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Workforce transition: From social work student to practitioner


To explore the literature of the move from student to practitioner competence in social work, and to compare this with similar literature from studies of the nursing and teaching professions. 

Research team

Jill Manthorpe
Jo Moriarty


Department of Health


In order to provide further intelligence for the background to the Into the Workforce study, the DH commissioned a short scoping review of the ‘transition to professional’ literature from the disciplines of social work, nursing and teaching. A short report was produced from which articles have been submitted for publication.


A scoping review of the published literature in social work, nursing and teaching identified the types and range of published research on the transition to competence. The scoping review established that research on this topic was generally confined to a small number of studies but terminology and methods were varied, making comparisons difficult.




This study was used in the literature and contextual chapters of the Into the Workforce Interim Report to the DH and the review has been submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals covering 1) interprofessional education and 2) social work.

Moriarty, J., Manthorpe, J., Stevens, M. & Hussein, S., (2011, online), 'Making the transition: comparing research on newly qualified social workers with other professions', British Journal of Social Work. 

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