CPD related to competence to work with Māori. This might include education and training that is specifically focused on competence to work with Māori, or addresses work with Māori in its content.

The requirements for the CPD logs will be refined once the SWRB competence framework is re-developed.

Examples of CPD

Training, education and professional development opportunities that may address the SWRB ten core competence standards include:

  • Post graduate study
  • Conferences
  • Workshops
  • Courses
  • Seminars
  • Webinars
  • Research
  • Structured visits to explore social work issues in another field, region or country
  • Acting-up or taking on another role for a short period
  • Scoping & developing a new programme of work or initiative
  • Undertaking a service evaluation/audit
  • Supervising student placements
  • Engaging in journal clubs
  • Planning & presenting a lecture / course / seminar / webinar / workshop
  • Writing articles or books
  • Reviewing books or articles
  • Reading articles
  • Listening to video or audio resources for example Ted talks or podcasts.
  • Recording your practice (seek permission from your clients and agency first) and getting feedback
  • Simulating social work practice
  • Working Groups for example developing position statements; policy development, best practice guidelines or research.
  • Discussions about practise development or approaches to social work with social work colleagues.

The following are not CPD activities:

  • Supervision received or delivered.   
  • Training or education that does not address the SWRB ten core competence standards.

How do I log my CPD?

You can log your CPD using the SWRB Continuing Professional Development Log template:

CPD log

Continuing Professional Development Log example

If you are a member of the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers you can also use the online CPD Log. Use either of these logs.

 “Skills and knowledge identified …”  use this column and include a brief description of your professional development goals. Meet with your supervisor or manager and plan your CPD goals for the year. Other CPD opportunities will arise during the year and these can also be included.

The third column of the log asks you to critically reflect on your learning and development and relate this to the SWRB competence standards. We use critical reflection to engage with new knowledge and skills so learning is always linked to action, and theory to practice. We have included some questions below that could guide your reflection.

Questions to guide critical reflection

What have I learned from the experience?    
What do I remember as being important?
What could have been improved?                              
What feedback did I get?
Will this benefit the people I work with?                         
How can I use what I have learned in my practice?
Has my attitude, perception or awareness changed?    
Has my knowledge been updated and/or refreshed?
How have I enhanced my knowledge base?                   
What new skills have I developed?
What do I need to do next?                                               
Has my thinking changed?

How has this professional development changed the way I practice?
Have I applied new knowledge/skills and continued to use these in my work?

Refer briefly to the SWRB 10 core competence standards to identify which competence standards are relevant to the CPD you have undertaken.

The CPD log audit

Each year, the SWRB will be writing to 5% of all registered social workers asking to see their CPD log. The log must include the previous year’s record (1st July- 30th June) of CPD with reflections.

The logs will be sent to a panel of registered social workers who will look through each log checking that CPD has been undertaken, is relevant to the competences, and includes critical reflection.

A satisfactory log will include:

  • A plan of CPD activities
  • Completed a minimum of 20 hours CPD each year
  • Critically reflected on your CPD learning and the relevance of the learning for your practice
  • Utilised at least two types of CPD, at least one of which should involve engagement with others
  • A sign-off from your supervisor

The CPD audit is one of a portfolio of activities including professional supervision, qualification, and practice experience that support competence. The CPD log on its own is not a means of competence assessment, it is one of a number of measures of competence. If a social worker fails to provide a satisfactory CPD log, this may indicate a concern about competence or possibly conduct.

CPD logs and advice for supervisors

The SWRB recognises the important role of professional social work supervisors in upholding the competence standards of their supervisees. Each year we expect that supervisors will:
·         assist their supervisees to set goals for CPD
·         sign off and review the completed log at the end of the year
·         work within a contract negotiated with the supervisee

The SWRB ten core competence standards are the foundation of social work practice in New Zealand. In order to assist in maintaining competence, the supervisor and social worker will need to consider how all the competence standards can be maintained.