The National Assessment and Accreditation System (NAAS) is a key part of the government’s reforms to children’s social work practice. NAAS aims to help social workers to build and improve on their skills and knowledge. Completing this social work assessment is also a way to develop professionally, and ensures that the highest standard of support and protection is offered to vulnerable children and young people.
At the core of this is a one-day social work assessment with written and practical elements. These assess social workers against the Knowledge and Skills Statements (KSS) – the criteria which define current best practice.
Leeds and Calderdale were the first two Yorkshire & Humber authorities to offer NAAS to their social work staff. Both opted to take the core principles and adapt them to suit the needs of their staff by building the KSS into everyday practice. Following some very positive feedback, the scheme has been rolled out to 9 of the 15 authorities in the region:
- North East Lincolnshire
- North Lincolnshire
- North Yorkshire
How to prepare for a NAAS Assessment
If you’re a children’s social worker and you’re interested in making NAAS part of your professional development, speak to your manager or NAAS lead about preparing for the assessment. Most local authorities will have a range of resources and training available to help you identify any gaps in your knowledge and improve your understanding of the KSS. Once your NAAS lead agrees that you’re ready, you can take the assessment.
What to expect from the assessment
There are two parts to the assessment.
First is a written Knowledge Assessment, where you’ll answer a series of questions based on the KSS.
The second part is a Simulated Practice Assessment. This will test your skills in a realistic practical setting. There will be two scenarios, which will involve actors playing the roles of young people, family members, or colleagues. Before each one, you’ll be provided with information on the situation, as well as which KSS statement you’re being assessed on. Afterwards, there will be a verbal reflective assessment on both scenarios. Finally, you’ll be asked to choose one scenario and complete a written assessment of how the situation was resolved.