Top tips for renewing your social work registration

Social workers in England have to renew their HCPC registration every two years to continue practising

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Feedback from service users can be a good way to evidence learning activities. Photo: fotolia/Kurhan

by Natalie Berrie

Social workers in England have until midnight on 30 November 2018 to renew their registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Anyone who doesn’t renew by this time will have their name removed from the register. If this happens, you will be unable to practise as a social worker in England, causing not only disruption to service provision but potential inconvenience to yourself.

Don’t forget

  • The easiest and quickest way to renew is online.
  • Social workers must complete the professional declarations and pay the registration fee.
  • The cost of registration can be spread by paying by direct debit.
  • UK taxpayers can claim tax back on their fees.

Although social workers in England are moving to a new regulator, Social Work England (SWE), next year, you must renew your registration with the HCPC now to continue practising as a social worker. HCPC is working closely with SWE to ensure an efficient transfer, and this includes any fees paid.

During the renewal period, 2.5 per cent of social workers will be selected for audit. If this is you, you must submit a profile showing how you meet the council’s standards.

What to do if you are selected for audit

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

The main parts of your CPD profile will be:

  1. A summary of your practice history for the last two years.
  2. A statement of how you have met the HCPC’s standards of CPD – and evidence to support this.

HCPC 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.

Top tips for completing your CPD profile

  1. Act now and don’t put it off.
  2. Don’t just describe your day-to-day work. Choose a range of different activities you have undertaken over the past two years (between four and six in total) and describe what you learned from each.
  3. Provide good evidence for each of the activities. Reflective logs, case studies, presentations, certificates and feedback from service users would all be relevant.
  4. Remember, it is about quality not quantity – choose evidence which shows how you think you have met the standards.
  5. Include a dated list of your professional development activities within the audit period, the last two years of registration. If you have any gaps of three months or more they will have to be explained.
  6. Ensure confidentiality when including your evidence – make sure none of your evidence or your statement includes references to named individuals.
  7. Make sure the evidence that you send in will back up the statements you make in your profile. It should show that you have undertaken the activities you have referred to, and should also show how they have improved the quality of your work and benefited service users.
  8. Be concise, but provide sufficient detail on how your learning activities had an impact on your service and be clear about how each standard has been met.
  9. Keep a personal log of your continuing professional development, so that if you move jobs or your circumstances change you will still have access to it.
  10. Don’t forget that the summary of your practice history should help to show the assessors how your development activities are linked to your work.
  11. The council’s approach to assessing professional development focuses on the outcome of your activities – how they have benefited you and your service users, not how many hours or points you have. It’s up to you, along with your manager, to think about what you need to do to keep up to date in your area of practice.

For more information about re-registration, auditing and continuing professional development, visit the HCPC website or watch our video to find out how to renew your registration quickly and easily online. You can also download the HCPC poster for use in your workplace.

Natalie Berrie is a registration manager at the HCPC

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