Professional Development Committee Report on Review of Nova Scotia Association of Social Workers Professional Development Reporting Forms for 2007 Review Date: August 16, 2008 Background: Members of the Professional Development Committee are pleased to report that the Committee undertook a process for the review of professional development reporting on the part of NSASW membership in 2007. A need was identified at the Committee level for the development of a review process that would allow for an audit and reporting process to the Association. In 2006 a review process was undertaken to begin to develop protocols for the audit of the professional development reporting. In early 2007 the Committee also completed a national review of audit process utilized in other Canadian provinces. A date was set for a one day session to complete the audit process of a small randomized sample of reporting forms. Goals of the Audit: • To test a randomized sampling process of professional development reporting forms • To test the evaluation form developed for the 2006 audit and revised for the 2007 audit • To conduct an audit process as a committee of volunteers • To gain awareness of the overall engagement registered social workers have in professional development • To gain a better understanding of the types of professional development activities members are engaging in • To identify any trends, points of interest or concerns through the audit process • To make recommendations for the 2008 reporting form audit process Executive Summary: Outlined below is the process by which the sample selection was conducted as well as the practice areas included among the sample. Next, the methodology that the committee used for the review process is outlined. Following is a description of the process and results of the audit. The Committee determined that the quality of professional development activities in the sample was high and that almost all met the minimum professional development requirements outlined by the Association. Information on sample: The Committee determined that an audit of all reporting forms would be outside the scope of the Committee. The Committee agreed that a small randomized sample of professional development reporting forms would allow the committee to test the audit process. A random sample of 50 of the 1578 Registered Social Workers and Social Worker Candidates was identified and their professional development reporting forms were extracted from their files. In 4 cases, the forms were not available, meaning that the random sample size was 46. Of the 46, 4 were Social Worker Candidates during the reporting period (calendar year 2007) and 4 were Private Practitioners. In an effort to have a better representation of Social Worker Candidates and Private Practitioners, 3 additional Social Worker Candidate files and 4 additional Private Practitioner files were pulled and added to the random sample. The total sample size was 53, which included 7 Social Worker candidates and 8 Private Practitioners. In terms of educational background: Grandparented RSW 4 BSW 26 MSW 23 In terms of geographic location: HRM 28 Outside HRM 25 Area of Practice as identified by respondent (not all respondents identified an area of practice) Area of Practice Grandparented BSW MSW Child welfare 2 11 Addictions 11 4 Management 1 1 2 Advocacy-human rights 1 Primary/public health 1 Medical social work 1 Direct practice 1 Counseling and therapy 4 Mental health 2 Social work education 1 School social work 1 Methodology: The Process entailed the following: 1) A computer generated randomized number was used to select the forms. The forms were pulled from the file cabinets by the Executive Director and the Executive Assistant. 2) Each form was assigned a number and identifying information was removed from each form to maintain privacy and improve inter-rater reliability. This meant that reviewers did not know the names of any participants. 3) A recorder was selected to capture any group discussion and notes from the data collection process. 4) Each committee member presented one form to test the review form and process. This form was discussed by all present. 5) After each committee member offered one form, the committee reviewed the special sample of candidates and private practitioners. 6) The committee formed pairs and divided the remaining forms for review. 7) After pairs worked through remaining forms, exceptional submissions were discussed with the entire committee present. Completion of a minimum of 40 hours of professional development: There was only one respondent who did not report the minimum 40 hours. This individual was a grandparented RSW who is on Long Term Disability Leave and managed to complete 36 hours. Three respondents who reported completing a minimum of 40 hours were assessed by the reviewers to have completed fewer than the required hours, as seen in the table below: Reported a minimum of 40 hours; assessed by reviewers to have completed fewer than 40: Reported and assessed hours RSW MSW reported 43 hours; assessed at 38 hours x reported 40 hours; assessed at 36 hours x reported 40 hours; assessed at 28 hours x In the entire sample, there were only 6 respondents who reported 40 hours or less, including the three