Here you'll find the answers to our most frequently asked questions.

  • Students

    How do I find out about what CPD opportunities are available to me?

    Contact your Learning and Development Officer to find out more about the courses available to you.

    Can I pay for my own CPD courses?

    Yes you can. Please contact the course provider relevant to the course you wish to undertake to find out further information.

    Am I entitled to study leave?

    Study leave is discretionary and you would need to talk to your Learning and Development Officer to find out more.

  • Practitioners

    I do not work in the Pan Dorset region; can I still book a course?

    Normally you can, it may depend on the course you wish to attend. Please contact the course provider relevant to the course you wish to undertake.

    I am an independent Social Worker, can I still book a course?

    Normally you can, it may depend on the course you wish to attend. Please contact the course provider relevant to the course you wish to undertake.

  • ASYEs

    One Local Authority looks for NQSWs another one for ASYEs and yet another for Level 1 worker. What does it mean? Is it all the same difference?

    Yes it is! NQSW stands for Newly Qualified Social Worker and as such you have to undertake an ASYE- Assessed and Supported Year in Employment, which makes you a Level 1 Social Worker. The ASYE is a national programme but is employer led.

    Shall I just apply to call for a chat before?

    Call! Don’t hesitate to ask questions before you fill out an application form. You will be able to ask questions, clarify things on the phone before you apply. Think about some questions before you contact the Local Authority- clever questions stick in the mind and you could well be remembered if you get invited to an interview.

    I'm never sure what to put in an application form, if I waffle too much or if it's too short or if its relevant.

    Have a good look at the Job description and make sure to evidence all essentials and possibly the desirables. If you don't evidence that you are able to meet the essential requirements for the post, you will not be shortlisted. Use practice examples from your placements, your previous jobs or your general life experience! For example a Student job in a bar will probably offer you opportunities to develop you customer care skills or even your de-escalation skills. Having cared for others will give you insight into development over the lifespan and so on.

    If I'm offered an interview, what can I expect?

    The Local Authorities all have a differing approach to interview processes. Some do an Assessment centre where you are invited in for the day to undertake a written exercise, undertake group work, get interviewed by a Service User Panel and then managers. Other just have a manager panel. Best is to ask before you apply, so you won't be surprised and you can prepare!

    How much will I earn? It's confusing to see a scale in the job adverts.

    All NQSWs/ASYEs start off at the basic pay scale which slightly varies with Local Authorities in the South West. Over time you can earn money by evidencing experience and expertise in negotiation with your employer.

    I don’t know which job to apply for, which area of Children's or Adult's Social work to go for. Can I apply for more than one position in one Local Authority?

    Yes you can! A lot of the local employers are trying to offer panels with managers from different teams that have vacancies. So you can effectively get 3 interviews done in one if you are not sure where to go. The interview process is a 2 way street- always remember that you are interviewing the employer as much as they interview you. Use the interview to find out more to help you to make a decision. It's also quite normal for Social Workers to move from one specialist team to another through their career, so no need to make a lifelong commitment to one role. Some Local Authorities are offering ASYE positions in peripatetic teams where you will be able to get to know a number of teams and their duties. This offers plenty of opportunities to develop skills, get to know your Service User group and your Local Authority to then make a decision later down the line which team you want to join for the future. Most employers will offer you the opportunity to shadow other teams and possibly to move around in a team.

    I am not sure what support I will get in my ASYE and how I can best develop my practice.

    You will have a work based mentor as well as a supervisor/ manager to offer you support through supervision. This will be reflective as well as case managerial supervision to provide you with space for critical analysis as well as direction for your work. The Local Authorities also offer group mentoring so you can get support from your peers and learn together.

    I have heard that the ASYE portfolio is just as much work as University, is that true?

    All Social Workers have to keep up to date with their CPD (Continued Professional Development) and evidence this. You will need to develop a portfolio with evidence of your learning and reflect on your practice. This is supported through study days that you will need to plan carefully just as you had to plan your assignments at Uni. You will get support with your portfolio and you will have plenty of learning opportunities to reflect on.

  • Practice Educators

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