Enhancing the readiness to practise (enhanceR2P) of newly qualified social workers
About the project
Commencing formally in 2016, enhanceR2P is a collaborative, sector-wide project focused on developing a professional capabilities framework to clarify the capabilities of newly qualified social workers (NQSWs) and social workers at experienced and advanced levels of practice. ehanceR2P involves a collaborative research team of social work academics from Open Polytechnic,The University of Auckland, Massey University, the University of Canterbury, and the University of Otago. The Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB) have endorsed this project and will be represented on the project’s advisory group.
The overall aim of the project is to develop an evidence-informed, industry agreed, professional capabilities framework. It will do so by addressing the following research questions:
- What is the content of the current New Zealand social work curriculum and how does it relate to the core competencies of the Social Workers’ Registration Board (SWRB)?
- How well prepared are NQSWs (social workers in their first year of practice) to enter professional social work, and how is their learning being supported and enhanced in the workplace?
- What are the professional capabilities, including cultural capabilities, we should expect of NQSWs and of social workers working at more experienced, advanced and expert levels of practice?
Design / Methodology
This staged project will adopt a mixed methods approach to project design with three phases spanning three years. Each phase will begin with a scan of the relevant literature.
Phase one (2016) will focus on mapping the curriculum using documentary analysis to analyse the curriculum of the seventeen social work degree programmes recognised by the SWRB. Focus group discussions will be held in a sample of institutions. This phase will answer the question: what is the content of the current social work curriculum in Aotearoa New Zealand and how does it relate to the ten core competencies of the SWRB?
Phase two (2017) will use survey and interview methods to study the readiness to practise of NQSWs as perceived by graduates, managers, and service users. This phase will address the question: how well prepared are NQSWs to enter professional social work practice and how is their learning being supported and enhanced in the workplace?
Phase three (2018) will use the evidence collected during the previous two phases to work with employers, regulators, service users and educators on the co-production of a professional capabilities framework. It will answer the question: what are the professional capabilities, including cultural capabilities, we should expect of NQSWs and of social workers working at beginning, experienced and expert levels of practice?
- inform the design of pre and post-qualifying social work education programmes
- set clear expectations for the capabilities and continuing professional development of social workers
- provide a common reference point for the development of a consistent national career structure.
Neil Ballantyne (project co-leader), Senior Lecturer in Social Work, Open Polytechnic
Dr. Liz Beddoe (project co-leader), Associate Professor of Social Work, University of Auckland
Dr. Kathryn Hay, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, Massey University.
Dr. Jane Maidment, Associate Professor of Social Work, University of Canterbury.
Shayne Walker, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, University of Otago
Liz Ngan (Research Assistant), Open Polytechnic
Ako Aotearoa: $160,000 (excl. GST)
Project partners: $164,474 (excl. GST)
Project commenced: Start 2016
Expected project completion: End 2018
To follow the work of the project as it progresses we recommend subscribing to the project blog: EnhanceR2P.
A literature scan on curriculum mapping methods, has been published and is available here
The report from this project is published under the Creative Commons 3.0 New Zealand Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike Licence (BY-NC-SA). Under this licence you are free to copy, distribute, display and perform the work as well as to remix, tweak, and build upon this work noncommercially, as long as you credit the author/s and license your new creations under the identical terms.