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Caritas passes APSCos Compliance+ for Social Work recruitment firms

Caritas has become the first recruitment firm to pass APSCo’s best practice quality standard for social work recruitment organisations, Compliance. This comes at a time when the Local Government Association

(LGA) has urged ministers to put social work on a par with other health and social care professions. The LGA argues that, with council leaders concerned that a lack of suitable candidate vetting processes has resulted in an inability to attract the very best professionals, an urgent review of the social work skills crisis must happen to help recruit quality social workers - something that reinforces the need for a robust quality standard for recruitment firms in the sector.

Compliance is an industry-wide, best practice standard for social work recruitment businesses, which sets the benchmark for providing high quality appropriate staff to ensure the safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults. It has been developed following extensive consultation with APSCo’s Social Work Sector Group members and external stakeholders including the British Association of Social Workers (“BASW”), the Health & Care Professions Council (“HCPC”), the Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation (“ESPO”), representative managed serviced providers (“MSPs”) and leading London Boroughs, city and county councils.

Commenting on Compliance and the audit process, the CEO of Caritas, Debbie Smith, said,
“I am delighted to have passed our recent Compliance audit. The best practice requirements go above and beyond the current statutory requirements and therefore require significant investment and effort to adhere to, however they have been designed with Ofsted, HCPC and DBS criteria at heart ensuring clients are ultimately receiving better prepared, suited and trained candidates. The audit is conducted by a professional auditor with an in-depth understanding of the social work sector to ensure it isn’t just a document & lsquo;box ticking’ exercise, but rather involves interactions with the business’ consultants, candidates and clients to ensure that safeguarding and high service levels are consistently delivered throughout the organisation."

APSCo’s head of stakeholder engagement, Nick Bowles, added, “We are obviously delighted that Caritas has passed the audit and expect other members to follow suit. Compliance offers recruitment firms the opportunity to consider more closely the competency and suitability of each and every social worker they place. And with the standard being designed with Ofsted and HCPC criteria in mind, it really does give local authorities and MSPs the confidence that their recruitment partners in the supply chain are working to the highest standards."


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