The General Social Care Council has urged the government to streamline the funding and monitoring of the social work degree, currently shared between the regulator and several other public bodies.
It also wants universities to be funded according to their performance.
The calls follow comments from outgoing GSCC chair Rodney Brooke, who told Community Care that existing funding arrangements were too complicated.
At present, funding comes from four sources (see panel, right), and training standards are monitored by the GSCC and the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. The degree’s content is shaped by the National Occupational Standards for Social Work, drawn up by UK-wide workforce development body Skills for Care and Development, and the Department of Health.
Brooke said the GSCC should take overall responsibility for the degree.
A spokesperson for the regulator said it wanted “a review of the funding arrangements to ensure the system is clear and coherent”, and greater responsibility over training standards.
It also wants the occupational standards and the DH’s requirements for social work training, last updated in 2002, merged into a single document.
The GSCC called for universities to be funded for the course according to performance, rather than student numbers. A GSCC review of the degree published last month said universities were making insufficient effort to form partnerships with social work employers.
The DH and the Department for Children, Schools and Families are conducting a review of the degree, to determine how it prepares social workers for practice.
A DH spokesperson said this would cover its funding, organisation and standards. The review will inform separate national workforce strategies for adult care and children’s services, due in spring 2009.