Social Work England

Are you ready for the switch?

By Luke Aldred

​With just a few weeks to go until Social Work England officially takes over as the professional regulator for social workers in England, you may have a lot of last-minute questions on your mind. We’ve spoken directly to the team at Social Work England and they have answered your concerns which you can read below.

“How will this affect registration?”

Social workers in England who wish to continue to practice should continue to renew their registration with the current regulator the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

All social workers registered, including those with an address outside of the UK, will be transferred over automatically when they become the regulator on 2nd December 2019. Individuals will not have to pay or apply twice.

“What impact will it have on already registered social workers?”

In terms of the transfer process, they are aiming for this to be as smooth as possible. The transfer, including your payment of fees by direct debit if appropriate, will be automatic for everyone on the register. They will get in touch with you the week commencing 2nd December 2019 to reassure you that this has taken place.

“Will my registration number stay the same?”

Yes, your registration number will remain the same as it was with the HCPC.

“How much will registration cost?”

Direct debits and the renewal period will change as Social Work England will be incorporating annual renewal between the 1st September and 30th November each year. Fees will not change – but will be reduced to £90 per year rather than £180 every two years.

They believe that annual renewal is beneficial for social workers because it can ensure ongoing engagement with registrants, as well as keeping the public register up to date and provide confidence to the public that CPD is being undertaken by social workers regularly.

“How do I set up my registration?”

Social workers should set up an online account with Social Work England – this will not only allow you to make payments (or set up a direct debit if you wish) but also help with easier communication between yourself and the regulator.

“Will there be more resources with the new registration body such as research, good working practice, focused articles on social work development, Ofsted recommendations and DFS research?”

They aim to gather data and intelligence to raise standards across the profession. Their regional engagement leads will be working with everyone who has an interest in social work to ensure we develop a rich picture of the current social work landscape.

They will also be carrying out research and producing reports relevant to social work in England.

“Have Social Work England any plans to ensure social work is more effective customer-driven and less process-driven hidden behind a computer screen?”

They are committed to collaborating and working with everyone who has an interest in social work. They want to make sure that our processes, and work with key stakeholders, enable social workers to do their jobs in the most effective way.

Social Work England has also published a detailed FAQ section on its website which should answer further questions relating to the transition.

If you still have any pressing questions about the switch, please get in touch with your Sanctuary consultant – we’re here to help you navigate the change.