APSCo announces launch of APSCo Social Work
Since joining forces, APSCo has worked hard, to raise the standards of social work recruitment through a rigorous independent audit process. Former Chair of the ASWEB group, Ben Arnold from Amicus Recruit, who led the merger in 2012 believes that this union has been hugely beneficial for the sector as a whole:
“When ASWEB first discussed merging with a trade association, APSCo was the logical choice. As many of ASWEB members were owner managed businesses, a holistic approach to corporate governance was a real driver in our selection criteria. This was something that, along with a strong reputation for raising standards within the professional recruitment sector, APSCo could help us achieve. Our biggest success by far has to be the market recognition of our independent audit process. The fact that these audits have been widely acknowledged as thorough and very tough to pass is testament to the hard work both ASWEB and APSCo have put in to ensure that the young adults and children our candidates work with are safeguarded”.
Debbie Smith, CEO of Caritas recruitment, the new APSCo Social Work sector group chair, is determined that the group continues the excellent work achieved over the past two years, and states that the launch comes at a critical time for the sector: “The social work arena is facing huge demand for professionals across the board however there is an acute skills shortage. This, coupled with increasing competition across master vendors, resulting in a reduction of the average margins seen across the sector could lead recruitment companies to & lsquo;cut corners’ when it comes to safeguarding best practice and potentially lead to dire consequences.”
With this in mind, one of APSCo Social Work’s first objectives is to introduce a definitive best practice standard for the social work recruitment sector. says Smith: “APSCo Social Work is at its strongest position ever to launch a standard, which will not only ensure the highest level of recruitment practice, but which will also serve to reassure clients that they are working with recruitment organisations that are operating compliantly. APSCo Education has Compliance and we believe something just as robust is desperately needed in the social work sector.”
Commentating on the launch of APSCo Social Work, CEO Ann Swain said, “I am thrilled that after a two year engagement APSCo and ASWEB have decided to tie the knot and share names. APSCo Social Work will continue to demonstrate the passion, quality and professionalism that ASWEB epitomised. APSCo takes the social work sector extremely seriously and we will ensure that the very high standards already required to pass the audit are only strengthened further to safeguard potentially vulnerable individuals.”