Don’t get caught out: a social worker’s guide to completing your HCPC re-registration

Social worker and HCPC council member Robert Templeton gives a simple guide to the new system of renewing your registration this autumn

The importance of registration renewal

By 30 November 2014 all social workers in England will be required to renew their Heath and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration.  The renewal process opens on the 1 September 2014 and all social workers must renew their registration to avoid coming off the register and therefore be unable to legally practice as a social worker.

This is the first time since the Health Care Professional Council (HCPC) took over the registration of social workers from the General Social Care Council and the process of re-registration is somewhat different.

There are no Post-Registration Learning and Training (PRTL) forms to be completed and signed by your manager, for example. However there is a requirement that registrants must undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to HCPC standards.

Put simply, CPD is the way professionals continue to learn and develop throughout their careers so they keep their skills and knowledge up to date and are able to work safely, legally and effectively.

Know what’s expected

HCPC CPD standards state that registrants must:

  • Maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities;
  • Demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice;
  • Seek to ensure that their CPD has contributed to the quality of their practice and service delivery;
  • Seek to ensure that their CPD benefits the service user

There are many different types of CPD activity so it’s not just all about formal educational courses.

You can show continuing development through workplace-based learning such as working on a particular project, visiting another department or shadowing.

Another method is professional activity including involvement in your professional body, lecturing or teaching the subject of expertise. There is also self-directed learning which could involve reading journals or articles, as well as opportunities outside of work such as volunteering or public service. Every social worker should be keeping a record of their learning.

The 2.5%

Running alongside the re-registration process, 2.5% of social workers will be randomly selected for a CPD audit. This will mean that those selected will need to demonstrate their continued professional development for the past two year period of registration.

If you are selected for audit, you will need to send HCPC a profile showing how your CPD activities meet our standards. There are examples of social work profiles on the HCPC website.

The main parts of your CPD profile will be; a summary of your practice history for the last two years; a statement of how you have met our standards of CPD and evidence to support your statement.

Top tips

Don’t leave it to the last minute get ready for re-registering on the 1st September 2014

Do start thinking about and collating evidence of your CPD activities together either by making a simple list yourself or using one of the tools provided by the professional bodies.

Read HCPC’s explanation of CPD requirements in a document covering all professions

Ensure you have met the standards set out in the HCPC CPD policy:

Watch the HCPC videos which explain the CPD process further:

Contact the HCPC if you have any queries


Robert Templeton is a registered social worker and registrant council member of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). He is the current director of social work at the military charity SSAFA.

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