Unsure how the Service works? Need some instructions on how to book and/or join a coaching session? Here you'll find answers to all those questions and more.

The Social Work Professional Support Service is a short-term, peer-to-peer coaching service in which trained volunteer coaches are able to support colleagues across the profession. Designed to support wellbeing and address practice concerns, this peer-to-peer service will offer a space for:

  • Listening to explore experiences, issues and emotions that have arisen during practice
  • Reflection to help explore behaviours and beliefs
  • Resourcefulness in thinking about best practice guidance, career development and working with other organisations, agencies, and frameworks.

BASW is committed to an action plan on equality, diversity, and inclusion. Eligible members from different backgrounds and identities, and at any stage of career, are encouraged to apply. We aim to be inclusive and remove barriers to involvement based on age, disability, sex, gender/gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, pregnancy/maternity, marriage, and civil partnership.

In March 2020, BASW launched its ‘Voices of social workers through Covid-19′ survey which identified areas in which social workers were struggling and seeking support. As a result of this, BASW made the decision to launch a peer-to-peer support service to provide its members with an opportunity to support each other through the crisis and beyond.

You can access support by navigating to the pages ‘Find a Coach’ or ‘Book an Appointment’ on the menu above.   If you know the name of the coach you wish to book or would like to browse the list of available coaches by specialism, please navigate to the ‘Find a coach’ page.   If you don’t have a coach preference but would like to book by availability of coach for a specific date or specialism, navigate to the ‘Book an appointment’ page.  Volunteer coaches are available 8am-8pm  and each slot is up to one hour long. Not all coaches are available at all times as this is a voluntary role to fit around their own commitments. Once you have booked a slot, you will receive an email confirmation followed by a Teams invitation link.

Coachee User Guide

On the booking form there is space to record any special accessibility requests. Please record here any information that will help you and your coach connect, for example the level of hearing loss and whether you are a predominate lip reader. We use Microsoft Teams to connect virtually, and this has a subtitle facility so please let us know if you wish to use this so we can ensure it is set up. If your first language is BSL we will need time to arrange for an interpreter so, please contact supportservices@basw.co.uk

Social workers and social work students are able to access this service as often as they require.   We only ask that you leave a three month break between each series of maximum six sessions.

The Social Work PSS is a stand-alone platform that has been set to host the support service. We have done this to ensure your security and privacy. To ensure that we protect both coaches and the social workers seeking support, we have wrapped some extra layers of security around the platform, which in turn means that you need to follow a few extra steps to get yourself set up and logged in.

The professional relationship between the Social Work PSS volunteer coach and coachee is based on confidentiality. This means that anything discussed between them when they are in the coaching relationship is private and the volunteer coach will not repeat any conversations to other people. There are certain exceptions to this, and it is important that these are recognised and agreed at the start of the relationship.

  • If both partners agree that, if necessary, the volunteer can speak to someone else about an issue or problem, they will agree who the volunteer will speak to. This might be their supervisor, a BASW representative, or other appropriately designated person.
  • If the volunteer believes there is a risk of harm to any person, based on something that the coachee has said, or that a concerning practice issue has come up, the Volunteer will be obliged to report the issue to their supervisor and/or other appropriate persons. This will be discussed with the coachee.

Volunteer coaches will ensure that conversations with coachees cannot be overheard by others, such as others in the household where the volunteer coach lives or in open-plan offices.

A record will be kept of some basic details of the coaching conversations to allow for quality assurance and safeguarding. It is the responsibility of the volunteer coach to ensure that any records are kept securely in line with GDPR regulations and BASW guidance. A coachee can request a copy of the record form from their volunteer coach.

BASW are committed to responsible data management and subscribe to the principals of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in the United Kingdom. Emails and listing information processed through the Social Work Professional Support Service are stored within the BASW email service, and a web-based platform hosted by Microsoft and are subject to BASW’s Data Protection and privacy policies. Your data will be used only for participation in the Social Work Professional Support Service and will not be used for any other purpose without your express knowledge and consent.

There are several options available for BASW members:

The Advice and Representation Service is a team of qualified social workers, offering professional and regulatory help.

In June 2020, BASW published the ‘Social worker wellbeing and good practice’ toolkit.

