A “demonstrable” understanding of social work is not an “essential” requirement for potential applicants seeking to be the new social work regulator’s chief executive, according to the published job description for the role.
Published this week, the government has said it is “desirable” for the chief executive of Social Work England to have a demonstrable understanding of social work, particularly in health and social care, but this was not cited in the role’s list of “essential” requirements.
The job advertisement also revealed the government will spend £22-26 million to establish the new regulator, which was announced in 2015 and enshrined in law earlier this year.
The cost of running Social Work England annually would be £12 million once it is in a “steady state”, the description revealed. The organisation will employ 120 staff and be based in Sheffield.
There is no confirmed date for when the regulator will replace the Health and Care Professions’ Council, but the job description for the chief executive role states that the government doesn’t expect Social Work England to be regulating social workers before Spring 2019.
The Social Work England chief executive role is advertised with an annual salary of £142,500. The successful candidate would work closely with social work experts and leaders to establish the new regulator.
The list of “essential” criteria for applicants includes:
- Experience of senior leadership in a complex organisation
- Clear track record of managing, developing and motivating staff through change
- Proven track record of leading and managing corporate change
- Excellent evidence of communication
- Demonstrable track record of building credibility and strong relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders at all levels
- Experience of working in a regulated environment.
In his foreword, children’s minister Robert Goodwill said the successful candidate would have “regulatory experience together with an understanding of social work”.
He added: “The chief executive’s input will make a real and tangible contribution to raising standards in social work, to protecting the public and in turn enhance the status and standing of the social work profession and improve social mobility.”
Social Work England chair required
The government also launched a recruitment campaign for a chair of Social Work England, who will work 10-12 days a month during set up, and one day a week once the organisation is in a “steady” state. The payment would be a £450 a day.
The chair is expected to be announced in March 2018, while the chief executive would be announced in April 2018.
When launched, the regulator will:
- Set standards for, and approve, courses of initial education and training that enable registration as a social worker
- Set professional standards including proficiency, conduct and ethics, and continuing professional development which promotes continuing fitness to practise
- Maintain a register of social workers
- Operate a fitness to practise system
- Maximise the benefit of workforce data to support practice improvement while maintaining a focus on the effective delivery of core regulatory functions.
Ruth Allen, chief executive of the British Association of Social Workers, said she hoped applicants with social work and social care experience apply.
“These important roles will shape the next chapter in the development of social work in England…The successful applicants will need to ensure public confidence and high standards.”
The chief social worker for children and families, Isabelle Trowler, praised the “important step” towards “ensuring that our profession has a regulator that focuses on excellent practice”.
Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker for Adults, added: “Social Work England will be a dedicated regulator for all social workers, providing an exciting opportunity to set specific standards and ensure recognition for this essential profession. Most importantly, contributing to ensuring that people get the quality social work services they need to support their wellbeing and safety.”