Social Work England: 18% of social workers have recorded CPD, four months out from deadline

Regulator says it is still confident that all registered practitioners will record professional development on online accounts by 30 November, amid risk of removal for those who do not

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Eighteen per cent of social workers in England have recorded continuing professional development (CPD) on online accounts, four-and-a-half months out from a deadline to do so or risk removal from the register.

Social Work England released the figures yesterday as it urged practitioners to record CPD on their accounts – which 28% of registrants are yet to activate – by the registration deadline of 30 November 2020.

All of the approximately 98,000 registered practitioners must record at least one piece of CPD on their accounts by this date or face possible removal from the register if they do not respond to subsequent requests from the regulator to do so.

The regulator will be carrying out a wide-ranging communications and information campaign, including a series of workshops, over the coming months to encourage social workers to record their CPD.

‘Confident but not complacent’

Speaking to Community Care about the issue, Social Work England’s executive director of strategy, policy and engagement, Sarah Blackmore, said: “We are confident but not complacent about how the figures will increase.”

She said there had been an encouraging uptick in CPD recording in the past couple of weeks, with the regulator saying 920 practitioners had uploaded CPD in the past week.

The regulator is holding 27 online workshops including practical demonstrations on recording CPD up to the end of September – to which 3,200 practitioners have signed up, said Blackmore. She said regional engagement leads – the points of contact for practitioners and employers with the regulator – were also holding workshops in their regions, including for independent practitioners.

Blackmore said the regulator was also working with national bodies, including the principal social worker networks, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, Association of Directors of Children’s Services, Unison, Skills for Care, Cafcass and Unison to encourage take-up, and would also be sending emails to registrants encouraging them to upload CPD.

‘Not a tick-box exercise’

She said that CPD should not be seen as a “tick-box exercise” and it was important that people understood the meaning behind it.

“It’s about how the profession can demonstrate it is developing the quality and sophistication of its practice.”

And, in a reference to Covid-19, she added: “I would be amazed if there was a social worker in this country who has not stopped and reflected on the impact of this crisis on their practice. That’s CPD – some lines about that is what we are looking for.”

In the regulator’s formal statement on the issue, Blackmore said: “Although formal training can be an important part of learning, CPD can be any activity social workers feel would benefit their practice. We want social workers to get into the habit of recognising and recording daily experiences as CPD. Reading a piece of research, conducting an interview or writing a reflective piece about learning from challenges all count as valuable CPD, helping to raise professional standards in the sector.”

Recording CPD on Community Care Inform

To enable you to quickly and easily record and add learning you gain from Community Care Inform articles and activities over the course of the year, our CPD log to match Social Work England’s requirements and forms. The regulator asks you to provide information on what you did, reflect on how it has impacted on your practice and say which of the CPD standards (see box below) you feel that the learning has met.

The CPD standards are:

  • Incorporate feedback from a range of sources, including from people with lived experience of my social work practice.
  • Use supervision and feedback to critically reflect on, and identify my learning needs, including how I use research and evidence to inform my practice.
  • Keep my practice up to date and record how I use research, theories and frameworks to inform my practice and my professional judgment.
  • Demonstrate good subject knowledge on key aspects of social work practice and develop knowledge of current issues in society and social policies impacting on social work.
  • Contribute to an open and creative learning culture in the workplace to discuss, reflect on and share best practice.
  • Reflect on my learning activities and evidence what impact continuing professional development has on the quality of my practice.
  • Record my learning and reflection on a regular basis and in accordance with Social Work England’s guidance on continuing professional development.
  • Reflect on my own values and challenge the impact they have on my practice.

For more information, see our guide to the CPD requirements on Community Care Inform Children and Inform Adults.

68 Responses to Social Work England: 18% of social workers have recorded CPD, four months out from deadline

  1. Alistair July 16, 2020 at 5:07 pm #

    Nice to see where SWE’s priorities lie….. and yes, I am being sarcastic.

