BASW shock at in absentia ‘assessment process’

The British Association of Social Workers have expressed surprise after receiving a letter from the Nation Audit Office making reference to an ‘assessment exercise’ designed to determine the organisation best placed to oversee the development of a College of Social Work.

In response to a letter from BASW outlining grave concerns about the processes surrounding the establishment of the College, comptroller and auditor general, Amyas Morse wrote:

‘ The Department of Health and the Department for Education carried out an exercise to assess who was best placed to oversee the development of the College. Seven options were considered (your organisation) BASW, the Children’s Workforce Development Council, the General Social Care Council, the Social Care Institute for Excellence, DH in house and DE in house. The options were assessed against 5 criteria: sector knowledge, adult and children’s services remit,capacity, relevant experience and independence/objectivity. ‘

Outlining his ‘ substantial misgivings’ about the claim, BASW chief exectutive Hilton Dawson wrote to the chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Margaret Hodge, stating:

‘Two years after the event this paragraph is a complete revelation to me:

BASW were never told about this exercise.

BASW were never invited to apply to oversee the development of the College

BASW were never asked to supply any information in relation to this exercise

BASW had no idea that this exercise was taking place.

BASW were simply told at a meeting I attended on December 18th 2010 that the contract had been awarded to the Social Care Institute for Excellence.

There is absolutely no way that officials could have reached an accurate view about the sector knowledge, adult and children’s services remit, capacity, relevant experience and independence/objectivity of BASW without some in depth discussions and evidence gathering. We would have been delighted to take part in such an exercise and would have given our active participation the highest priority and commitment.’

Letter to Margaret Hodge

NAO Letter

College archive