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How to prepare for the NAAS Social Work Simulated Practice Assessment

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

Depending on your personal preference, roleplay at Assessment Centres can either be a dream or a daunting experience. We recommend the 3 P’s in preparing for an assessment roleplay.


The thought of undertaking roleplay is a daunting for some social workers experience because they don’t know what to expect and therefore fail to prepare for the activity. Preparing emotionally, physically and psychologically for the roleplay assessment places you in a better standing of being able to handle and deal with the challenges effectively. Be prepared to be assessed- to have a panel of judges watch your every move. Be prepared to feel uncomfortable and maybe even nervous. Be prepared to manage your own emotions and rise to the challenge. Be prepared to remember all your training up until this point and do what you do best - engage and deliver the best outcomes.


Whilst some people may argue that you can’t prepare for something so unstructured as roleplay we suggest that you plan how you would like to present on the day. For instance, if you were to deal with a distressed and highly volatile young person, how would you initially react? How would you cope? How do you intend to gather enough information in order to support the young person - will you be reassuring, empowering, empathic? Planning will mitigate uncertainties, and empower you to approach any situation with confidence.


When you’ve done all the prep work, now do the practising. Find someone who is willing to put you through the paces and get comfortable with the idea of being assessed. Evaluate how each individual approach could impact outcomes e.g rapport building. Challenge yourself by asking your helper to try out all sorts of emotional characters: anxious, angry, calm, cheeky, confused etc until you feel comfortable gathering information and supporting the service user.

You can do it! See you at the next Assessment Centre.

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