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Social workers urged not to leave registration renewal until last minute

Social workers wishing to continue practising can now apply to renew their registration with the regulator Social Work England.

Renewal of registration can be completed with three simple steps: firstly, submit an application via your online account, secondly pay the registration fee and finally, record one piece of Continued Professional Development.

The deadline for submission of an application is 30 November, but social workers are being encouraged to complete their re-registration as early as possible to prevent a last minute rush as occurred last year.

Philip Hallam, executive director of registration, education quality assurance and legal at Social Work England said: “We’ve spent a lot of time reviewing how things went last year and working with the sector to refine the annual renewal process. We are asking social workers to take three simple steps to complete their renewal application as soon as possible and before 30 November. A lot of people left it until the last minute last year, which put immense strain on teams and employers who weren’t sure if their workforce would turn up for work in December – which is traditionally an extremely busy time for social services.

“It may sound harsh that any social worker who doesn’t successfully complete the renewal process will be removed from practise. But it’s essential that the public have reassurance that any social worker in their lives can be found on the public register and will meet the national professional standards. The same applies to doctors, nurses and dentists. Our role is to protect the public by regulating the social workers they put their trust in and making sure they are practising legally,” he added.

Annual registration is a legal requirement for anyone who wants to use the title of social worker.

As part of registration, social workers should record CPD regularly to demonstrate they are maintaining their professional skills and keeping their practice up to date. It is a requirement of applying to renew registration that social workers record at least one piece of CPD per year.

This applies to all social workers, including those on extended leave such as maternity, and those not currently working. Social Work England has recently published some real examples online, to show that CPD can be much more far-reaching than a traditional training course. There are also videos and blogs to assist and the organisation’s team of regional engagement leads can help with any questions.

If your circumstances have changed, you should ensure the register accurately reflects your status for 2021 to 2022 by:

  • Making a self-referral if your fitness to practise has changed.
  • Apply for voluntary removal if you wish to leave the register.

Those who join the register from September to November do not need to apply to renew or record CPD, having just sent us up to date information. However, they will need to pay the registration fee for the coming year.

Anyone who is removed from the register because they don’t apply to renew by 30 November, will have to pay a restoration fee to apply to rejoin the register and to continue to practise, Social Work England concluded.

Social Work England is running free online workshops until November where social workers can learn more about registration and CPD. To book a place visit the website.

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