    • sue July 18, 2020 at 9:21 am #

      Do SW England actually check our submitted work ? Do we get feedback ? Does anyone read it ? If not then I would like to know what the point of it is. The website is awful not user friendly . I managed to upload a piece of work but only after losing it first time around and starting again. We went from years of HCPC who took your money and run – to this – bizarre. Threatening to remove workers from the register is disgusting and oppressive over a piece of work which is probably never read or commented on. If the body wants to focus on good practice perhaps it should look closer to home and not threaten workers. How about asking for a piece of work about how social workers have coped during this crisis ? what support they have had? how it has affected them personally ? And actually get a person to read it rather than a computer which just downloads what competencies you have met?

      • Anna July 19, 2020 at 5:46 pm #

        It would be good to know who reads the work that is being submitted .There is no acknowledgement or feedback that the work has been received or read .

        Maybe a book / article needs to be published on some of the amazing work social workers have done during the COVID 19 pandemic..There should be awards and acknowledgement to social workers during the who have shown compassion , values and dignity during the pandemic.

      • Tee July 21, 2020 at 8:25 am #

        Exactly! Well put. Sickening that our own professional body would join the trend of threatening social workers. I work every day in children’s social care with a fear of putting a foot wrong in the knowledge that I would be dragged by other professionals and the media if that were the case. Don’t need the extra pressure. Try be more supportive SWE.

    • Sebastian Riddle July 30, 2020 at 7:55 pm #

      I suppose if everyone stands together on this and refuses to engage with this quango then are they gonna de Barr everyone? Naaa

      People should rise up n stand together against this tokenisation conditionalistic Rubbish . As people say your employer should monitor this end of via employee development review and also why should we also pay we didn’t request this imposition .

      It’s a yellow line yet again flowing down the road for the lowest common denominator both employees n employers of which we know both at times struggle in these times to attend or be offered appropriate training that helps with the challenges . This is all part of the meritocratic dream gone wrong . Policemen with degrees for example . Life experience is the key for most public servants and empathy you either have or you don’t but instead there’s a sense all the professions and public servants will become career psychopaths coz that after all is what this system and ethos with recruit and retain

      SWE be careful what you wish 4 !

  2. Paul July 16, 2020 at 5:42 pm #

    Their website very problematic, glitchs, fails load. Needs sorting

    • Jennifer Chirimuta July 17, 2020 at 3:49 pm #

      Very true

    • Yves July 17, 2020 at 5:38 pm #

      Just a suggestion make sure you access the website via google chrome as that sorted the issues for me

    • Anne-Marie July 18, 2020 at 7:23 pm #

      Yes, I have had problems with their torrid website as well. Perhaps they need to focus more on getting their own house in order before issuing threats to over worked social workers.

  3. Carol July 16, 2020 at 6:08 pm #

    Perhaps SW’s like to do things in their own way. I have undertaken CPD for years and recorded in my own way. Why I am being forced to do it ‘online’, very big brother not at all impressed by this new body, disliked HCPC, dislike this new one even more. I should be able to record my CPD anyway I want, if they want to see it, they can then ask for it. What am I actually ‘paying’ this new body for, nothing I want!

    • Mel July 18, 2020 at 8:00 am #

      You can upload a document and there are both unstructured and structured CPD forms. What way are you recording your CPD which cannot be met using these methods?

    • Anne-Marie July 18, 2020 at 7:32 pm #

      Legs face it, CPD/PQTL, registration etc, it’s all about governmental paranoia and it costs social workers a small fortune over their working lives.

  4. Jules July 16, 2020 at 9:41 pm #

    Once again we are being fooled into thinking that we actually have a body that is working for the benefit of the workers, who are obliged to pay the salaries of people whose remit appears to be to give us more stress and work. I echo the sentiments of the above comments: what do we in fact get for the cost of our registration, other than to support another level of unnecessary and unwanted bureaucracy?

