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Newly qualified social workers

We have two main projects supporting newly qualified social workers (NQSWs).

Five-year study

We’ve commissioned a five-year longitudinal study exploring the experiences of NQSWs as they progress in their careers. 

The study aims to provide a broad view of NQSW professional development across Scotland. Researchers from Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of Dundee are leading the study. It seeks to capture professional experiences, report on observed practice and trace the professional journey of NQSWs over their first five years to develop a national picture. 

The research will consider how NQSWs: 

  • experience and manage a complex, contested and dynamic professional landscape, in relation to professional roles, tasks, structures and settings 
  • are supported, trained and developed across diverse practice settings 
  • identify their ongoing professional development needs as they progress their careers. 
To view year one findings click here.
To view year two findings click here.
To view year three findings click here.
To view year four findings click here.

NQSW supported year

We are working with partners to develop recommendations on a mandatory NQSW Supported Year in Scotland that is viable and sustainable and will provide effective and consistent support to NQSWs. 

In phase one, we supported three sites to pilot different approaches with an independent evaluation of the impact and effectiveness of the approaches. The evaluation findings along with additional data and feedback have informed the next phase of the project to develop a national approach to a NQSW Supported Year and a complementary NQSW website. 

Learning from the NQSW pilots and next steps in developing a supported year.

Evaluation of a Pilot Project for Newly Qualified Social Workers (NQSWs) in Scotland.

We are now in phase three, which is focused on embedding the transitions approach within course provider’s curriculum, launching the NQSW website and building capacity within the sector through early implementation of the NQSW Supported Year.  

Read the NQSW Supported Year early implementation grant scheme 2021-22 and application form here. 

Early Implementation Phase 

We move into the early implementation phase of the NQSW Supported Year during August and September and will share the learning from this phase as we go along through updates and virtual sessions.

NQSW continuous professional learning

Find out what continuous professional learning NQSWs must do.

Find out more here

Newly Qualified Social Workers in Scotland: The first five years video


If you require text transcripts of any of our videos, please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Learning Zone

Find lots of free learning resources to support your learning and development on our Learning Zone.

Continuous professional learning (CPL)

Continuous professional learning (CPL) is about ongoing learning and development.

Everyone on our Register has to meet CPL requirements as part of their registration.

Step into Leadership

Find resources and information to develop your leadership skills on our Step into Leadership website.