Developed by social workers – the new App to help professional development

A free phone app to help social workers in England plan and evidence their professional development via their tablets and smart phones is now available to download for Apple and Android devices.

The app was created by TCSW and Skills for Care and Development (SfCDUK), with co investment from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, as part of the Mobile Knowledge and Learning Solutions (MKLS) project. There was also substantial input from practising social workers and social work students who helped with user testing the new tool during its development.

The PCF app is designed to aid busy social workers and their managers through offering a fast and convenient way to plan and evidence their professional capabilities: crucial for developing practice skills, and a requirement for practice re-registration.

College Chair Jo Cleary said: “I am delighted to announce the launch of this excellent new digital tool for social workers. Social workers have demanding schedules, and need to focus on the families and individuals who need their support.

“This app is designed to help social workers record their professional capabilities, making the process simpler and easier, so they can concentrate on carrying out their important work. I’d like to thank all the social workers who took time out of their busy schedules to help us at the user testing stage – their input has been invaluable in making this high quality app.”  

A group of social workers, recruited by The College via twitter, took part in user testing to ensure that the new app met their specific needs as practising social workers. We received feedback on how we could improve the structure, layout and text to make the app as user-friendly as possible. All of their suggestions were then implemented by the development team, to create the app we are launching today.

Andrew Errington, who is a professional head of social work at an NHS trust and a member of the app user testing group, said: “Having been involved in the testing stage of the app development, I can confirm that this is a fantastic product. It’s easy to navigate, provides really useful examples against the capability statements, and will be of huge benefit to frontline staff – helping them to translate the PCF into everyday practice. My advice would be to get downloading the PCF app now.”

Focusing on the ‘social worker’ and ‘experienced social worker’ levels of The College’s Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF), the app provides clear and easy access to the descriptors for each capability for these two career levels. It also contains good examples and case studies illustrating the ideal type of evidence required to meet each capability.

There is a dedicated area for social workers to make personal, private notes against areas of the framework, and they will be able to keep an electronic record of their notes via email. Managers will also be able to use the app to support their staff and assess their progression.

To download the Apple version, search ‘PCF’ in the App store.

Download the Android version here.