136.Paragraph (a)(i) provides that social workers are considered appropriately qualified if they have undergone a course which has been approved by SCW under section 114. Courses will be approved by SCW if it is satisfied that the course will enable persons completing it to attain the required standard of proficiency in social work (a standard that will be specified in rules made by SCW)(see section 114).
137.Paragraph (a)(ii) provides that social workers are also considered appropriately qualified if they satisfy the requirements of section 85. Section 85 deals with the recognition of qualifications in social work gained in other parts of the UK and other parts of the world. This section is therefore relevant for social workers with a qualification from England for example. If SCW considers that a qualification gained from outside Wales is of equivalent standard to a qualification it approves, then an applicant who holds that qualification is considered appropriately qualified. A graduate from a social work degree course in England would therefore satisfy condition 1 if that qualification meets SCW’s standard of proficiency. If SCW is of the view that the training involved in obtaining the professional qualification outside Wales is not of a sufficient standard it can require the applicant to undergo additional training in order to satisfy condition 1 (section 85(2)(b)(ii).
138.For applicants from a country within the European Economic Area (“EEA States”) and Switzerland, SCW can require the applicant to complete an adaptation period or pass an aptitude test (section 85(1)). EEA States include all European Union Member States plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. SCW could therefore require an applicant from Germany or from France to pass an aptitude test to demonstrate their skills and ability to practise social work. For example, applicants may be required to complete an adaptation period or pass an aptitude test if the applicant’s training was significantly shorter than training in Wales or did not cover the range of activities that are covered by courses approved by SCW. Applicants can appeal SCW’s decision to require them to complete an adaptation period or pass an aptitude test to the First-Tier Tribunal (see section 105).
139.If a social worker has not completed an approved course and does not satisfy the requirements of section 85 they can demonstrate that they are appropriately qualified if they satisfy any training requirements set out by SCW in rules (section 84(a)(iii)). For example, this power could be used by SCW to recognise applicants who hold qualifications that are no longer offered by universities or colleges.