Stories of our impact

Standing out with the crowd

Using crowdsourcing to overhaul the DfE accreditation process

As part of wider reforms to support vulnerable children and families in England, the Department for Education (DfE) will introduce a new national assessment and accreditation system for social workers. The goal is to assess all child and family social workers and supervisors to the same standard.

To support this ambition, our challenge was to generate the questions that will eventually be used in the assessment of the first cohorts of social workers (35,000 social workers in total are expected to take the assessment). See what our teams have been doing to help to develop the content.

A little help from the crowd

We wanted to find a way to make use of expertise at all levels, giving frontline social workers a voice alongside the most senior people in the sector, all in a cost-effective and efficient way. So our teams from Strategy & Operations and Human Capital decided to try something different by using Deloitte Pixel’s enterprise crowdsourcing capability, which brings together the most suitable experts on a certain topic from around the world.

We created an online community of around 40 experts in social work, with leaders from the DfE and Deloitte networks as well as professionals sourced from across the globe by crowdsourcing consultancy Wikistrat, including lawyers, sector leaders and academics. Over the course of three weeks, they worked together to generate and iterate assessment content via an online platform where they could convene, discuss, challenge and agree.

The impact

The expert community developed over 700 questions and scenarios that are now being refined to serve as a foundation for the new assessment. What’s more, tapping into this expert crowd made sure all voices were heard, avoiding any professional bias.

We are working with the DfE and social work professionals to design what the final assessment will look like. This work will have a direct impact on the improvement of social care, which is currently delivered by 35,000 child and family social workers in England to 394,000 children in need.

In a short period of time, we were able to use the collective wisdom of a community of experts to create a vast number of assessment questions that were relevant and aligned to the client’s framework.

“Deloitte approached the work using an online crowdsourcing platform, which allowed us to work at a pace and with a range of experts that would have been impossible using conventional engagement or co-construction methods. An additional benefit was that the expert crowd worked collaboratively together which meant we could utilise the collective expertise of nearly 40 social work experts”

- Louise Woodward, Head of National Assessment and Accreditation System (NAAS) for child and family social workers