How to maintain your Social Work England registration
By Luke Aldred
Social work is a diverse, challenging and fulfilling career. Many are drawn to the profession because it presents an opportunity to stand up for human rights and against social injustices. You’ll find that no two days will ever be the same. Because of the nature of the job, it’s crucial that it is properly regulated for the safety and protection of the people who need support and social work staff themselves.
All social workers who wish to work here in England have to be registered with Social Work England; this is an independent protection body that sets training, and professional standards for social workers. The supervision of social workers in England transferred over to Social Work England from the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), back in December 2019.
If you’re a social worker, you can apply to join the register when you’ve received confirmation that you’ve successfully completed your course, and when your course provider has sent through their pass list to Social Work England (this is a list of people who passed the course) to verify your qualification.
The CPD standard
Social Work England’s professional standard around continuing professional development (CPD) sets out what you need to do to maintain your registration. As a social worker you must:
Incorporate feedback from a range of sources, including from people with lived experience of your social work practice
Use supervision and feedback to critically reflect on, and identify your learning needs, including how you use research and evidence to inform your practice
Keep your practice up-to-date and record how you use research, theories and frameworks to inform your practice and your professional judgement
Demonstrate good subject knowledge on key aspects of social work practice and develop knowledge of current issues in society and social policies impacting on social work
Contribute to an open and creative learning culture in the workplace to discuss, reflect on and share best practice
Reflect on your learning activities and evidence what impact continuing professional development has on the quality of your practice
Record your learning and reflection on a regular basis and in accordance with Social Work England’s guidance on continuing professional development
Reflect on your own values and challenge the impact they have on your practice
Renewing your Social Work England registration
The renewal period is between 1 September and 30 November every year. All social workers who want to continue to practice in England must renew their registration annually (if you were originally registered with the HCPC, renewals will have taken place every two years. This was changed to maintain regular contact, ensure your details are up-to-date and that you continue to meet the professional standards). Annual registration fees are £90.
It’s a legal requirement to renew your registration to continue to use the protected title of ‘social worker’, as set out in the Social Worker Regulations 2018 and the Social Work England (Registration) Rules 2019.