Frequently Asked Questions
The page responds to the questions which members most frequently ask about CPD. Please check back as the page shall be updated over time. You will also find most of the information you are looking for here.
CPD is how social workers maintain, improve and broaden their skills, knowledge and expertise, and develop the qualities required for professional practice. CPD is an ongoing process throughout a career informed by the changing practice environment, professional domains, new information and community. Regardless of what stage of your career you are in, CPD is something that all qualified social workers should engage in. CPD Policy outlines what types of activities social workers should engage in.
Professional development is an ongoing learning process throughout a career. Some aspects of a social work role may count towards professional development. However typically your day to day work would not be considered professional development. When an activity you engage in contributes towards your learning as a social worker or contributes to the learning of other social workers this can be recorded as CPD. For example: reading publications on a particular subject area (relevant to social work) in preparation for a work task; supervision you receive or provide; networking; case discussion meetings; presenting the social work perspective at meetings and much more. Please review the CPD policy document for suggestions as to what counts towards CPD. Tasks such as the provision of counselling; case work etc are not considered as CPD.
Any activity that contributes towards a social worker's learning can be considered as professional development. Please review the CPD policy document for suggestions as to what counts towards CPD.
Evidence can be in the form of: a certificate of attendance; signed supervision attendance record; a letter from supervisor confirming dates and times; journal subscription receipts documents or a statutory declaration. It is not mandatory to attach evidence at the time you are recording your CPD. If you are ever selected to participate in an audit, you can edit and update your activities to include evidence at that time. The AASW would recommend that you keep records of evidence of CPD for a minimum of 2 years.
No, you can include your supervision sessions as a block entry over a financial year period, or a shorter period of time. For example: if you received supervision on a fortnightly basis - you could create the activity "Receiving Supervision", list the date as the end of the financial year, calculate how many hours of supervision you received and in comments write supervision received on a fortnightly basis with Supervisor name. If supervision was on an adhoc basis, you could include the specific dates supervision occurred in the comments.
Activities are saved in the goal allocated to you for a particular time period. The goals you are allocated are financial year based. So if you attended an activity on the 20/9/2020 this activity would be visible under Past Goals, for the 2020/2021 period. If you have checked your Current and Past Goals and you are still unable to locate it, it may be due to the way the date was entered. Try selecting the date from the calendar rather than typing it in. If you prefer to type, the date needs to be in 00/00/0000 format, if you type 22 instead of 2022 it will save the date as 0022 and therefore not be visible under a goal.
I am an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker (AMHSW) - what activities can meet the Mental Health and or Focused Psychological Strategies requirements?
When recording CPD, there is a field in which AMHSW can select to 'select the discipline' this is where an AMHSW can identify that an activity is relevant to Mental Health or Focused Psychological Strategies. This option is available to any activity, as long as the activity has included content relevant to either of these areas. For example if you discussed how to use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in supervision, you can create an activity "Receiving Supervision" and select the discipline as Focused Psychological Strategies. The activities listed as being relevant do not have to just include training/workshops. Another common way that AMHSWs meet the Mental Health or Focused Psychological Strategy requirements is through reading publications.
All AASW members are encouraged to participate in professional development annually. CPD is not a requirement of membership unless you are registered for the Accredited Social Worker Trade Mark or you are an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker. If you are registered for the Accredited Social Worker Trade Mark, you need to meet the Accredited goal level per financial year. If you are an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker you need to meet the AMHSW CPD goal level per financial year.
Yes, CPD requirements are the same for part time workers as they are for full time workers. It is the view of the AASW that it is equally important for part time social workers to remain up to date with the latest theories and practice, as it is for full time social workers.
There are three steps to becoming an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker (AMHSW). First, you need to be a member of the AASW. Once membership has been authenticated, you then need to demonstrate meeting the Accredited Mental Health Social Worker CPD requirements for either the current or previous financial year. To meet the requirements, you need to record the professional development you have engaged in for that time period (last or current financial year) using My CPD Record, which is an online recording system accessible to AASW members. The system will state once the Accredited Mental Health Social Worker Goal has been met. Once you have done this, you then need to complete and submit the relevant documentation (including application form, resume, and referee statement) Please click here further information about the application process. You can now add the applying for Accredited Mental Health Social Worker status goal for yourself - if it not already visible. You need to select the learn more option next to the Goals you can allocate for yourself on your Goals page.
I am a student member currently completing my social work degree (Bachelor or Masters Qualifying), why can't I access 'My CPD Record'?
Student members currently completing their social work studies, are not able to access My CPD Record. The AASW considers continuing professional development to 'commence' once an individual has completed their social work studies. If a student member has finished their studies and is wanting to access My CPD Record, the student must supply the AASW with evidence of completing the social work degree (Bachelor or Masters Qualifying). This will allow the AASW to update the individual's membership to a qualified social worker level, which will in turn allow the social work member to access 'My CPD Record'.