Newly qualified social workers' readiness for practice in Scotland

Scott Grant*, Lynn Sheridan, Stephen A. Webb

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Little is known about newly qualified social worker (NQSW) experiences of education, employment and training in Scotland. This article reports on findings from a national online survey (n = 205) conducted with NQSWs during their first year of employment. The study presented here was commissioned by the Scottish Social Service Council (SSSC) as part of a wider strategic review of social work education. This study used a mixed-methods design, and the results were analysed using quantitative and qualitative software. Findings indicate that the majority of NQSWs feel well prepared by social work education, but less supported by employers in terms of opportunities for continuous professional development. Experiences of good-quality induction, supervision and opportunities for professional development demonstrate mixed results across Scotland. This study has important implications for the forthcoming review of social work education in Scotland and builds on research from England and Wales. It provides empirical clarity on what NQSWs know, value and understand about their professional role and tasks. These Scottish findings run contrary to wider UK concerns that NQSWs are inadequately prepared for the challenge of child-care social work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-506
Number of pages20
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number2
Early online date12 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • newly qualified social workers
  • readiness for practice
  • social work education
  • professional development


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