Over half of social workers aren’t ready for HCPC re-registration, survey suggests

A survey by recruitment consultancy Liquid Personnel shows many social workers still unsure about the HCPC renewal process, which starts next week

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Families are barred from accessing a range of public funds. Photo:REX/Magic Car Pics

The window for renewing your registration with the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC) opens next Monday – but are you ready?

Over half of social workers aren’t, according to a survey by recruitment consultancy Liquid Personnel, which polled a range of permanent and agency social workers in both children’s and adults’ services.

51% of social workers surveyed said they do not feel ready for re-registration, even though failing to re-register will mean they can no longer practise as a social worker.

When asked how confident they felt that they know what is involved in the re-registration process, less than 10% of the social workers said they are “very confident” and 20% said they are “not confident at all”.

Almost half of social workers surveyed were “unsure” whether or not they know what’s involved in registration despite only having until the end of November to complete the process without which they will be unable to practise legally as social workers.

One social worker surveyed said: “I am aware that it will happen, however I have had no information about the registration.”

Another said: “Because this is a new system, I’m not quite sure what is expected in terms of continuing professional development.”

Alongside the re-registration process, a random sample of 2.5% of all social workers in England will submit evidence of their continuing professional development (CPD) for audit.

However, only a third of social workers surveyed by Liquid Personnel felt they have had adequate access to training and CPD materials. Almost half of social workers described their access to CPD support as “some but not enough”.

One agency worker said: “Some local authorities will not let you undertake training with them if a locum, so not only do you need to find and pay for it but also lose money for attending.”

Another temporary worker said: “It is difficult to maintain training when working as a locum. Any e-learning must be carried out in one’s own time. If one is employed by a local authority this is not the case.”

Jonathan Coxon, the managing director of Liquid Personnel, said: “It’s the first year of a new re-registration system, so communicating effectively to all social workers was always going to be a major challenge. It’s clear that there is still some work to be done.”

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2 Responses to Over half of social workers aren’t ready for HCPC re-registration, survey suggests

  1. Cherryl August 28, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

    I totally agree with the comments made by the social workers interviewed and the analysis from Liquid Personnel. As a locum I have found it extremely difficult to undertake training as it is not accessible when working for LA’s. As a result, am I ready, I guess not!

    I have been in interim manager posts for the past 18 months and have also been struck but the lack of knowledge that permanent staff have about what is required.

    It’s all a worry as although I am totally supportive of the Social Work profession being governed by certain standards of best practice, it is also another pressure for those working hard to safeguard the most vulnerable.

  2. Ezzie September 3, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

    I don’t understand why many social workers are worried about this? You do your training and log it for IF it is ever required for audit. As both an employee of several LA’s private sector and being self employed I have always had opportunity to access training and given that this is a required part of keeping my registration, I ensure that I make time to attend. Working for myself means that I must manage, organise and pay for any training that I feel would enhance my practice. I do not see this as a problem either, as I was fully aware of this before I became a locum. The benefit of being a locum is that you are paid more and hence should view paying for training as a necessary outgoing of your pay packet. This said, I fully understand that many social workers are under stress and find it difficult to manage a few moments to record training or even to book on training but the reality is that we must get better at organising our own training needs and make them a priority.