    • David B July 17, 2020 at 8:10 am #

      Understand this frustration to a degree

      But they are a regulator – that’s the whole point

      • GetWithTheTimes July 17, 2020 at 9:48 pm #

        Yes and why should Social Care Practitioners be excused from moving with the times and enabling transparency in the most effective way. It doesn’t stop you recording things your own way. If you can comment on a web article, you can comment on a digital CPD.

      • Anne-Marie July 18, 2020 at 7:42 pm #

        Actually, it seems like you are missing the point i.e. forced to pay a not inconsiderable sum for a regulator who does not represent front line social workers and adds a significant amount of stress to already over-side and I might add, underpaid and under valued social workers.

        I very much doubt that anybody in SEE really understands much about social work and what it really involves.

      • Comfort August 13, 2020 at 10:34 am #

        If you ask me, I don’t see what are being reguleting rather than treating social workers who are being over work, burnedout, under value by forcing unfair taxation on us. Managers has no respect treating social workers as children. I can not wait to get out of this bureaucracy red tapes.

  5. Lucy July 16, 2020 at 9:50 pm #

    Initially I had registered with the new SWE online portal and had access to everything. Upon logging in s second time, a few weeks later to record my CPD, i continued to receive the message ‘please register here’. I have contacted the customer service team in different ways, email x 2 (no reply) and telephone (30 minutes),repeating what I had already informed were my difficulties and no resolution, other than record on a word document and save it for future uploading. Ok……but where do I upload it too 😕

    • Mel July 18, 2020 at 8:02 am #

      The website has the option to upload documents. I suppose if you still have problems in November and they contact you then you’ll still have your evidence to email to them, worst case scenario.

  6. Georgie July 16, 2020 at 10:00 pm #

    The website freezes and problematic loading. This needs sorting before criticising social workers. I’m busy supporting the uplift in mental health referrals.

  7. Jacek July 16, 2020 at 10:50 pm #

    Once again the body that i pay to represent me threatens me with removal from the register if I don’t record CPD. I wish I had something to record, plus, i struggle to keep on top of my paperwork as it is.

    Also, I’m not sure how in touch they are in term of access of your average SW to any professional development. Other than manual handling and similar compulsory trainings, there is nothing on offer to amount to any meaningfull CPD, at least in my area.

    Once again, we have to pay to maintain yet another body that aims to discredit, blame and penslise SWs rather than protecting and advocating for their members.

    I’m getting really sick with the language, disempowerment and utter disregard of SWs reality of life.

    • Angella Kwaramba July 17, 2020 at 9:28 pm #

      I totally agree. Always threats of removal. Criticism all the time. Why do we even pay them.

    • Anne-Marie July 18, 2020 at 7:48 pm #

      Yes, my sentiment as well.

      If we want a body that really represents social work/ers it’s called BASW. All these regulators we have to not only put up with but also pay for are agents of a paranoid government.

    • Comfort August 13, 2020 at 10:38 am #

      I totally agree with you my colleague Jack.

  8. Black and Proud July 16, 2020 at 11:30 pm #

    So i just do not get it……you cannot ask people to record their learning at this stressful time, some.people have lost their loved ones, some training sessions are cancelled etc., so perhaps this recording should be extended to when the normal life resume….otherwise you just add on more stress to workers….may be you should concentrate on ensuring there is no racism in work places and ensure all staff are treated equal and may be you should work to support workers and make employers demonstrate how well they treat their workers and stop focussing on individual workers. You need to check if workers are given a healthy case load or overloaded, need to check their working conditions, supervision records, etc….you need to check on employers way of handling grievances etc….it is about time you come up with new ways of making sure workers are protected, and not abused by their employers….

    • Liz July 17, 2020 at 8:47 pm #

      100% agree with this comment

  9. Jeannette July 17, 2020 at 7:52 am #

    Threatening to remove members off the register may not be the best engagement strategy for a new regulator. I have been working nonstop during lockdown while home schooling my children and responding to their emotional needs–whilst also facing job uncertainty. Apologies if registering my CPD hasn’t been at the top of my priority list. Read the room SWE!

