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FAQ - National Social Work Competency Framework


What is the National Social Work Competency Framework? 

The National Social Work Competency Framework (NSWCF) is a national competency framework for social workers across all fields of practice, including both social service and healthcare. It sets out the knowledge, skills and behavioural attributes for social workers at different job levels, and maps out possible career pathways.  It is a unifying framework which emphasises common domains and competencies across social work settings, and is aimed at advancing the profession in Singapore.

  • Social workers can use the Professional Development Guide to chart their career progression pathways and make training plans to acquire competencies. The Professional Development Guide also includes a self-assessment tool, for social workers to use with supervisors during performance appraisals.
  • Employers and HR can use the Talent Handbook to incorporate social work competencies into talent management and development practices. The Handbook includes guidance on recruitment and selection processes, performance management, and learning and development pathways.
What are the objectives of developing the NSWCF?

As our society evolves, social workers will face newer challenges in the course of their work. To better help their clients, social workers need to:
  • work across different fields of practice;
  • adapt to a more complex work environment; and
  • clearly articulate their roles, skills and perspectives that they bring to their teams. 
Through the NSWCF, we provide social workers with a clear overview of the needs of the sector, and the corresponding knowledge and skills required. By enhancing the standards of the industry as a whole, we prepare our professionals and equip them with the capabilities to meet future challenges. 

Why should organisations adopt a competency-based HR management?

A competency-based system benefits both employers and employees as it establishes a common, consistent baseline for more integrated HR practices – recruitment, job expectations, performance evaluation and career progression. This not only facilitates better HR and management practices but, more importantly, the attraction and retention of professionals.