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Children's social services 
Career Progression and Development

With the development of the Centre for Professional Practice, we have now published our learning and development plan. We want to offer our Children’s Services workforce the best opportunities to progress and lead practice. We want you to be a part of our journey to ‘Good’.

We recognise that learning takes places in a range of different ways, not just through traditional training activities and we offer a wider range of learning and development opportunities for workers at different levels.

Career Progression Offer







ASYE Programme




Dudley Children’s Services offers a robust ASYE Programme to support newly qualified Social Workers to develop their professional capability and confidence. We have reviewed our programme to include the key changes to the ASYE Framework. There is a focus upon quality, not quantity. There are also clearly defined standards in relation to professional development and support within the organisation. The newly qualified Social Worker's voice is central to the programme, and there are a range of opportunities for newly qualified Social Workers to provide feedback about their experiences.

Each newly qualified Social Worker will receive targeted support from their ASYE Assessor from the Centre for Professional Practice. The ASYE Assessor will support the newly qualified Social Worker to develop their Professional Development Plan, and review progress at planned points through the year.

The Programme includes:-

- A robust induction with shadowing experiences, learning through the ASYE Masterclass Programme, and guidance relating to wellbeing services, and equality, diversity, and inclusion.

-  Planned review points through the year at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months.

- A comprehensive learning and development programme, aligned with the Social Work Post Qualifying Standards.

- Clear arrangements in relation to supervision, workload allocation, and protected development time. 

Please take the time to read through our ASYE Handbook.

Step Up to Social Work

Step Up to Social Work is one of Dudley’s pre-qualifying programmes. It is a full time Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work training programme that allows you to become a Social Worker in just 14 months! The programme is fully funded by the DfE, and candidates receive a tax free bursary. There is a mixture of University teaching, a 70 day placement in an Adult Social Care Team, a 100 day placement in a Children’s Social Work Team, and the submission of a Portfolio. At the end of the programme, students who have passed and qualified will have the opportunity to attend an informal interview for a Social Worker role and begin their journey on Dudley’s Assessed and Supported Year of Employment (ASYE) Programme!


Practice Education: Stage 1 + 2













Practice Educators are key to improving standards in Social Work practice. They teach, supervise, and assess Social Work students and newly qualified practitioners, developing their knowledge and skills, and growing and nurturing the future generation of Social Workers. In Dudley, we recognise Practice Educators have the skills to really develop practice and help build a culture of continued learning and development within the organisation – this is reflected in our career progression pathway for Social Workers.


What is Practice Education?

Practice Education is designed for experienced Social Workers who have a desire to facilitate the learning and development of Social Work students and newly qualified Social Workers. At the Centre for Professional Practice, we work closely with the University of Birmingham to support the growth of Practice Education across Dudley, offering Social Workers a fully funded opportunity to gain their Practice Educator qualification.


The Practice Educator Stage 1 is an academically accredited online module, offered at Postgraduate level. The module requires 200 hours of study, comprising self-guided learning activities, live seminars, group tutorials, and oversight of a Social Work student / newly qualified Social Worker in practice. An assignment and portfolio completes the module. Practice Educator Stage 1 trainees are able to teach, supervise, and assess Social Work students in their initial and final year placements -  they do not have the authority to recommend final year Social Work students are ‘fit to practise’ at the point of qualification, and will hence need to have their assessment and recommendations overseen by a Practice Educator Stage 2 qualified Mentor or Assessor.


The Practice Educator 2 course is for Social Workers who have the Practice Educator 1 qualification, are experienced in supervising and assessing social work students, and who wish to develop their knowledge and skills of supervising, mentoring, and assessing Social Work students, and supporting and mentoring other Practice Educators.


What are the benefits of becoming a Practice Educator?

We offer…  


  • A fully funded opportunity for Social Workers to access the Practice Education Stage 1 / Stage 2 course at the University of Birmingham. You must have at least 2 years post-qualifying experience, be able to demonstrate your ability to practice at the Professional Capabilities Framework level of ‘Experienced Social Worker’, and have more than 12 months permanent employment with Dudley Children’s Services (having passed the probationary period).


  • Workload relief - it is recommended a Practice Educator’s workload is adjusted during the period they are supervising a student.


  • One day’s protected time per student placement, allowing the Practice Educator time to complete the student’s assessment report.


  • Once a Social Worker gains their Practice Education Stage 1 / 2 qualification, and has gone on to support a student through their first placement (70 days), they will receive a payment of £700 upon completion of the placement.


  • Once a Social Worker gains their Practice Education Stage 1 / 2 qualification and has gone on to support a student through their final placement (100 days), they will receive a payment of £1000 upon completion of the placement.


In addition to the above, Dudley’s Centre for Professional Practice offer a range of support for all Practice Educators, including…


  • Regular forums for Practice Educators to come together and share learning and resources, creating a community of practice.


  • A Practice Educator Toolkit – all the resources you need to aid reflective supervision, support students with linking theory to practice, and support the assessment of practice over the course of a student’s placement.  


  • The Practice Educator Programme – an internal programme of workshops, focussed upon the Domains of the Practice Educator Professional Standards (2019).


  • Access to fantastic regional Practice Educator events.


How do I apply?


If you are interested in becoming a Practice Educator, please contact Dudley’s Centre for Professional Practice at

Process for Social Work England Fitness to Practice Notifications
Aug 2023

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