  10. Mandie Jones July 17, 2020 at 8:15 am #

    No offence but the huge amount of write ups we have to do this is just another stress for some of us.

  11. Rachel July 17, 2020 at 8:36 am #

    As social workers our needs come last! we are working harder than ever to support our families, expect it to be done the night before the deadline.

  12. J Paul July 17, 2020 at 10:03 am #

    Why don’t you leave the CPD to the supervisors? L&D is amongst items discussed in each personal supervision and appraisal. Where there are concerns around performance and capability there are clear procedures in place. In my view, SW England is a bureaucratic and futile exercise, a complete waste of time. We are busy enough already.

  13. Anne July 17, 2020 at 11:14 am #

    If the website worked properly allowing you to update cos I’m sure we all would have. I’ve been trying to put some on training on since February. They want to sort out their email response times as well

  14. Belkys Noemi Atwell Nelson July 17, 2020 at 1:59 pm #

    This is because the other % is out there doing what is more important, keeping children safe. This is clearly unnecessary stress social workers have been put under, as if we didn’t have enough. We work on CPD on a daily basis and surely this can be monitored in a different way.

    • Anne-Marie July 18, 2020 at 8:15 pm #

      And adults, S/S is about more than children.

  15. Karen Woodcock July 17, 2020 at 2:50 pm #

    I have had many attempts to start it but it is not user friendly. It is very difficult to fit in relevant SW experience to the categories particularly if you do not work in statutory services. The word count is impossible in some parts. You have to do your entries in word first or you lose all your work. It is so intense and time consuming and in spite of contacting SW England twice for help I have received no response. In between that I am trying to do the day job. SW England you need to reflect and review this current system or I fear many will not bother to re-register. It is too much.

    • Mel July 18, 2020 at 8:04 am #

      Use the unstructured form. You don’t have to fill in every box on the mandatory form for every CPD activity. It probably is worth pointing out though that if you consistently struggle to complete the same boxes in a non-SW role then maybe you aren’t meeting the full standards in your current role?

  16. HT July 17, 2020 at 4:56 pm #

    I am sure the figure would be higher if the online tool did not glitch and delete work without saving.

  17. Denise July 17, 2020 at 5:39 pm #

    The website is awful, crashes a lot and often can’t load what I have done. It’s just added stress at this time that we don’t need. Workloads have doubled because of the extra support families need, additional visits we’re expected to do and then we are dealing with our personal fears caused by covid 19. Many people have lost their own loved ones, but no thought is given to that

    • Rosy July 18, 2020 at 11:18 am #

      Agree with you

  18. Lauren July 17, 2020 at 6:02 pm #

    I have a real issue with this as I am a registered social worker but have been seconded to unison for last 2 years and don’t have access to council training. Finding it hard to find any free online training as most they want 30 quid at least for! Any suggestions? I may go back to social work at some point as it is an elected position.

    • JW August 12, 2020 at 6:57 pm #

      I’ve been in that position in the past and successfully used TUC or UNISON training courses as CPD. Representing individuals over equalities issues can demonstrate values. CPD can be a reflection on an event and I’m sure you can find something to write about especially if you can skew the answers to support your development as a social worker. Also, any negotiations you’re involved in can be evidence of your ability to work on a strategic level to influence and shape policy. Also, if they’re not reading more than 2.5% chances are no one will ever know. However, the HCPC ‘randomly’ selected me three years running.

  19. Lynlou July 17, 2020 at 6:28 pm #

    I have registered, however it will not allow me to activate the account very frustrating.

  20. Jenny Taylor July 17, 2020 at 8:12 pm #

    Why can we not have an app that can be downloaded on your phone to record in the moment like the health service have would be very useful and resources and links could be added?? Why is social work behind the times???

