Social workers in England are being invited to participate in a study entitled ‘A Practice-Based Approach to Professional Development in Social Work: Reflective Learning on Key Situations’.

This research project seeks to gather views from experienced, registered social workers who are working in any sector or setting, in a role that involves working directly with service users and/or carers or families. It aims to seek agreement across the professional community in England as to what the key situations are that they encounter in their practice.

This study is being carried out by Adi Staempfli as part of a PhD research project at Goldsmiths’, University of London. Before you decide to participate it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please take time to read the following information carefully.

The purpose of this research is to develop the reflective learning model ‘Key Situations in Social Work’ for social work in England. It is currently being used in several social work bachelor programmes in German speaking regions. It aims to support social workers to continuously develop their professional knowledge, skills and values and integrate these with their practice. The model offers an innovative approach to continuous professional learning through reflection and dialogue within and across social work organisations and universities. Learners engage in an eight-step reflection process, organised around key situations in social work, which are documented on a virtual platform.

Key situations are defined as the typical, regularly encountered practice situations that professionals describe as significant. A situation is a discrete and meaningful practice situation with a beginning, middle and an end. Key situations titles are formulated at a general level so that they are relevant across fields and roles. They do not include situations managers (practice supervisors, line managers, service managers) or other professional functions (e.g. training and development, education) encounter.

In the initial stage of the research 13 social workers together with the researcher have developed a list of key situations. The aim of this survey is to gain agreement from social workers in England on these situations and identify and fill any gaps.

If you agree to take part in this study, you will be asked to complete this online questionnaire. This questionnaire will ask you to provide socio-demographic information about yourself and comment on the typical reoccurring situations in English social work practice and it will take you approximately 15 to 35 minutes to complete. At the end of the interview, you will also be asked whether you would like to take part in a second round of the interview, in which any titles that are suggested by participants in this first round are reviewed and any titles that have not reached the criteria for agreement in the first round.

To participate, you must be a registered social worker in England and work directly with any service user group (e.g. service users, carers, families, groups or communities) in England. This includes any job role in any social work/care sector (e.g. statutory child and family and adult social work; social work in the health, private, voluntary or independent sector). You must have a minimum of 5 years’ experience as a practicing registered social worker and work in a role that reflects your expertise, such as for example Principal Social Worker, Advanced Practitioner, Experienced Social Worker, Senior Practitioner, Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP), Best Interest Assessor or Independent Social Work practitioner and other roles.

Taking part in the survey is a great opportunity to get a first insight into the newly developed key situation titles and to contribute to their development and validation. After the research, the list of titles will be made available to social workers on an online platform and support the implementation of the innovative approach to reflective learning in England. If you agree to complete both questionnaires you will get an opportunity to be entered into a prize draw to win one of three £50 Love2shop Gift Vouchers.

I believe there are no known risks associated with this research study; however, as with any online related activity the risk of a breach of confidentiality is always possible. To the best of my ability your answers in this study will remain confidential. Data will be collected anonymously, and any personal data entered (e.g. email address) will be stored separately. I will minimize any risks by keeping any personal data gathered confidential in line with legal and ethical requirements. Data will be stored in a password protected data storage and will be stored for a maximum of 5 years. Any information collected will be presented in an anonymised way, which will not allow others to identify you. Your participation will always be kept confidential. Ethical approval has been granted by the Department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies’ (StaCS) Research Ethics Committee at Goldsmiths’.

Your participation in this study is completely voluntary and you can withdraw at any time. You are free to skip any question that you choose.

If you have questions about this project or if you have a research-related problem, you may contact the researcher, Adi Staempfli,

If you have any questions concerning your rights as a research subject, you may contact Prof. Claudia Bernard, Head of Postgraduate Research, Goldsmiths, University of London, Therapeutic and Community Studies (STaCS),

By clicking “Yes” below you are indicating that you are at least 18 years old, have read and understood the above information and agree to participate in this research study. Please print a copy of this page for your records.