360-degree feedback supports an individual to gain an understanding of their professional strengths and areas of development by asking for a number of people within their organisation and in wider professional networks to provide feedback on their performance against agreed professional capability criteria. This tool uses the Professional Capabilities Framework for social work to support an individual to undertake a self-assessment and offer them a chance to compare this with the assessment of others. The candidate can then use this information to inform their professional development planning and, through doing a further 360 in the future, measure the impact of professional development activity.
Social work practice is a complex activity, requiring interplay of knowledge, skills and values, as exemplified by the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF). Within this, the nine capabilities should be seen as interdependent, not separate: they interact in professional practice, so there are overlaps between the capabilities, and many issues will be relevant to more than one capability. Moreover, understanding what a social worker does can only be complete by taking into account all nine capabilities. Assessing learning, performance and progression in relation to the PCF therefore requires an approach congruent with this framework. ‘Holistic assessment’ is a recognised approach for assessing in such circumstances. Therefore, although the 360 tool asks questions in each of the domains of the PCF respondents are asked to consider their whole experience of working with the candidate in answering each of the questions.
Although this tool is closely linked to the PCF candidates and respondents are encouraged to view their capability in a holistic manner. Section 10 of this tool allows candidates to add additional broad based questions that support this approach. In addition some of the questions which are clustered under specific domains relate to a broad range of areas, for example the value and ethics questions underpin all of a managers practice.
Please read this downloadable PDF for more information on what makes a good 360 degree development experience: download PDF