  21. Pat Herbert July 17, 2020 at 9:11 pm #

    Social work is too beauracratic for a start, we are always drowning in paperwork, recording processes that are always being changed for one reason or another increasing the paperwork even more – in most cases we quietly receive the added paperwork and soldier on – mainly because we want to get the job done and promote good outcomes for the service users, make that positive difference that we got into Social Work for. On balance, we spend more time drowning in paperwork than face-to-face work with the service users, which is a sad reality for a ‘helping’ profession. Now SWE has added some more paperwork, honestly how are we expected to cope??? Why should it be so beauracratic and time consuming? ???

  22. Jo July 17, 2020 at 10:40 pm #

    It is added pressure like this, and the total lack of support or empathy from everyone from Managers upwards to our regulatory body, that has made me realise that I am so done with this profession.
    20 years of experiance, working myself into stress and ill health because I love my kids and families, but sadly I can no longer fight for them because I have had the fight beaten out of me by our system.
    As soon as a job outside of the Social Work field becomes available, I will be leaving.

  23. Jane July 17, 2020 at 11:32 pm #

    Whilst CPD is part of our role on top of keeping updated on ever changing policies and paperwork, I feel that this places extra stress in an already stressful time. The timing is poor with all that has been going on with the Covid situation. Threats of being removed from the register are not helpful at this time.

  24. Sue smith July 17, 2020 at 11:48 pm #

    Yes I agree with you all. The website is really not user friendly. We have high caseloads, lots of paperwork , which was suppose to have been reduced many years ago….quoting MUNRO! And SWE are expecting us to do more paperwork to evidence that we are doing what we are doing! There is a shortage of social workers across the country and I fear there will be many more in November when the majority of SW’s dont have time to complete their CPD an SWE will de register them! Where is this going to end I ask. Have we also not been through a difficult and stressful time working throughout a lockdown ! The website is awful.

  25. Neil July 18, 2020 at 12:05 am #

    I concur with much of what others have said in these replies. I actually registered in the first week of December because I know I would have put it off too long and, knowing this threat of deregistration (David Cameron was behind SWE and hated social workers even more than New Labour), didn’t want to lose my livelihood that way.
    I was lucky with my first piece of evidence in the uploading and typing in processes and it all went smoothly. But the second piece 2 months ago brought the usual deleting without saving and other glitches so I used word first like someone else said they did.
    I work only part-time now but if I was still a full time MH Social Worker/AMHP I would not have had the time or energy to cope with the SWE system.
    This is what Cameron wanted to do imho – weedle out caring, progressive social workers who are exhausted and stressed out to complete the CPD process and replace them with process driven jobs worths/yes people who won’t rock the boat and don’t really care about the service users or disadvantaged people!

  26. Harriet July 18, 2020 at 7:29 am #

    The LA where I work has dramatically reduced training provision. We are expected to keep up to date with research, literature, case law, benefits, child development, psychology, social policy, theory, education, health, fostering, adoption, and hundreds of subjects within those – with just 5 days a year for CPD. Alongside huge case loads, ever changing and inconsistent increasing procedures, with IT systems unfit for purpose for which only online training is available – no consideration of individual learning needs- and riddled with issues even IT departments cant solve. Along with poor pay and excessive hours to meet case load demands. Our professional and personal value base is undermined every single day by process, target and tick box driven pressure. Reflective supervision is non existent, support is peer to peer or none, managers who have never done the job! If I wanted to be sat at a desk 30 hours plus on a computer I would have trained in IT, been much better paid and actually had opportunities to increase my income in a par with experience and expertise. Social work is now just slave labour, with unrealistic expectations and highly damaging for the health and well-being of its staff. Some of us have lost family in this pandemic and worked right through, with no additional support. Working at home has intruded on family time and space and eliminated the work/home boundary. And yes I will be leaving the profession, after 20 years – as soon as possible.

