The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) and the College of Social Work are to reopen talks on a possible merger.
The two bodies will be represented by independent negotiators in a bid to move the talks beyond the disagreements which prompted their collapse in September 2011.
Neither Penny Thompson, who will represent the College, nor David N Jones, who will represent BASW, has had previous involvement in the discussions. Thompson is chief executive of the General Social Care Council and Jones, a consultant, is a former president of the International Federation of Social Workers and BASW. Both have been appointed in a personal capacity.
Merger talks between the College and BASW stalled over the College’s joint membership deal with Unison. The deal has since been suspended and will be revisited by the College’s first board in spring.
In a joint statement, Thompson and Jones said: “We fully support the proposal made by the Social Work Reform Board that there should be a national voice which unites the social work profession. We recognise that social workers in general have been perplexed by the disagreements between the different parties in recent months. We also recognise that there are important issues of principle which need to be addressed.”
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