Wide consultation

The Children’s Action Plan is committed to a wide and thorough consultation on the Core Competency Framework, involving employers, employees, representative bodies, non-government organisations, education and training providers, regulatory and professional bodies and unions.

We will get the best result for the children’s workforce - and ultimately children - by open, honest and robust dialogue leading to trust and wide agreement on the best ways forward.

Cross-agency work and the Framework Design Team

Development of the Core Competency Framework is the responsibility of a cross-agency team of officials, coordinated by the Children’s Action Plan Directorate.  This group is advised and guided by a Framework Design Team of expert professional and practitioner representatives from the children’s workforce.  The Framework Design Team were responsible for developing the high level structure, form and content of the framework being used to support consultation, while agency officials drafted the detailed content.

We have also worked closely with our Workforce Advisory Group, a collection of representatives from peak bodies, to test our thinking on the Core Competency Framework.

In May and June 2015 we conducted a first phase of consultation and established that nearly all of the stakeholders we talked to believed that everyone who works with children should possess a core set of competencies (skills, knowledge and values) to achieve the best outcomes for children. We also saw broad support for the seven domains of competency we had identified at time.

We heard clearly that any Core Competency Framework needed to be designed to support, rather than replace, existing competency frameworks. Similarly we needed to ensure the framework acknowledged existing expertise, while also providing a framework to strengthen practices.

Draft framework and the second phase of consultation

Based on the feedback we’ve received to date, we’ve produced a draft Framework to illustrate our vision and make the issues tangible.

This draft Framework forms the basis of a consultation with selected national and representative bodies, which is being done between February and April 2016. We have been deliberately aspirational in this draft Framework. This is because the challenges we face require us to be both brave and bold.  We know this means that we won’t have captured or included everything we need to, or got everything quite right, which is why we’re undertaking the second round of consultation.

This Framework will change in response to what we learn from the consultation. However we hope that we have identified the foundational principles needed to develop the children’s workforce that will achieve the vision of the Children’s Action Plan.

Field testing and the Children’s Workforce Survey

Alongside consultation with selected national and representative bodies, we are testing the draft framework against the knowledge, skills and values of people currently working with children. This will be done in selected communities including those where we have established Children’s Teams, using a series of self-assessment tools, to establish whether the framework reflects the realities of the workforce, and is meaningful to practitioners on the ground.

We also ran a Children’s Workforce Survey between November 2015 and March 2016 to collect information on the key and enduring aspects of a safe and competent children’s workforce.

The results of the survey will provide us with data to inform the direction we take with the development of the Core Competency Framework, sitting alongside the feedback we receive from the field test and this national consultation.