Simon Spoerer

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Government
Job title: Design Team Leader
Subject of study: Advanced Social Work
Year of graduation: 2002
Type/Level of study: Post graduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

Care Quality Commission

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

I still live in Exeter (working from home). When I studied for and got my Masters I was working for the National Care Standards Commission as a social care service inspection manager. I was seconded to teach on a post grad qualification programme for inspectors for a while before switching to work as a methodology developer and then methodology manager for the Commission for Social Care Inspection. CSCI became part of the Care Quality Commission, for whom I became a Design Team Leader and Policy Manager, specialising in adult social care regulation.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

I qualified as a social worker in 1980 and worked in the field and then as a social work team manager, ending up back in my home town (Exeter). I had had enough of the stresses involved (I spent most of my time focused in safeguarding), and tried social care service inspection as a rewarding alternative. It worked. I found I could make more difference to most people’s lives more quickly than as a social worker. I became interested in the regulatory methods we used, and how they could be improved. I succeeded in applications for methodology design and then policy jobs, which I have really enjoyed in the latter years of my career. I get a huge buzz from analysing a problem, hypothesising and co-producing solutions, and using modern quality and service design methods to keep things under continuous improvement review.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

It was hugely rewarding to study my topic in detail and reach an argued, evidence-based conclusion (comparing the relative effectiveness of regulation with service commissioning contract compliance). Part of this was to explore and set out the history of social care and its management and regulation across the centuries, which was deeply fascinating.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

My tutor was world renowned in social work education (Bill Forsyth); I learned so much from him.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

I lived in Exeter and the choice was a no brainer, though the staff team were superb. I would probably have also looked elsewhere but for the tutor group.

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

Being a tutor myself on a PQ programme for inspectors. Further service design study. Taking proposed new service design solutions through proposal, development, co-production, roll out and into continuous improvement.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

Explore contemporary service design principles and practice. And also follow your non-work hobbies and have a hinterland.

What are your plans for the future?

I retire in November 2020!


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