Continuing Professional Development (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. The 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. Your daily work would not be considered professional development. When an activity you engage in contributestowards 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 for suggestions as to what counts toward CPD. Tasks such as the provision of counselling, case work, etc. are not considered to be 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 on CPD activities.
Evidence can be in the form of a certificate of attendance, signed supervision attendance record, a letter from a supervisor confirming dates and times, journal subscription receipts, documents or a statutory declaration. It is recommended to attach evidence at the time you are recording your CPD. If you are ever selected to participate in an a CPD record audit, you will be required to provide proof of your CPD activities. The AASW recommends that you keep records of evidence of CPD for a minimum of 2 years.
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 Trademark, or you hold an AASW credential.
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.
‘Practice Career’ is your field of practice and/or credential. The AASW lists many Practice Careers for you to select and align to your CPD activity, and not all of them are current AASW credentials. There are various different CPD Topics that sit within a Practice Career that you can also select when searching for CPD events or recording a CPD activity
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 allow the social work member to access My CPD Record.
Mental Health Social Workers follow a humanistic based therapy and use many activities and programs to help clients manage their own recovery.Focussed psychological strategies are specific mental health care management strategies derived from evidence-based psychological therapies that have been shown to integrate the best research evidence of clinical effectiveness with general practice clinical expertise. A range of acceptable strategies has been approved for use by AMHSWs. These can be found at MBS Online.
When recording an activity to appear in your AMHSW goal, select Mental Health from the Practice/Career list and an appropriate Topic. If the activity is also FPS-related, select Focussed Psychological Strategies from the Topics list. You can add more Practice/Career fields by clicking on the symbol.
No, if you aimed to apply for more than one credential but decided you are not yet ready, you can request the CPD Team to delete the goal. Activities will remain saved in your CPD Record and any required goals will not be affected.
Yes, all skills and knowledge activities you add to your CPD Record (e.g., webinars, workshops, courses, self-learning, seminars, etc.) will be recorded in Category 2: Skills & Knowledge. Attending AASW Branch events, networking, mentoring/providing supervision to others, and attending practice groups will continue to be allocated to Category 3: Professional Identity.
No, the minimum of 20 hours linked to your Practice Career must be within Category 2 and Category 3 activities. Your Supervision hours may be aligned to your Practice Career, but this will not count towards your minimum of 20 hours required for the financial year.
You can find certificates upon completion of activities in your AASW portal under ‘My CPD and Events’. You do not need to upload AASW certificates of completion to your CPD Record.