  27. Glitterball July 18, 2020 at 7:43 am #


  28. Ben July 18, 2020 at 8:56 am #

    This new body is not fit for purpose. Their interest is not about the protection of its members but rather to penalise. This is a body that is being maintained by Sw’s through our hard earned monies, they are operational because of sw’s yet they threaten the same members they are meant to be protecting with removal, that’s all they know. They are removing sw’s from the register because there is no evidence of CPD, no evidence of their supervisions as there is no third party to validate. Instead of requesting supervision records from unsupportive and useless managers they rather blame sw’s, is all about blaming sw’s who are already overburdened overworked, and overstretched with incessant assessments and care proceedings. I urged all sw’s to stand up for their rights and not to kowtow and succumb to the dictates and threats of this ‘not fit for purpose’ regulator.. They don’t care about the welfare of its members but to penalise them.

  29. Ben July 18, 2020 at 9:01 am #

    This new body is not fit for purpose. Their interest is not about the protection of its members but rather to penalise. This is a body that is being maintained by Sw’s through our hard earned monies, they are operational because of sw’s yet they threaten the same members they are meant to be protecting with removal, that’s all they know. They are removing sw’s from the register because there is no evidence of CPD, no evidence of their supervisions as there is no third party to validate. Instead of requesting supervision records from unsupportive and useless managers they rather blame sw’s, is all about blaming sw’s who are already overburdened overworked, and overstretched with incessant assessments and care proceedings. I urged all sw’s to stand up for their rights and not to kowtow and succumb to the dictates and threats of this ‘not fit for purpose’ regulator.. They don’t care about the welfare of its members but to penalise them.

  30. Rosy July 18, 2020 at 11:18 am #

    Maybe we are so worn ragged by dealing with people, crisis situations and COVID, we haven’t had time to do CPD.
    However, I have completed my CPD and enjoyed it, also just in the process of completing my nursing revalidation. I have two registrations to pay for how lucky am I? And what do I see for this…
    oh another article yet again slating Social Workers and threatening removal. We get a bad enough press as it is.

  31. Paul July 18, 2020 at 12:44 pm #

    Funny old times eh. I’ve never in my life motivated to write a comment on a journalistic articule. However, I wont go on too much as I would only be echoing the points made by other social workers. What I will say is that it might be more appropriate to postpone the current deadline by a few months with all things considered in the current climate. A further point is that it would be supportive of our new body if they could liaise with local authorities and health care providers to make cpd available. I note SWE has a fairly ambiguous scope of what meets the criteria for registration. I would prefer certainty when it comes to meeting the standards set for my profession and livlehood.

  32. John Robinson July 18, 2020 at 4:24 pm #

    Threatening to hit someone with a big stick (deregistration) and getting them to pay you to do it…seems a little Kafkaesque.

  33. Nicky July 18, 2020 at 5:02 pm #

    Threatening to remove social workers from the register is hardly the right approach especially in light of the events of the past few months. I know a lot of SW’s already struggle with the impossible mountain of paperwork, reports etc, often there is barely time for critical reflection, supervision and debriefing. No one underestimates the value of learning and development and reflection on practice but surely there are better ways.

    We are supporting the clients we work with, our our own families and colleagues through a global pandemic whilst tying to keep our own heads above water and this attitude from SWE only serves to add additional stress at a time which for many social workers it has been even harder to do what is already a difficult job. I’m starting to wonder what are SWE actually doing to support us and what value is really added here?

  34. Ms Yoni B Ejo July 18, 2020 at 5:06 pm #

    I can’t reset my password. Keeps sending me a number it then doesn’t recognise!

  35. Choma July 18, 2020 at 6:58 pm #

    Why the threat, extremely unnecessary during these challenging time, how are workers been supported at this difficult era.
    SWE website is disgraceful, keeps bringing up error messages, I have sent emails to them and no response.
    Please sort out the online issues before all these blaming disempowerment, this pressure is enough to consider leaving the profession.

