Professional capabilities framework (PCF)

The PCF covers the 9 levels of social work in England across 9 professional capabilities. 

Levels of social work include:

  • point of entry to training
  • readiness for practice
  • end of first placement
  • end of last placement and completion
  • newly qualified social worker
  • social worker 
  • experienced social worker
  • advanced social worker
  • strategic social worker

Professional capabilities include:

  • professionalism 
  • values and ethics
  • diversity and equality 
  • rights, justice and economic wellbeing
  • knowledge
  • critical reflection and analysis
  • skills and interventions
  • contexts and organisations
  • professional leadership

It allows you to identify which level you are, define your professional capabilities and develop your career. 

Visit the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) PCF for more information. 

The PCF and knowledge and skills statements (KSS)

The PCF provides an overarching framework for social work in England for all levels across all practice areas.

The KSS sets out what is expected of qualified social workers in specific work and practice contexts. 

Together, they provide the basis for social work education and practice in England at qualifying and post-qualifying levels. They are used to inform recruitment, workforce development, performance appraisal and career progression. 

Find out more information about the KSS for child and family social workers.

Find out more information about the KSS for adult social workers

All development within the Kent-Medway and South East Social Work Teaching Partnership is based around the PCF-KSS framework. 


In partnership with

Medway Council Kent County Council University of Kent logo Canterbury Christ church University Skills for Care logo Open University logo