The GSCC was established after more than 20 years of debate which transformed the idea from a general social work council to a general social services council to its present form. It is a regulatory and registration body. Like the Social Care Institute for Excellence (qv) and short-lived National Care Standards Commission it came life under the Care Standards Act 2000. It has issued codes of conduct and practice for social care workers and social care employers; has started to register of professionals; and it regulates and supports social work education and training. This latter function it took over from the now defunct Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work but responsibility for the education and training of all other social care staff rests with Skills for Care (qv). The council’s training role was enhanced with the new three-year degree level award for social workers.
Registration will be a seal of approval of competence and safety to practice. The council will also have the power to de-register.
The GSCC will eventually take within its remit the more than one million strong social care workforce in England. Because of the number of staff and the varying degrees of qualification (in fact, 80 per cent of the workforce are said to have no qualifications at all) it is estimated to be some years, possibly a decade, before all staff are registered and subject to the council’s regulation.
Fully funded by the government initially, in the longer term fees paid by registrants may contribute to its financing.
Chief executive: Mike Wardle
Chair: Rosie Varley
Address: Goldings House, 2, Hay’s Lane, London SE1 2HB
Telephone: 0207 397 5100
Other UK equivalents: The Care Council for Wales; the Scottish Social Services Council; the Northern Ireland Social Care Council.