Consultation on regulation of NI social workers launched

Northern Ireland could move to a fitness to practise system similar to the one being introduced in England

Care workers also face regulation reforms (Monkey Business Images/Rex)
Care workers also face regulation reforms (Monkey Business Images/Rex)

Northern Ireland’s social work regulator has launched a consultation for frontline staff, service users, education providers and employers on proposed reforms to its conduct system.

The Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC) is looking at a number of areas, including:

  • Whether to introduce a fitness to practise model of regulation, in line with the changes occurring in England
  • Streamlining its existing conduct procedures and introducing a wider range of sanctions, including the ability to impose conditions on a registrant’s practice
  • Replacing the term “admonishment” with “warning”

“While NISCC conduct procedures are robust and have been kept under regular review, we are of the opinion that we can improve the way in which they operate in order to meet the challenges of the future,” says a statement on the NISCC’s website.

Any proposals requiring changes to current legislation will be subject to approval by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety.

The NISCC registers social care workers, social workers and social work students. There are currently 15,000 people on the register.

The consultation closes on 28 September.

Download the consultation document

Take part in the online survey

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Kirsty McGregor is Community Care’s workforce editor

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