Social care council ‘faces register chaos’

    Fears that the General Social Care Council will be swamped by
    thousands of registration applications next March have been raised
    because social workers are choosing to delay registering.

    All qualified social workers must register with the regulator by
    April 2005. But delegates said they would have to pay the £30
    annual charge twice if they joined this year.

    Director of standards and regulation Mike Wardle said: “I have
    heard this argument about paying twice before and I have to say
    that I do not think that £30 a year is an enormous amount of
    money to demonstrate your commitment to your work.”

    With less than a year to go, fewer than 5,000 of England’s 76,000
    professionals have registered.

    The GSCC warned that if it received a flood of applications at the
    eleventh-hour it would not be able to process them in time.

    Wardle added that it was not his job to advise employers to suspend
    staff who had not registered by next April, but emphasised that
    those workers who had not would be committing a crime.

    Members of the British Association of Social Workers also passed a
    motion at their annual meeting rejecting as “divisive and unfair”
    the different registration fees set by the GSCC for social workers
    who trained overseas.

    International registration carries a fee of £155, made up of
    £125 “to cover the additional process of assessing an
    applicant’s qualifications, training and experience”, plus the
    £30 standard fee.

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