Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Government executive agency to regulate social work

New government ‘executive agency’ will set standards on behalf of Secretaries of State and take over regulation of social work

A government ‘executive agency’ will take over the regulation of social work under proposals outlined by the Department for Education.

Government is proposing to establish an executive agency, jointly supported by both the Department of Health and the Department for Education which will set standards on behalf of the Secretaries of State.

The new ‘executive agency’ will take over the regulation of the Health and Care Professions Council which has an approach “designed to maintain minimum standards of public safety and initial education across a range of professions, rather than drive up standards in any one profession”, a policy statement from the DfE states.

“The need to drive up standards in social work is, though, vital for a profession where the safety of our most vulnerable people is inextricably linked with the highest standards of practice,” said the policy statement on Regulating Social Workers. “In addition, it has not been possible in social work to create a sustainable professional body which could play a decisive role in raising standards.”

“A distinct social work specific regulator will have the expertise and standards oriented approach essential to this drive for improvement. Given the need for reform, the desire to effect change quickly and the links to its wider reform programme, Government believes that the most appropriate course of action at this time is for regulation to move closer to Government,” the policy statement added.

While the agency will set standards on behalf of the Secretaries of State, decisions about the quality of individual social work training programmes and the fitness to practise of individual social workers will be kept at “arm’s length of Ministers and with a high degree of transparency”.

However, the document states that more independence may be possible further down the line and Government is committed, three years after the body is established, to consulting with the sector on whether the agency should be placed on a more independent footing.

The new agency deliver a comprehensive regulatory framework including:

  • Publish new professional standards, aligning with the Chief Social Workers Knowledge and Skills statements
  • Set new standards for qualifying education and training, and reaccredit providers against these standards by 2020
  • Maintain a single register of social workers, annotating it to denote specialist accreditations;
  • Set new, social work specific, standards for continuous professional development;
  • Oversee a robust and transparent fitness to practise system;
  • Approve post qualifying courses and training in specialisms such as Approved Mental Health Professionals and Best Interest Assessors;
  • Oversee the proposed new assessment and accreditation system for child and family social workers; and,
  • Oversee the required arrangements for successfully completing the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE).“We need to set credible standards which address evidence of failings in practice and set clear expectations of the profession. These need to be developed in close collaboration with the sector, drawing on the expertise of the Chief Social Workers, employers, academics and practitioners themselves. They need to address both pre and post qualification career development and be backed up by robust systems which address any malpractice,” the document concluded.

The plans for a new social work regulator are set out in the Children and Social Work Bill.






Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

Social workers urged to support fathers at risk of causing harm to children


Social workers, midwives and health visitors are being urged to provide more support to fathers following an independent review into safeguarding children under one year old from non-accidental injury caused by male carers.

The independent Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel’s latest review looks at the lives of babies who were known or suspected to have [...]

Read Full Story

Child sexual abuse found in most major religions in UK


‘Blatant hypocrisy and moral failing of religions’ has been highlighted following an investigation which found child sexual abuse had been found in most major religions in the UK.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse report ‘Child protection in religious organisations and settings’ examined evidence received from 38 religious organisations with a presence in England [...]

Read Full Story

Significant shift needed in adoption system


There should be a significant shift in thinking about the adoption system in order to provide better support for some of England’s most vulnerable children, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Adoption and Permanence has urged.

Following a three-month inquiry, the APPGAP has launched a report calling for a system-wide move from ‘family finding’, the [...]

Read Full Story
Children First is an online resource for professionals working with children presented by WillisPalmer, providing you with the latest news, features and interviews.
Subscribe Today
Delivering a diverse, reliable range of services to children and their families across the UK
D1, Parkside, Knowledge Gateway, Nesfield Road, Colchester, Essex CO4 3ZL
Contact Us
WP Quality Assured

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

closechevron-downbars linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram