How Manchester city council identified gaps and offered training to prepare social workers for the NAAS assessment.

Manchester city council at-a-glance

  • Requires improvement Ofsted
  • 411 social workers in the 2018 to 2019 financial year


Line managers at Manchester city council use a structured approach to practice endorsement.

NAAS accreditation is linked to Manchester’s own career pathway system and is one of 2 options available to social workers considering career progression.

Social workers who are interesting in taking the assessment are:

  • encouraged to do the assessment with other social workers
  • offered external training provided in collaboration with local universities

Line managers, however, are mindful to keep the practice endorsement process simple and as informal as possible to reduce workload challenges.

Steps taken

Social workers who want to be practice endorsed are invited to a discuss NAAS with their line manager to see if they are ready to take the assessment.

This discussion is based on the social workers’ understanding of their practice in relation to the knowledge and skills statements (KSS). Line managers discuss with social workers and they decide jointly whether the social worker is ready to take the assessment.

Once practice endorsed, social workers are invited to attend a learning and development programme. This is offered by local universities and external training partners.

The programme lasts one day, and when social workers feel ready, they arrange to book their NAAS assessment.

The programme was not endorsed by the Department for Education (DfE) and a fee is payable for external training.


The approach helps identify gaps locally in knowledge and skills. This gives social workers the opportunity to develop the areas of their practice that appeal specifically to them.

It also gives Manchester city council the chance to try new approaches which can improve social work practice and retain and develop its young workforce.

The learning and development programme helps social workers to prepare for the assessment.

It lasts for one day so it’s easy to fit around social workers’ professional and personal commitments.


For more information, please contact Jayne Anne Jones, workforce learning and development manager at Manchester city council, children’s services.

Email: [email protected]

Published 19 June 2019