College of Social Work targets 31,000 members by 2015

The College of Social Work aims to sign up a third of all social workers in England as fee-paying members by March 2015.

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The College of Social Work aims to sign up a third of all social workers in England as fee-paying members by March 2015.

The start-up told Community Care that it is working to a provisional target of attracting 31,000 members over the next three years. The College said it would revise this figure over the next few months, once it has a better understanding of how many social workers are likely to sign up to the offer.

Prospective members were invited to join the College before it opened its doors on 5 January. It then ran a free trial membership offer, which ended on 1 April.

As of 31 March, the College had recruited roughly 9,600 prospective and trial members and it hopes that 6,000 of these will agree to pay the fees, which are £60 for employed practitioners and £90 for independent social workers. It will release figures on how many converted to fee-paying membership at the end of this month.

The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) has 14,300 members and its arm’s-length union, the Social Workers Union, has 2,700. Unison has over 40,000 social workers in membership across the UK.

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