The British Association of Social Workers has confirmed it will launch a rival to the College of Social Work on Monday.
Community Care revealed last week that BASW intended to rebrand as “BASW – the College of Social Work” and promote itself as an alternative to the similarly-named College of Social Work under development as part of the social work reform programme in England.
The association has today confirmed that it will go ahead with its plans, despite concerns that this could lead to fragmentation within the profession.
In a statement, BASW said: “The launch of a college for the social work profession will ensure only the highest standards of practice, training and employer support for a profession that has for too long been forced to settle for second class status.”
It also revealed plans to secure 51% of social workers in its membership by 2015, through a “massive investment in growth”.
A spokesperson for the College said: “We are dismayed that BASW has unilaterally decided to announce the creation of “BASW – the College of Social Work”.
“We have pursued convergence talks with BASW in good faith and we are therefore disappointed that they have chosen to take this course of action.
“In our opinion BASW’s move will simply divide the profession when it needs to stand united to deal with the challenges that confront it.
“The interim board will not be pushed off course by BASW’s behaviour; we remain utterly committed to building a College of Social Work developed and led by social workers and accountable to social workers in the interests of the profession as a whole.
“We remain committed to working with BASW and hope that they will resume discussions with the interim board to create one college.”
What do you think? Join the debate on CareSpace
Keep up to date with the latest developments in social care. Sign up to our daily and weekly emails