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National Assessment and Accreditation System (NAAS) Comment

National Assessment and Accreditation System (NAAS)

Rachael Wardell, Chair of the Association’s Workforce Development Policy Committee, said:

“Social work is at the heart of systems that support children and families, and social workers are central to this work so it’s absolutely vital that we get the social work reform agenda right. The Association’s position on the national assessment and accreditation system (NAAS) remains unchanged from that expressed in our consultation response in March. If implemented assessment and accreditation for the approved child and family practitioner and practice supervisor statuses should be mandatory, rolled out at pace and fully funded by government as a new burden. Failure to mandate poses a number of risks to an already fragile workforce, such as dividing the workforce into two tiers - social workers who are accredited and those who aren’t. We also continue to question whether the NAAS, at a cost of £23m, is good value for money when it could be better spent on early help and frontline services. There have been some developments in the period since the consultation closed, namely a significantly reduced roll out process, from over 30 local authorities down to 6. We understand that the Department intends to review the process after the first phase, which we welcome, given the serious concerns raised by the proof of concept phase, not least about equality and diversity. If implemented, it’s crucial that assessment and accreditation does not unintentionally disadvantage one social worker over another. ADCS continues to raise our concerns about the NAAS with the Department for Education.”

ENDS



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