Historic agreement for single UK college of social work

The College of Social Work and their counterparts at BASW - the College of Social Work have agreed to work together to merge into a single, UK-wide organisation. Fran Fuller, chair of BASW, (pictured) said the agreement was in the "best interests of the profession".

wpid-fuller-fran-200.gif

The College of Social Work and their counterparts at BASW – the College of Social Work have agreed to work together to merge into a single, UK-wide organisation.

In a memorandum of understanding (MoU) published today, the two bodies said they would call a halt to a legal dispute over who has the right to use the name, in a bid to create a single college by January 2012.

There are still issues to be resolved, both parties admitted, including the question of the college’s structure, business model, staffing arrangements and relationships with trade unions. A joint membership deal between Unison and the College of Social Work, supported by the Social Care Institute for Excellence, was announced last year.

A joint working group consisting of members of the interim board of the College of Social Work and BASW’s council has been set up to undertake “detailed thinking” on these issues.

“There are still important issues to resolve of course, but we now have a solid mechanism to work through them together in the best interests of the profession,” said Fran Fuller, chair of BASW.

Senior members of both organisations will be given a non-voting seat on each other’s governing body. They will retain seperate identities for the time being.

The memorandum of understanding is subject to the approval of BASW’s members, who will have a chance to vote on the proposals at BASW’s annual general meeting in Birmingham on 26 May. Members will also have a say on whether to go ahead with establishing a trade union arm, as proposed by BASW.

BASW will hold a consitutional convention in October, where members will be able to approve final plans for transferring the organisation’s assets and membership to the new, single college.

In the meantime, the two organisations are “urgently exploring” a joint membership offer, aimed at offering access to both and preceeding membership of a single college.

It is envisaged that the college will be open to social workers throughout the UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands.

Maurice Bates, interim co-chair of the College of Social Work, said: “We are very pleased to have made significant progress in our discussions with BASW.

“We can now focus on building a new college.”

What do you think about the agreement? Join the debate on CareSpace

More from Community Care

Comments are closed.