Closing date for applications: 5:00 pm, Monday 11 October 2021.


Social Work Professional Support Service (SWPSS) Training and Supervisory Support Officer employed by Strengthening Practice.

Primary Location

Primarily home-based (this may change as government rules regarding the pandemic changes) with occasional travel to training venues and Company Headquarters in Cumbria for meetings.


Fixed term: 18 months, part-time (with possibility of extension subject to performance and availability of funding). Current contract end = 31 March 2023, subject to extension as above.

Working hours

Part time, 22.5 hours per week. Flexible working is required as some work is out of normal working hours. Need to have availability on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Strengthening Practice is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, age, and disability.*

*People with disabilities are protected from any type of discrimination during any stage of employment, including the recruitment phase.

Remuneration and benefits

£22,800 for part-time, 22.5 hours per week (pro rata from F/T equivalent annual gross salary of £38,000).

As you will be a salaried member of staff, you will receive paid holiday and sick leave.

Strengthening Practice in partnership with BASW

Strengthening Practice is based in the Lake District, Cumbria, Northwest England, and has been operating since 2007. Our primary portfolio is delivering a wide range of training programmes to social care professionals in local authorities throughout England, primarily in the Midlands, North East, and North West. Collectively, our small group of trainers have more than 100 years of experience in a variety of professional social care roles, from direct practice with service users, management of social workers and social care staff, youth justice, court work, safeguarding, mentoring, coaching, and a host of other professional roles.

Recently, and in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Strengthening Practice has partnered with BASW (British Association of Social Workers) to offer free volunteer coaching support to our professional social work colleagues. Due to the rapid growth of the Social Work Professional Support Service (SWPSS) across the four nations (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales), we are now recruiting for a part-time Training and Supervisory Support Officer who can help us continue providing quality peer coaching support to social workers.

Main purpose of the role

The SWPSS trainer/supervisory lead undertakes a wide range of duties to ensure that a seamless service is provided to social workers who book onto coaching sessions with our volunteer coaches. The trainer/supervisory lead oversees responsibility for approximately 50 volunteer coaches spread across six cohorts, although the number of volunteer coaches is expected to increase with recent financial grants received from Scotland and Wales. We now need to expand the current trainer/supervisory role to include a part-time professional who holds a coaching certification along with a social work degree/qualification.

Supervision Received/Exercised

The part-time trainer/supervisory support officer will report to the current SWPSS trainer/supervisory lead and will receive the appropriate support and guidance. He/she will be expected to act independently in some routine matters. Supervision of the part-time trainer/supervisory support officer will be focused on the quality of the work performed, the level of support offered to ‘coachees’, the support provided to the SWPSS volunteer coaches to include the delivery of their supervision sessions.

Working Relationships

This fixed-term part-time post is usually responsible for interacting with a wide variety of colleagues within the Strengthening Practice and BASW services.

Key Functions/Results

  • Arrange supervision sessions for our volunteer coaches; where needed, support ‘coachees’ in booking onto sessions with the volunteer coaches; attend SWPSS Working Group meetings as and when required.
  • Research topics for the six-weekly volunteer coach’s supervision sessions; post updates, articles, news to the SWPSS Forum.
  • Occasionally arrange guest speakers for the volunteer coach’s supervision sessions.
  • Keep track of volunteer coach attendance at supervision sessions.
  • Produce the quarterly SWPSS newsletter; write quarterly status reports on work undertaken by Strengthening Practice for BASW.
  • Respond to or draft responses to standard/ routine queries and other communications.
  • Provide support for volunteer coach interviews and inductions to the SWPSS.
  • Work collaboratively with BASW colleagues and others to generate ideas and to help produce communications to social care staff/BASW members who may want to avail themselves of coaching via the SWPSS.
  • Proofread documents and format texts for accuracy, grammar, punctuation and style, as well as for adherence to established standards.
  • Work collaboratively with colleagues across Strengthening Practice and BASW to develop new approaches to the SWPSS.
  • Research, compile and organize information and reference materials from various sources for reports; create spreadsheets and presentations; manage and update internal SWPSS spreadsheets and maintain electronic and paper files.
  • Where required, provide one-to-one supervisory advice and support to SWPSS volunteer coaches.
  • Attend once-weekly Strengthening Practice team meetings.
  • Keep clear and precise notes on all work undertaken for the SWPSS/BASW.
  • Perform other duties as required.

Impact Of Work

The post holder’s work impacts on the timely and efficient delivery of SWPSS services and on the overall output of Strengthening Practice.

Applicant selection and assessment criteria

Candidates will be assessed against the following criteria:

Minimum Requirements

Strengthening Practice staff are expected to adhere to the Social Work Code of Ethics.

Education: Social Work degree/qualification from an accredited HEI

Experience: No less than five years of increasingly complex experience as a social worker, as well as a ILM Level 3, 5 or 7 Certificate in Coaching & Mentorship, a Diploma in Executive Coaching, or a certificate in Accredited Life Coaching.

Languages: Strong knowledge (Level C) of English.

IT Skills: Solid knowledge of the MS Office applications (particularly Microsoft Teams), the Internet, Virtual Learning Environments, and office technology equipment. You especially need to be competent and comfortable delivering and working via virtual means, such as videoconferencing (Teams and Zoom) and eLearning.


  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical Skills:

  • Good knowledge of communication and documentation standards
  • Good knowledge of administrative procedures, policies, and protocol matters
  • Good knowledge of blended learning platforms

Desirable qualifications and skills

  • Experience in providing support services across a wide variety of settings.
  • Working knowledge of social work systems across all or some of the UK nations is considered.


Evaluation of qualified applicants may include an assessment exercise and a technical / competency-based interview.

How to apply

  • Closing date: 5 pm, Monday 11 October 2021
  • To apply, please send your CV, a statement addressing the Assessment Criteria above, and any relevant certificates or other supporting information to:
  • All Expressions of Interest will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.
  • Please also let us know when you would be able to start with us should we offer you the role, and in what location you will be based.
  • Incomplete Expressions of Interest will not be considered.
  • Only Expressions of Interest received through the email above will be considered.
  • Interviews will be virtual via Zoom or Teams. Interview date(s) TBC.
  • If you have queries or need assistance, please contact Monalesia Earle at:
  • You can download the role description here: SWPSS Coaching Support – Call for Expressions of Interest


We are interested in your development and provide opportunities to attend courses and learning events, purchase books and network.

We would ask you to consider joining BASW and become involved in your professional organisation in some way to contribute to the ongoing development of social work.

You will receive supervision on a monthly basis either by phone or face to face and will come into the main office each 6 weeks to meet with everyone.

We have team development days at least twice a year.

We use Basecamp to allocate tasks and stay in contact during the week.

As well as all of this you should know that everyone in this team loves to dance.

We love to laugh, to find joy and pride in the work we do and to live a life that is balanced and helpful.  The company has an ethos that is all about respect, helpfulness and relationship.  We are small and flexible and everyone pitches in….there is no designated coffee making, photocopying or sweeping the front path role.  If you see something needs doing, by all means jump in.

We hope that this feels like an exciting opportunity for you…if so let us know.

We love to laugh, to find joy and pride in the work we do and to live a life that is balanced and helpful.  The company has an ethos that is all about respect, helpfulness and relationship.  We are small and flexible and everyone pitches in….there is no designated coffee making, photocopying or sweeping the front path role.  If you see something needs doing, by all means jump in.
Jo Fox

Get in touch...

Contact Monalesia Earle at or on 01900 822458 if you would like to arrange a meeting or have any further questions.