Focus Group for Social Work Competencies in Aotearoa New Zealand: A Critical Review

Simon Lowe, Registered Social Worker and member of ANZASW is currently studying for his PhD at the University of Canterbury. The topic of his research is: Social Work Competencies in Aotearoa New Zealand: A Critical Review. The objective of his study is to examine whether current core competencies or practice standards are an adequate tool for determining the abilities and competence of registered social workers in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The field work for this PhD will include gathering information through focus groups from social workers and interviewing key informants in the development of social work competencies in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Simon would like to hear from any experienced practitioners who would be interested in taking part in a small focus group (4-6 people), to discuss practice standards/core competencies.

Specifically, Simon is seeking social workers who are currently practicing and have five years or more post-graduate experience with some student social work supervision/field educator experience.

The focus group will take place on Friday 4th November in Dunedin, (given enough participants), at a venue to be confirmed. The group will run for approximately 90 minutes. The group discussion will be audio-recorded.

As a follow-up to this investigation, you will be asked to confirm the accuracy of the transcript of the interview.

If you are interested in taking part in a discussion of this nature, please contact Simon directly at:

Simon will then forward to you more details of the study and a consent form.