  36. Anne-Marie July 18, 2020 at 8:13 pm #

    My thought on the need for CPD/PQTL (as we used to term it) – at the point that we qualified, we were all judged as being fit to practicdt. Of course as time goes by things change, particularly legislation and we do need to keep abreast of these changes and up to date with practice. This is however overseen by employers, it’s one of the reasons the various teams we work in have managers who perform supervision and appraisals. If practitioner want to develop their practice, perhaps for career development and/or to develop a specialism then that is their own prerogative. As long as our employers feel that we are up to date with changes and our practice is of a suitable standard, we should not need to continually develop, just maintain the already established standard that we reached when we qualified and was judged as being fit to practice.

    The core reason for a regulator is not to represent social work – that’s just another government lie, it’s to whack us over the head when something goes wrong. Quite often the reason that something does go wrong is not the fault of the social worker involved, but can ultimately be laid at the door of those people (MPs) who have decreed that that troublesome social work lot need a body to whack them over the head when things go wrong i.e. so that governmental failings can be swept under the carpet.

  37. Angela July 18, 2020 at 9:20 pm #

    Great when they do their CPD can you ask them to brush up on child psychological abuse in the context of family separation. Child psychological abuse is just as damaging as other forms of abuse and is harder to treat. Leaving it in the hands of family court is leaving thousands of children to suffer.

  38. Paul July 19, 2020 at 8:27 am #

    The SWE CPD recording is not the most user-friendly system especially the choice of unstructured and structured CPD options. They are confusing and lack guidance. Throughout the Covid lockdown much of my own reflection/learning and development has been through my own individual endeavours as we are all pretty much isolated working from home. I haven’t had any kind of supervision since early March (not even zoom!). SWE seem detached from reality of our situation right now and of course I get that we have an individual professional responsibility but where’s SWE’s voice in supporting us during this time? If my Local Authority is the same as others right now you will understand that we are being inundated with e-mails daily with new guidance/policies re Covid – Office safety – etc etc. Working from home was once a welcome respite from a busy office and gave me time to reflect and organise myself free of the usual distractions. Working from home full time for almost 4 months is isolating, difficult, challenging and at times unproductive. The last I need right now is SWE reminding me that I could be de-registered!

  39. Kathy July 19, 2020 at 8:58 am #

    Whilst I totally appreciate That the regulatory body needs to ensure that, practice standards are maintained and practitioners remain focused on key developments. It would also be important to note that we are living in unprecedented times and being a Social Worker for most is something that we live and breath, it is not merely it role it is a vocation.

    We can none of us fail to continuously develop when we care witnessing first hand the impact on not only the people we work with, but that of immediate family,friends and others ALL around the world. Covid19 has impacted us all, not too mention the Black Lives Matters movement which has again polarized the systemic racism that exsists in society.

    Our Profession is always under attack and being marginalised we as practitioners are constantly made to feel we are not good enough… SWE have come on board to support us, but where has there been a Public acknowledgement from them of the key role Social Workers have been playing to Safeguard and support vulnerable children,families and the down trodden in society.
    I know I’m not alone when I say threats of de registration is not the way to go, many are already leaving the profession because they are tired I would go as far as say exhausted… So please SWE show us some respect.. Remember organisations need people, but thos people have Needs..

  40. Alan Buckley July 19, 2020 at 5:10 pm #

    I am fairly certain that if a large number of social workers failed to meet the deadline, SWE will not deregister them. Without the membership cash they would be unable to pay their own salaries and that wouldn’t do now would it.

  41. David Hicks July 20, 2020 at 11:52 am #

    I am not obliged to maintain registration; but I want to do so because after 46 years post qualification, I still have much to offer as a Practice Educator. Unfortunately, the website gets stuck when I try to load my account details. I have done so once in 10 or more tries. If I cannot load the CPD, then SWE loses my money, my status of social worker is lost and social work loses a Practice Educator. I have not given up, but having checked that everything on my state of the art computer meets the minima for use of the website, and having emailed SWE without reply, I am not impressed.