There are also a range of supports available delivered through the four nations:

BASW Cymru
BASW England
BASW Northern Ireland

The Social Work Professional Support Service will advertise when seeking new volunteer coaches with an online form for completion.  When you have completed the online form and your references have been checked, you will be invited to take part in the induction process. Upon successful completion of this, your details will be included on our volunteer coaches register. You will be asked to commit three months service at a minimum of four hours per month and you will need to let us have your availability in advance. Social workers will then be able to book an hour-long slot with you where they will talk through any concerns they have. You will record key information about the session and signpost your colleague to any other appropriate service where necessary. Coachees can access up to a maximum of three sessions through the Social Work Professional Support Service.   If you are interested in volunteering and would like to record your interest please email supportservices@basw.co.uk


Social Workers who wish to become volunteer coaches for the Social Work Professional Support Service will be required to undertake a CPD-accredited induction process. The duration of this process will be dependent on how much (if any) coaching experience you have already. The maximum CPD over the course of the induction program is nine hours.

For a non-experienced coach, the induction process takes place over three non-consecutive half-days using Microsoft Teams in a group setting.  You will be given an overview of the role, tools, and models to learn how to coach effectively, and full training on processes, paperwork, and policies. For an experienced coach, the induction process is shorter and comprises a group discussion and a half-day training on processes, paperwork, and policies. All volunteer coaches will receive their own Handbook which contains all of the information required.

Volunteer coaches have access to a coach supervisor and regular group supervision including a reflective record for CPD portfolios. This will take place via Microsoft Teams. Finally, coaches will also have access to a Useful Resources page in the Appendices of the Handbook.

The Social Work Professional Support Service website is hosted in WordPress, with forms built-in WordPress, Bookings made using Booknetic, and the coaching sessions being hosted on Microsoft Teams.

The whole service can be accessed through a standard web browser. There is, however, a mobile app and desktop software that will improve your experience of the coaching sessions, called Microsoft Teams. This software and the apps are free and can be found in the Google Play and Apple App stores. You can download the desktop version of Teams from here.

If you need help specific to Microsft Teams, such as learning more about Teams and Channels, you can access this by opening your Teams app, navigating to the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, and clicking on Help. From there, you can click on Topics which will take you to the main Help page and choose the option closest to your needs.

First, click on the ‘Find a coach’ button in the navigation, and scroll down the page where you will see an introduction and then a number of coaches.  You can:

  1. Refine the list of coaches by specialism or location.  To do so, check the relevant boxes on the right-hand side of the page, and press on the ‘submit’ button.  The list of coaches will change accordingly.
  2. You can search by name by entering the name of the coach (surname or forename, or both) in the search box and pressing the ‘submit’ button or hitting return.

Once you’ve found the coach, click on ‘Learn More’ button and scroll down the page to the Booking Form.  On the booking form click a specialism and and this will automatically take you to the calendar and the available dates for the coach you have chosen. Once you have selected the date and time for your session a booking form will appear for you complete asking you to list your name, your email address, your telephone number, and any additional notes you may wish to add. Your telephone number is only used to contact you if there is a problem with your booking.  After completing the booking form, click on the ‘confirm booking’ blue button.  A screen will appear thanking you for your booking and click ‘finish booking’.  A confirmation email and Teams joining link will be sent automatically to your email inbox.

page and select your coach. Click on “Learn More” and you will be taken to your coach’s page. At the bottom of that page, you will see the Booking Calendar with forthcoming dates your coach is available. You will also see greyed-out dates, which are the dates your coach is not available. Clicking on the date you would like will show the times of day you may select. Once you have made your date and time selection, scroll down and fill in the request for your name, your email address, your telephone number, and any additional notes you may wish to add. Your telephone number is only used to contact you if there is a problem with your booking. When you are finished, click once on “Book”. You will then see a screen which acknowledges your booking and explains that you will be sent an email to confirm your booking shortly. When you receive that email, you will a button to join your coaching session, simply click on this to be taken to the Teams session.

If you wish to cancel a booked appointment with a coach, please email SWPSS We request that you give your coach at least 24 hours’ notice before making a change or a cancellation, simply out of respect for the coach who is operating in a voluntary capacity.

We request that you give your coach 24 hours’ notice if you cannot attend the appointment, however, we recognise that emergencies do happen. You can cancel your appointment urgently by emailing supportservices@basw.co.uk  with your name, your coach’s name, and the date and time of the appointment. Please note that if this is received out of normal office hours, you may not receive an immediate response.

We hope that you will be very happy with the coach you have selected to help you, however we do understand that sometimes problems crop up. If you are unhappy with your coach, please contact supportservices@basw.co.uk with your name, the coach’s name, and the reason for the request to change. We will respond to you as soon as we are able.

If you have any problems or issues you wish to raise during your time with the Social Work Professional Support Service please contact supportservices@basw.co.uk

If you have any problems with the Social Work Professional Support Service website you can alert us to this by clicking this link.

You can make a complaint or pay a compliment about the Social Work Professional Support Service by following this link. You will then be contacted by the Service to follow up.

You can contact the Social Work Professional Support Service by emailing: supportservices@basw.co.uk