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For those social workers with considerable experience safeguarding children, moving into the position of an independent reviewing officer can be appealing. But what do you need on your CV to help secure the role of an independent reviewing officer? 

Below are five job specific components that not only explain what independent reviewing officers do, but also give insight into the type of experience you should have and then outline on your CV:

1. Extensive proof of interpersonal skills and ability to work with children and parents.

If you are applying for this role, this is likely already a given. However, in your CV bullet points, you may want to add that you possess an extensive communication skill set regarding communication with children. This is because you will have to be able to consult with a child about his/her care plan and consider a child’s views, wishes and feelings while doing this. If you have taken specific training in this area, this would also be something to add.

It is also important that you ensure that parents are engaged in the child protection and child in care planning processes, unless it is not in the best interest for the child. Therefore, the ability to manage a child’s needs and his/her family’s needs, and demonstrate this on your CV, is crucial.

2. Training and experience on detailed and informed assessments and ensuring care plans are based on them.

Independent reviewing officers must be equipped to find gaps in the assessment process or delivery of service and ensure that care plans are based on detailed and informed assessment. In addition, they audit LAC case files and provide intensive quality assurance. Therefore, you should have some type of experience in these areas as well as skills in attention to detail, planning and organisation.

3. Proof of education or experience chairing meetings, conferences and reviews.

Independent reviewing officers tend to chair LAC meetings and reviews, but also may chair LADO meetings, child death reviews, CSE strategy meetings, foster carer reviews, adoption reviews, pathway plan reviews, child protection conferences, child in care reviews as well as others. Therefore, it is crucial that you have training and experience in the above.
If this is your first time applying for this type of position, having experience as a team manager, team coordinator or practice manager is beneficial because these positions provide experience chairing core group meetings and help you build other essential skills that are relevant to the position of independent reviewing officer.

4. Experience working in a variety of situations and ability to be flexible with work

For most social work professions, the job environment is constantly changing. You need to ensure that you are adaptable and able to participate in an IRO/CPC duty rota if needed. 

5. Extensive knowledge of relevant protocols and policies.

While this list is not exhaustive, it is imperative that you are knowledgeable and able to effectively carry out DCST policies and procedures; MISPER protocols; Ofsted and DBS checks and Local Safeguarding Board Multi-Agency Safeguarding Procedures.

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