College of Social Work likely to cost members £270 a year

Membership of the College of Social Work is likely to cost £270 a year, although Unison members will only have to pay about £50 extra a year to join, it was announced today.

The College of Social Work and Unison have agreed “in principle” to a deal to work together.

This will enable social workers who are members of Unison to become members of the college for an additional fee of about £1 a week. This figure will include tax relief on membership of the college.

Under the deal, Unison will provide employee representation services to college members and the college will provide professional advice services to social workers who are Unison members.

“Working together with Unison will enable the College to bring significant, value-added membership benefits and support to our members. This partnership is crucial if we are to strengthen and empower the social work profession and bring significant improvements and benefits to all within the profession itself and to those that it exists to serve,” said Dorit Braun, project director for the College.

Helga Pile, national officer for Social Care at Unison added: “We are the union for social workers, so it makes sense for us to work in partnership with the College. We want to play our part in making sure that social workers get the professional support and the public backing they deserve.”

The College is also in talks with the British Association of Social Workers “to pursue convergence”, but full details of what this means have not been released.

Social workers who become members of the College will gain a number of benefits. These include:

*Representation and employment advice via Unison

*An online library with access to research

*Professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance

*A peer-reviewed journal

*Practical guidance and advice via a professional advice service for individual members

Last month it emerged that most social workers would not pay more than £50 to join the College of Social Work.

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