Bexley uses a portfolio-based approach to practice endorse social workers.

The London Borough of Bexley at-a-glance

  • Outstanding Ofsted
  • Outer-city borough in south-east London
  • 170 social workers in the 2018 to 2019 financial year


The London Borough of Bexley uses a semi-structured approach to NAAS practice endorsement.

This approach is based on a portfolio compiled by the social worker which they use as the basis of their performance management discussion.

Bexley uses regular feedback from social workers and managers to assess where the practice endorsement process can be improved, refined or merged with existing performance management processes.


Social workers are given dedicated time off to allow them to prepare an ASYE portfolio. This helps them to identify areas of good practice as well as areas for further professional development.

The portfolio is based on the assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE) portfolio and is linked to both the knowledge and skills statements (KSS) and the council’s values. It can be used for several purposes other than NAAS endorsement.

Examples can include:

  • career progression
  • annual performance conversations
  • NAAS practice endorsement
  • job interviews

The portfolio includes things like:

  • a personal statement
  • critical reflection on their practice
  • feedback from service users and other professionals
  • observations of practice
  • management sign off (practice endorsement)

Social workers use their ASYE portfolio to inform discussions with their line managers and the NAAS lead to help determine when social workers are ready for the assessment.


Social workers find the ASYE portfolio simple and easy to complete.

The ASYE portfolio is a useful way for social workers to reflect on their practice and recognise the value of their work.

It’s also useful for their annual appraisal conversations highlighting what they have done well that year and what they want to develop their learning over the coming year.

ASYE portfolios can also be used for things other than practice endorsement so it can justify the time social workers need to invest in creating it. Therefore, they may wish to update it from time to time, but otherwise, it can be used for other purposes.

Because the portfolio approach can be time-consuming, Bexley uses feedback and monitoring to assess whether the approach deters people from applying. Managers are also clear with staff about the expected time commitments so social workers can plan their workload effectively.

Bexley have streamlined processes based on this feedback, resulting in:

  • reassessed internal processes for job evaluation, career progression and practice endorsement
  • values and standards being collated in one place to demonstrate practice in a qualitative and evidenced-based way
  • linking the KSS to the council’s values in job specifications for consistency

Published 19 June 2019