The Government have worked with higher education institutions, the Social Work Reform Board and the College of Social Work to introduce more rigorous entry requirements to social work degrees from September 2012. These include minimum qualification thresholds in English, mathematics and IT. Candidates must also demonstrate minimum levels of competence in spoken and written English, and to perform well in an individual interview. In addition, the practical elements of the degree have been strengthened to emphasise developing professional skills such as report writing and case preparation.
Alongside this a new set of professional standards defines appropriate and relevant requirements for qualifying as a social worker. From September 2013 social work training curricula will align with these standards.
The Government have also introduced the step up to social work scheme-a new type of postgraduate training route led by employers. This scheme, aimed at high quality career-changers leads to an MA in 18 months. The second step up cohort started early this year.