Question: I hold a postgraduate certificate in social care/work at master’s level. I have 130 credits at level 3 and 40 credits at level 4 and although I did not pass the masters dissertation of my postgraduate course, (shortly after being diagnosed with Dyspraxia) I was successfully registered as a social worker in 2006 with the General Social Care Council with the post graduate certificate and have had a very successful career.
I was told earlier this year that the GSCC made an error and have consequently revoked my registration. This means I now need to do extra work at university to get my postgraduate certificate to a social work diploma or master’s but I have found it extremely difficult to get on a course. I am urgently trying to sort this out as my career has been put on hold.
Answer: Since introduction of the social work degree, it has become the main qualification for social work, although the General Social Care Council also recognises previous awards such as Diploma in Social Work, Certificate in Social Service, and Certificate of Qualification in Social Work. To gain the qualification, students are required to meet all course requirements for the validated social work degree awards. Where students fail to meet the requirements, students are awarded default awards.
Students with default awards have limited choices available to them to gain the social work degree qualification to register with the GSCC. Students wishing to transfer between programmes soon realise the lack of compatibility between different programme designs. On some programmes students take academic and practice learning modules concurrently, while others are at different times.
The other difficulty is that most programmes are not designed or validated to enable students to join in and take single modules. The arrangements to allow students to use credits gained from another university to top-up and complete the required suite of modules are not well established and validated within the programmes.
Students who find themselves in a situation where they need to gain extra credits, normally in specific modules to complete the full suite of module requirements for the social work degree award, can either enrol on another programme and study all the modules again, or look around for a programme where they can take a combination of modules to gain an identified award. Theses options will have financial implications.
Some universities offer postgraduate certificate/postgraduate diploma awards as part of their GSCC-validated exit awards. Students can enrol on these courses and negotiate to take a combination of modules including the specific ones that they failed previously. If successful, the new award presented together with the default award can be used as evidence that the required suite of modules have been passed. However, it is important to check with the GSCC first that this route would lead to successful registration.
Wilson Muleya is principal lecturer in social work at Kingston University/St George’s, University of London
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This article is published in the 5 August 2010 edition of Community Care magazine under the headline My Registration Has Been Revoked