New minimum standards introduced for social workers

The Health Professions Council (HPC) has published its standards of proficiency, which set out what will be expected of social workers who wish to register and practise in England as of 1 August.

The Health Professions Council (HPC) has published its standards of proficiency for social workers in England, which set out what practitioners should know, understand and be able to do in order to register and practise.

The standards will be effective from 1 August, when the regulation of social workers transfers from the General Social Care Council (GSCC) to the newly-renamed Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Once on the HCPC’s register, social workers will have to meet the standards relevant to their area of practice. They will also have to meet the HCPC’s standards of conduct, performance and ethics, which are similar to the GSCC’s codes of practice.

“We worked with key stakeholders within the social work profession in England to draft the standards, to ensure that they reflected social work values and ethos,” said Anna van der Gaag, chair of the HPC.

“We also held a public consultation to take account of the views of the social work community and spoke to service users and carers during this process.”

The standards of proficiency will be subject to on-going review and updates to ensure they continue to develop and change with the social work profession, the HPC said.

They have also been designed to complement the Professional Capabilities Framework, which is overseen by the College of Social Work and sets out the key capabilities expected of social workers as they develop throughout their career.

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