The IASSW aims to promote the development and expansion of social work education, in accordance with its mission statement and based on peer consultation. IASSW Programme Consultations are one manifestation of this aim.
The IASSW receives request for support and guidance in developing or revising social work curricula and educational programmes from local, regional and national organisations. This document outlines the ethical and practical processes required for a Consultation, the cost and the outcomes; for example IASSW does not accredit or validate social work programmes. A Consultation is a process of peer partnership in which IASSW operates as a critical friend alongside the applicant, in conjunction with the relevant Regional Association. Consultations are always subject to scrutiny and feedback from all stakeholders to ensure that they remain relevant and to improve practice into the future.

The strengths the IASSW brings to the Consultation process are:
• The capacity to constitute a globally diverse team of consultants representing different approaches and educational institutions;
The use of globally agreed standards alongside the standards of the national organisations or educational institutions;
• Extensive experience, through its membership, in delivering and promoting high quality social work education.
• Joint working with the Regional Associations

The role of the IASSW

• The IASSW has no role or contribution to make in Higher Education validation processes or to any professional accreditation activities;
• To undertake Consultations only in response to requests, in the manner outlined below;
• To offer informed discussion and feedback as collaborative ‘critical friends’ of the host organisations;
• To engage in IASSW Programme Consultations in the spirit of partnership with due attention to cultural, linguistic and other differences;
• To operate with due care and attention with regards to the defining statements of the IASSW and IFSW: The Global Standards for the Education and Training of the Social Work Profession, The Definition of Social Work, the Ethics in Social Work: Statement of Principles and in the spirit of The Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development: Commitment to Action.

Eligibility for consideration
• All institutional members of IASSW are eligible to apply for an IASSW Programme Consultation;
• Requests by non-members will be considered. The fee for non-members is higher. Non-members would be considered on condition that they join IASSW upon completion of the consultation.

Guiding principles for the IASSW and Schools/Organisation(s)
Prior to the Consultation the Applicant will:

o Present a formal request for a IASSW Programme Consultation to the President of IASSW, outlining the reasons and aims and identifying a lead person who will take responsibility for coordinating communication with the IASSW Consultation Team;
o Engage in dialogue with the IASSW Consultation Team about the stakeholders for their ‘Local Consultative Team’ with the aim of making representation as wide as possible. Normally stakeholders would include management, teaching staff, administrators, students , field instructors, service agency representatives and where possible service users’ and carers’ and any others identified by the university or social work organisation;
o Conduct a self-appraisal, through the ‘Local Consultative Team’, based on the Global Standards for Education and Training of the Social Work Profession. This self-appraisal should be sent to the IASSW Consultation Team lead at least 30 days before the proposed visit along with relevant documentation. The self-appraisal form can be found on the web site at: https://www.iassw-aiets.org/capacity-building

Prior to the Consultation IASSW will, following acceptance of the application:
o Identify one or two persons who will take responsibility for coordinating communication between the IASSW Consultation Team and the local organisation/school;
o Form a Consultation Team, via the Education Committee, normally consisting of at least three members;
o Choose members of the team to respond to the specific local and regional requirements as set out by the local organisations. The Consultation team would aim to include expertise and cultural knowledge relevant to the setting;
o Include at least one IASSW board member as part of the Consultation Team. If possible, the member will have relevant cultural knowledge and expertise of the country and will be selected from the same region. One member will be from outside the region. There will be no more than one person from any one country and no one from the host university (someone local and aware of the local context can be appointed;
o Members of the Consultation Team will receive the self-appraisal exercise 30 days before a visit in order to familiarise themselves with the existing provision, and the aims for the Consultation.

During the Consultation:

o The Global Standards for Education and Training of the Social Work Profession will be used as the primary benchmark for conducting IASSW Consultations;
o The ‘Local Consultative Team’ will lead the arrangements for the visit in order to ensure that it meets local needs. This will be done in consultation with the IASSW Consultation Team before the visit.
o The IASSW Consultation Team will aim to empower the ‘Local Consultative Team’ in identifying progress and solutions towards their own stated mission and goals. This may include the provision of information drawn from other parts of the world in order to stimulate discussion towards their stated goals and to meet the Global Standards for Education and Training criteria;
o The consultation process will respect local culture and will sensitively address challenges and any conflicts between local culture and the Global Standards for Education and Training of the Social Work and Ethics in Social Work: Statement of Principles;
o The IASSW Consultation Team will meet with all stakeholders in the ‘Local Consultative Team’ to ensure that the process is as participatory as possible;
o Towards the end of the visit all the stakeholders involved in the consultations will meet to formally review progress and future actions designed to meet the local goals and the Global Standards for Education and Training criteria. This will be an opportunity for agreement or dissent and will form the basis of a jointly constructed report containing information about the process of the Consultation as well as the outcomes for developing social work education locally.

After the Consultation:

o The IASSW lead and the ‘Local Consultative Team’ lead will write and exchange their reports, based on the joint review meeting. If discussion is needed this will take place before the final report is produced. The final report will consist of accounts from both the IASSW and the ‘Local Consultative Team’.
o The conclusions of the final report will be disseminated to the Board members of the IASSW as part of the Education Committee report. Other elements of the report will be used to revise the Consultation Guidance but would not normally be published in full by the IASSW;
o The School/organisation will provide feedback on their progress after six months;
o The IASSW Consultation team will critically examine its work and identify lessons learnt for presentation to the Education Committee and thereafter the IASSW Board.


A formal application should be submitted to the President of IASSW for consideration by the Education Committee. A decision will be made jointly between the Committee and the President, based on the request and the capacity of the IASSW to respond, and will be communicated to the School/organisation by the President. The Education Committee will be responsible for inviting suitable members to join the Consultation team according to the principles outlined above.

Fees to be charged
Normally a programme requesting an IASSW Consultation will be expected to cover all direct expenses such as air travel, accommodation, meals and local transport for the IASSW Consultation Team members. Team members will not receive payment, only their expenses. In addition a nominal Consultation fee will normally be charged by the IASSW according to the earning capacity of the applicants (see Table 1 below). The fee paid will be used to support future education and research initiatives by IASSW. Programmes will be expected to involve the appropriate Regional Association as part of the consultation and may choose to approach the Regional Association for financial support to cover a portion of the costs of the consultation. IASSW encourages programmes to seek financial support from other sources and will assist in the preparation of proposals for this purpose
Table 1: Fees (revised January 2019).

Country Income/person  (in US$) Fee (in US$)
Less than $5,000  per anum $300
$5,001- $ 10,000 per anum $500
Over $10,000 per anum $1000


IASSW Programme Consultations Final: IASSW Programme Consultations -2019