Nearly 30,000 social workers in England will not be registered
with the General Social Care Council when the 1 April deadline
passes, despite a lead-in time of more than two years.
The registration of 65,000 social workers expected to apply is
unlikely to be completed before July, the GSCC has admitted,
despite registration becoming a legal requirement in April.
Only 37,963 social workers were fully registered by last week –
6,472 fewer than the number who had applied by 1 December, which
was supposed to guarantee registration by April.
The GSCC said the April target will be missed because of the
thousands of last-minute applications received after the December
The applicants who had met the December deadline but had yet to
be registered had omitted information from their forms or had made
declarations which needed further investigation, a spokesperson
She was confident most social workers had now applied, adding:
“The important thing is they have demonstrated their intent to
register. We’ve urged them not to leave it until the last
The council had run advertising and information campaigns to
ensure most social workers knew about registration, she said.
She denied that processing the thousands of recently submitted
forms would take longer than three months. Most of the 37,000 forms
processed so far had been received in the past few months, she
The GSCC has confirmed that anyone who submitted an application
“in good faith” before the April deadline would receive a letter
giving them professional licence to work.
Ian Johnston, director of the British Association of Social
Workers, said: “We have had some frustration about the way the GSCC
has approached the issue and we’ve felt at times they’ve been
unduly pernickety about their approach to checking the
“On the other hand the delays are attributable to the GSCC’s
concern to make sure they do the necessary checks and they are
registering people who are fit to practice.”