Social Work England has opened its doors for social workers to re-register from 1 September.
There are almost 100,000 social workers in England and the regulator has announced that social workers should complete their online renewal process as soon as possible and before the 30 November deadline.
Philip Hallam, executive director for registration, quality assurance and legal said: “Being registered gives the public reassurance that you are a properly qualified social worker who meets recognised professional standards and has up to date skills.
“We have made the renewal process an annual requirement to give people extra confidence that when they search our register for a social worker, they are getting up to date information about regulated professionals who carry out a specialist role - similar to doctors, nurses and dentists,” he added.
By law, all social workers must be on the register if they wish to use the protected title. The specialist regulator went live in December and has changed the renewal process to an annual requirement as part of its mission to increase public confidence in social workers.
Every social worker has been provided with an online account, where they must record CPD, as well as manage their registration, payments and personal details. As part of the changes made by the regulator, social workers must now record at least one piece of continuing professional development (CPD) annually to show they are keeping their skills up to date.
Despite the move to an annual process, Social Work England has kept the registration fees the same. Those who renew before 25 September will have the option of paying their £90 fee by Direct Debit in two instalments, on 1 October 2020 and 1 April 2021. Those registering afterwards will need to pay the full amount by debit or credit card.
Philip Hallam added: “We know that social workers are often managing busy workloads, which is why we have tried to make the renewal process as simple as possible. Go online to www.socialworkengland.org.uk and complete three simple steps: activate your online account if you haven’t already done so, record your CPD, and complete the online renewal application. If you don’t apply to renew in time, you will be removed from the register, will not be able to practise as a social worker, and will have to pay an additional restoration fee of £135 to have your registration restored.”
Social workers are urged to visit the renewal section on the Social Work England website for full information about renewals. This also includes information about leaving the register voluntarily and making the regulator aware if your circumstances have changed.