above. Although not required to report more then 40 hours of professional development activity several respondents did do this. The highest number of hours reported by a respondent was 420 (BSW), and the highest number assessed by the reviewers was 133 (BSW). Types of Learning Opportunities Reported: Each cell represents the number of respondents who reported the identified learning opportunity Learning opportunity Grandparented BSW MSW formal courses 1 11 10 conferences/ 2 12 16 workshops short sessions 1 13 10 workplace training 3 22 12 reading 1 9 8 candidacy 1 supervision Association activities 3 2 student supervision 1 3 Other 2 6 computer presentation at conference, training, presented workshop, volunteer prepared for teaching, peer training discussion, training others, journal Reflections of the Committee on the results of the audit process: • Most members take their professional development seriously and make every effort to complete the required 40 hours. • While many members submit clear, legible reports that provide sufficient detail to assess the professional development activities, the reporting forms could be revised to make it even more clear the kind of information that is required. For instance, several people reported “journaling” and reading novels about social issues. • Related to this, we need to find efficient ways to record individual professional development yearly, and to process these submissions, for instance, Survey Monkey might be one way to approach this • Many social workers manage to complete all of their requirements through taking advantage of workplace learning opportunities. Employers who provide such opportunities should be recognized. • Courses need to be in line with social work values and related to the field of social work. Some people reported training in methods that are not considered best practice. How should this be handled in the future? • Social Worker Candidate supervisors are presently able to count their supervisory time for up to 2 hours. Candidates are not able to count the time spent in supervision. Should this be revisited? • A different approach to professional development is to ask members to identify learning goals each year and then to structure their professional development around achieving these goals. Should we be exploring this further? • The Committee encourages people to engage in a variety of learning activities. Should we set maximum hours for any one type of learning activity? • We need to recognize the increased use of technology in general, and encourage people to engage in on-line and other electronic means of learning. • Every year, there are questions from social workers who are on maternity or some other kind of leave about the requirement for professional development during the time they are on leave. We need to consider a return to work process to build the professional development of members on extended leave. Some things the Committee should consider for its own operations: (a) Inspire a learning community through professional development activities among the community of Social Workers (b) Share expectations for ongoing professional development at the Schools of Social Work and her venues where members are meeting (c) We need reps from a variety of Social Work workplaces to review the submissions to understand job specific training implications. General topics covered in learning opportunities: Granparented RSW BSW • poverty . non violent crisis intervention • work-related issues . self-esteem/boundaries • PRIDE - foster care . financial training • brain tumor . therapy intervention • conflict resolution . child welfare core training • women’s issues . rural social work practice • group leadership . adoption . persons with disabilities . public administration . mental health and addictions . human rights . cultural training . cancer . French language . research methods . motivational interviewing . administration/management . inner child . anxiety . parenting . Tourette’s syndrome . treatment programs . child sexual abuse . counselling MSW . . child protection – mediation . schizophrenia . human rights . racism/anti-racism . solution-focused therapy . mental health . ethical issues . general therapy . sex trade . addiction/recovery . gerontology/seniors issues . basic life skills . high risk families . anxiety - children and adolescents . child sexual abuse . alcohol treatment psychiatric disorders . community partnerships . legal issues (rights of child, family care . cancer care . bereavement . ignition interlock training Closing comments: The Professional Development Committee plans to audit a randomized sample of professional development reporting forms submitted for the 2008 registration year for audit during the summer of 2009. The committee has been working to recruit new committee members to increase the capacity to review a larger number for reporting forms. The audit tool will be revised based on discussions from the 2007 reporting year audit and results will act as a comparative sample. The Committee looks forward to presenting the result of the audit in 2010. Respectfully Submitted March 31, 2009 Stacy McRae, BSW, RSW, Co-Chair Professional Development Committee.
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