Standards and Assessment Update
The AASW Standards and Assessment Team are very busy processing new AASW credential applications including the Accredited Mental Health Social Work, Clinical Social Work, and the Family Violence credential. I am very pleased to advise that we have seen a 58% (206 to 306) growth in the number of AMHSW applications alone comparing January – August 2019 to the same period this year.
AASW credentials hold authority in the professional landscape. They assist successful applicants to stand out in the recruitment processes and enhance employability potential. The Accredited Social Worker and Accredited Mental Health Worker credentials enable the successful applicants to apply to Medicare Australia for a Medicare Provider Number allowing them to provide services to people via the allowable funding streams.
Our Assessment Team are continuing to receive requests from members for flexibility and leniency when processing and assessing their credential applications. Unfortunately, the team are unable make individual allowances for members seeking additional flexibility or a lenient approach to the assessment process. I understand that this may appear as though the AASW or the Assessment Team are being inflexible or lacking compassion; this is not the case. In fact our approach to the assessment of credentials is to ensure the AASW credential remains reputable for the credentialled members, through our rigorous and robust processes and that we do not jeopardise the standards and risk losing the privilege afforded through the AASW to our members to apply for a Medicare Provider Number.
The AASW and its members are the beneficiary of Medicare Australia’s recognition of the AASW’s credentialing process as having met a high level of integrity and standard. In February 2020, I was contacted by Medicare Australia and advised of the updates to Telehealth. At that time, I was also requested by Medicare Australia to ensure the AASW processes for assessing applications remains both “robust and rigorous”. Of course, the AASW does commit to Medicare Australia that our processes will remain both robust and rigorous, we commit this to our members and to the public who access the services of an AASW credentialled social worker.
In addition, we have experienced our share of applications where the applications have plagiarised content, where position descriptions have been falsified, or information exaggerated to meet required criteria. Unfortunately, people seeking to obtain qualifications and credentials fraudulently is a widespread problem and the AASW is not exempt from this. Therefore, we have reviewed our application process and recently announced changes to ensure our processes are in keeping with best practice and industry standards.
It is important that members seeking to apply for a credential take the time to thoroughly review the criteria and assess if they meet the criteria before commencing the application process. We cannot approve members against a criterion if they do not meet it and this often results in an unsuccessful outcome. In addition to meeting the criteria, it is important that members fill in their application correctly and provide all the required documentation to avoid delay and disappointment. The approach we take is to ensure the future of the credential, and the benefits they bring to our members.
We are very proud of the AASW credentials and the potential we must build on these successes. Both I and our team regularly take the opportunity to promote the credentials and the benefits to government and other key stakeholders during our many meetings throughout the year.
I know you will understand that we need to have rigour in our processes to protect the value and the integrity of our credentials for everyone, especially those who use our services.
Chief Executive Officer