Social worker wins appeal against GSCC over ‘forged’ diploma

    A social worker struck off by the General Social Care Council for supplying a forged diploma certificate can practise again after winning an appeal against the regulator.

    Kate Ariemugbovbe can now re-join the social care register after a tribunal judge concluded the certificate was genuine. The practitioner was barred from practising in March 2010 after a GSCC conduct committee concluded her diploma certificate from Ambrose Ali University in Nigeria was fake.

    This was identified during a wider investigation of education fraud relating to the same university.

    However, at a hearing of the First Tier Tribunal, Ariemugbovbe produced three affidavits from witnesses to prove that she had studied there and received a diploma in social work.

    She also referred to a case involving another social worker heard by the GSCC around the same time as hers, which involved “identical allegations”. Ariemugbovbe argued that in this case, the conduct committee found the allegation not proved and withdrew a suspension order against the practitioner, yet in her case she was struck off.

    The GSCC withdrew from the appeal halfway through and judge Tony Askham ordered that the original decision to remove her from the register should be quashed.

    A GSCC spokesperson said: “We decided to not oppose the appeal as we took onboard the provisional view of the tribunal judge that evidence from the university was insufficient in this case. We also took into account the late evidence from witnesses supporting the applicant’s case.”

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