Alberta College of Social Workers

Alternative Learning Plan Formats
(Goal Setting/Professional Development etc.)

The competence committee will accept alternative formats to the posted learning plan, so long as they include sufficient information to clearly indicate that the social worker has considered her/his learning needs, available opportunities for growth, and potential indicators of success. One simple alternative is to submit your work-based development plans. These are accepted by the committee as long as they include at least one goal specific to social work practice each year.

Social workers should be able to identify three goals they wish to work on each year. Goals may be carried over from one year to the next, but there should be some indication of activity toward each goal or an explanation for why there has not been any. It is also expected that goals may change during the course of the year, but again this should be explained in the following year.

Many people have suggested that a narrative would be more meaningful to them personally. Should you wish to use a narrative format, your learning plan should answer those questions relevant to the type of goal you are working on. For each goal, there must be some indication of the time frame, how the goal will be met, and how your professional competence will be demonstrated in relation to this goal. A general guideline would be between ¼ and ½ a page per goal.

The following examples may help to guide you through the process:

Goals

  • Short term
    • In the next 6 months I plan to;
      • Explore opportunities to learn about …
      • Take a course in …
      • Consult with ( ) about …
      • Develop skills in …
      • Negotiate with my supervisor to …

         

  • Medium/Long term
    • My professional development goals over the next 1-2 years include: Five years from now I hope to be (doing, at, etc.) …

Resources

In order to accomplish this goal I need …

Indicator of Success

In order to accomplish this goal I need …

Reaching this goal will help me to …