The College of Social Work aims to sign up a third of all social workers in England as fee-paying members by March 2015.
The start-up told Community Care that it is working to a provisional target of attracting 31,000 members over the next three years. The College said it would revise this figure over the next few months, once it has a better understanding of how many social workers are likely to sign up to the offer.
Prospective members were invited to join the College before it opened its doors on 5 January. It then ran a free trial membership offer, which ended on 1 April.
As of 31 March, the College had recruited roughly 9,600 prospective and trial members and it hopes that 6,000 of these will agree to pay the fees, which are £60 for employed practitioners and £90 for independent social workers. It will release figures on how many converted to fee-paying membership at the end of this month.
The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) has 14,300 members and its arm’s-length union, the Social Workers Union, has 2,700. Unison has over 40,000 social workers in membership across the UK.
One third of social workers will never join College
The College of Social Work, BASW and Unison: Costs and benefits for social workers in 2012