Standard 8 - Strategic partnerships

This standard is about creating strong partnerships and good collaboration between employers, higher education institutions and other training providers.

Someone giving a helping hand to another

Strong partnership working will continue to support the training of high-quality social workers, resulting in improved services for children, young people, adults, families and local communities.


Developing strategic leadership and existing staff

All employers should:

  1. engage with local, regional and national social work partners, including regional alliances, safeguarding partners, Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission and national social work bodies, to encourage and implement continuous improvement across the organisation
  2. ensure that strategic lead social workers/principal social workers who are appointed, understand and manage the organisational responsibility for this standard
  3. implement formal partnership arrangements with social work education providers that promote and enable effective joint planning (in particular for the provision of placements in a statutory social work setting), shared communication and activities to further the delivery of social work education and CPD
  4. engage in networks to promote and share best practice and develop opportunities for joint research and evaluation, and which enables social workers to participate in research-based activity, grounded in the principles of the UK Policy Framework for Health and Social Care Research
  5. have a clear policy for recruiting, training and supporting practice educators and practice supervisors
  6. support staff to access qualifying social work programmes
  7. provide support to newly qualified social workers, ensuring their assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE) programme is subject to robust quality assurance processes.

Developing future social workers

All employers should:

1. provide high quality placements and support for social work students on those placements

2. contribute to the recruitment and retention of social work students

3. work collaboratively with partner organisations to develop the skills and knowledge required to deliver high quality social work education


Useful resources

UK Policy Framework for Health and Social Care Research

Skills for Care quality assurance practice examples