Guidance

NAAS practice endorsement process

How employers can decide whether a social worker is ready to take the assessment.

When to practice endorse

Practice endorsement is a process for deciding whether a social worker is ready to take the assessment.

There are no minimum requirements to an endorsement process other than familiarity with the knowledge and skills statements (KSS).

Routes to practice endorsement

There are 2 routes to practice endorsement.

Local authority route

The NAAS lead within the local authority will decide with the social worker whether they’re ready to take the assessment.

The NAAS toolkit contains case studies on how different local authorities have approached practice endorsement.

Individual route

Social workers can be practice endorsed individually.

This individual route is part of a pilot phase and we’ll contact social workers individually with further details.

Set up a practice endorsement approach

The sections below explain how employers can set up a process if they do not already have one.

You may not have to set up a new practice endorsement process if:

  • the KSS are already embedded in your organisation
  • social workers are already familiar with the KSS

Use iterative processes

You may want to use an iterative process rather than set up a full process at the start. Iterative processes can help you to:

  • test what works for your local area
  • avoid committing unnecessary time and resources
  • get rapid feedback
  • make new adjustments as you go along

You can then finalise the process and decide what’s suitable for your area’s needs.

Involve social workers

Iterative processes work better if you can get feedback from social worker so try to find out what’s worked and what could be improved.

Further information on ways to involve social workers is available in the NAAS communications materials guidance.

Assess what resources you have

You may be able to use existing resources to help you with:

  • the practice endorsement process
  • improving familiarity with the KSS

You can use grant money to help fund training and develop resources.

Set timelines

You may want to set and communicate timelines for when social workers should consider taking the assessment so you can:

  • consider the impact practice endorsement may have on social workers and their practice
  • help you plan professional development for social workers

Consider offering training

You may need to offer extra training to social workers if you identify gaps in:

  • general knowledge
  • understanding the KSS

You may only become aware of training needs after social workers begin the assessment process so it’s important to review your approach regularly.

You may want to:

  • offer refresher training in specific areas
  • use specific resources, such as your legal team, to offer training in targeted areas

Review your approach

You may want to develop a flexible approach to practice endorsement and invite feedback from social workers. This will help you to:

  • test what works for your local area
  • only commit time and resources where it’s necessary
  • tailor your approach to social workers’ needs

Gather feedback from social workers and their managers to find out what has worked and what could be improved.

Involve the senior management team

Try to involve your senior management team as early as possible so you can:

  • secure resources for training and development
  • ensure NAAS fits to your local authority
  • demonstrate commitment from senior managers

Contact

Please contact us if you have any questions about practice endorsement.

NAAS - national assessment and accreditation system

Published 19 June 2019