Date social workers transfer to new regulator revealed

Children's minister reveals that Social Work England will take on responsibility for professional standards, registration and fitness to practise in December 2019

Photo: Nakophotography/Fotolia

Social workers in England will be under a new regulator from 2 December 2019, the children’s minister announced today.

In a speech to directors of children’s services in Manchester, Nadhim Zahawi said the launch of Social Work England was an important step in helping improve social work practice and meet the government’s ambitions for the profession.

“Subject to continued progress, I expect Social Work England to take over from The [Health and Care Professions’ Council] as the regulator of social workers in England on the 2nd December this year,” Zahawi said.

He said the regulator would establish new standards for social work education “providing protection to the public and helping to prepare new social workers more effectively than ever before”.

Both Zahawi and Social Work England were clear that the successful launch on this date depended on continued progress towards a smooth transition for social workers.

Chief executive of Social Work England Colum Conway welcomed the announcement.

“As a social worker, I understand the positive impact that professionals have on millions of people. I also understand the complexity of the work and the competing priorities in the role,” he said. “That is why we are putting collaborative working at the heart of all we do and our recent consultation on rules and standards was just one example of this.”

“Over the course of the year we will continue to work with the HCPC to ensure an efficient and smooth transition. We are also committed to exploring new approaches that offer responsive and proportionate regulation – empowering professionals to be the very best they can be,” Conway added.

The new social work regulator was announced initially in 2016 by then education secretary Nicky Morgan as part of a host of reforms to the profession, and was then enshrined in law in the Children and Families Act 2017.

This year’s Community Care Live 2019 boasts over 30 free learning sessions to equip you to face the key challenges in social work practice today. You can also sign up to any of our eight legal learning sessions to help ensure you have the legal literacy your role requires. Register now to ensure you don’t miss out. 

More from Community Care

6 Responses to Date social workers transfer to new regulator revealed

  1. Anon July 4, 2019 at 6:28 pm #

    I would like to believe that the new regulator would be fair, just and transparent.
    The word proportionate is promising and I would like to be optimistic.

    I hope the new regulator would be less tedious.

    My case has been going on since 2016 and the matter has still not been decided.

    I am in a limbo for the past so many years and the vulnerability due to that has been so crippling.
    It feels that I have already been sanctioned by hcpc to excess.

    • Disillusioned July 5, 2019 at 1:20 am #

      Ditto. HCPC delays in case conclusion is a disgrace.

  2. Karen Holland July 5, 2019 at 4:32 pm #

    I fully agree with Anon.
    My case took over a year to be heard by the HCPC. My case did not relate to any service user but an administrative error.
    Following that hearing the PSA decided that they did not agree with the decision the Panel came to. It went through the High Court for that decision to be quashed.
    I am now awaiting a fresh hearing.
    So far it has taken over 2 years.
    Dare I be hopeful that this new Regulator will be fair, consistent and transparent?
    Everyone deserves a second chance if they can show that lessons have been learnt from past errors.

  3. Thomas Hughes July 6, 2019 at 11:41 am #

    To be honest it is just another rebranding exercise to hike up fees.

  4. Anonymous helper July 6, 2019 at 8:47 pm #

    Please don’t despair: if you give me your contact details, I’ll contact you and help if I can.
    The HCPC has many problems and delays may be due to
    1) reading the transcript of hearings to ensure that they have taken account of all the defence’s evidence before making decisions; this delay is a good sign because it could mean that HCPC are making a decision based on evidence and fact, and not based on ‘discretions’; be patient: getting the truth out is more important than rushed miscarriages of justice;
    2) The HCPC are a business so do not have use professional ethics;
    3) delays mean that the defendant/registrant has time to prepare the case themselves; unfortunately it gives the prosecution witnesses an increasing probability that they will say: ‘I don’t remember’.

  5. Ms Maidmente July 8, 2019 at 10:46 pm #

    HCPC senior staff were often inexperienced, over zealous and unfair on a regular basis to many of my colleague/s. I felt that HCPC were not fit for purpose in so many ways and unable to address the UK’s practical needs. It’s a pity that its taken so long to remove the social workers from its grasp. Several ancillary health disciplines would also like to be released from its unhelpful regulatory grasp over their designated professions.
    Academia, expensive fee earners and the pompous approach so often displayed by HCPC regulators, was not always the best way forward – especially when it left the real gemstone professionals out of the system and prevented them from contributing for spurious and unfair reasons. Some of the very best social workers that I have known cannot write with fluent precision due to dyslexia , but they are amongst the best of the profession – demonstrating interpersonal skill levels that are second to none.
    When are the regulators going to learn to accommodate these wonderful atypical professionals that don’t fit HCPC or HMG expected mould?

    The professional approach for one discipline is not always the same as that of another HCPC discipline. It’s such a pity that the HCPC never listened to this point and acted more appropriately years ago – when it first became morphed into its current title of HCPC. They would have been more respected as an organisation had they listened to other professionals across all the healthcare and social care professions, in a way that was more discerning. Had they done so, the population in need of services would have been better served and the UK economy would have thrived much better as a result.