The Peer Support Worker Competence Framework has been released for consultation. NSUN believes it is not fit for purpose. It does not draw on widely shared understandings of peer support, nor does it reflect the values of peer support. It is prescriptive and clinical, and far removed from our understanding of peer support.
It is deeply troubling that the core team who developed it is not, in the main, comprised of peer support workers, people with lived experience or leading researchers or practitioners in peer support. This Framework co-opts peer support, and, at times, turns it into something unrecognisable.
Is this the same as the Peer Support Worker Apprenticeship Proposal?
No. Confusingly, this is not the same thing as the Peer Support Worker Apprenticeship Proposal, although it’s no coincidence they have come at similar times. As peer support becomes more popular, and there is a push towards recruiting more peer support workers in the NHS Long Term Plan, there is a drive towards creating national standards.
Why does it matter?
A National Competence Framework for peer support workers would form the basis of peer support worker job descriptions and person specifications, initially in statutory services, and then possibly in the voluntary sector. If you’re a peer support worker, it would have an impact on the way you work, and the way your work is assessed. If you’re being supported by a peer support worker, it would have an impact on what kind of support you’d receive.
What can I do?
You can read the two documents, a Supporting Document (30 pages) and the main Competency Framework (55 pages) here. The feedback form is downloadable on the same page, and is a table in a Word document. (In fact some of our feedback relates to how inaccessible the consultation is).
You can also download Akiko’s (NSUN’s CEO) completed feedback form here. You can use whatever is useful within it for your submission.
The deadline is Friday 20th March.
NSUN will also be liaising with other organisations and collectives over the next few weeks, and will be issuing a wider statement. We’ll keep you posted. Please do email us with any questions or comments.