  42. dk July 20, 2020 at 12:12 pm #

    Have SWE “threatened” to remove social workers from the register if they do not upload CPD by November? I don’t think so; they will begin their reviews in November, and my understanding is that they will randomly select a relatively small percentage of registrants to review, and then that de-registration is a potential outcome of that review IF that worker still does not provide CPD as part of that review. And they seem to be asking for ONE piece of CPD to be uploaded by that time. Would it be that great an injustice if a professional was de-registered as they could not or refused to present its regulator with one piece of evidence that their practice is suitable?

    There seems to me to also be a very limited and restrictive understanding of what CPD is in these comments. SWE have been abundantly clear themselves they do not consider formal training to be the be-and-end-all, and even in layman’s terms I’m surprised that social workers still see things this way. Both the structured and unstructured forms have only one mandatory question, and it amounts to what have you learned from your experiences and what might you do differently in future … If you aren’t having those conversations with yourself every time you meet and work with a new service user or colleague, then the issue is not SWE or CPD. Most of my learning has been with families and from colleagues, not training.

    I’m no fan of SWE, but they are a regulator. Not a union. It is precisely because social work is such an important role that a regulator is necessary. I can’t help but find it confusing that so many of the commenters here feel put out by somebody wanting to regularly make sure that the people serving society’s most vulnerable are suitable to do so, and frame this as being “attacked”, “threatened” or “criticised”.

    The issues people described with the website surprise me; I have had absolutely none, and nor has anyone else I know who has used it. Perhaps there is a fundamental technical issue with it, perhaps it is misfortune. One thing I will happily pile into SWE for is the lack of more tangible guidance on how to navigate the website; it would take them 10 minutes to do a video walkthrough of where to go and click to make things work more smoothly.

    Perhaps this reads harshly. I do not mean for it to. When I read the above comments, I see a great deal of pain, stress, and worry behind the literal words. Those are real feelings, with real consequences. Perhaps the November deadline is no longer realistic given the events of recent months. I do wonder though if we as a profession are catastrophising, turning what the regulatory body wants from us into a far greater difficulty and imposition than it really will be for the vast majority of us.

  43. James Appledore July 20, 2020 at 5:35 pm #

    Dear dk, if the purpose of this nonsense was to improve social work practice and empower social workers to reflect and enthuse about their roles we would not be “catastrophising”. I am interested to learn one professional improvement a non-verifiable bureaucratic process will make to my practice and the lives of users of our services. I would gladly use your input to inform my CPD. Me recording what I think I learnt and what I might do differently is a subjective narrative. Nothing wrong with that as an interview question but not really a basis for continuous learning is it. I want a regulatory body that holds my learning and practice to account, but one that also takes me seriously when it asks me to be a competent professional. Having said all this I have just completed my notice of resigning and stopped practicing after 34 years as a qualified social worker. Funny enough I am threatened with deregistration for stopping my direct debit so I am not sure how I can show my “practice is suitable”?

    • dk July 21, 2020 at 9:48 am #

      Thank you for the response, James. If your qualm with SWE and CPD is a more (if you’ll excuse the term) existential one about what even is CPD, then I’m half with you. I often think formal training is, if not in theory then in practice, a waste of time; I know I’ve often done it without having the requisites in place to internalise and act on it, and it’s been very rare for there to be any meaningful evaluation of its impact on practice, never mind an especially robust one. From my perspective, a CPD account that leans on attendance of formal training will be no more or less a “subjective narrative” than one that draws from informal practice-based learning. Is your suggestion that the former is a “basis for continuous learning” but the latter is not? I’m not sure I follow why, and I’m not sure I understand why any of us would bother doing anything a second time if that was the case. Perhaps there are more meaningful ways to “hold [our] learning and practice account”, but all those I can think of would be far more intrusive.

      What is the purpose of CPD, or SWE wanting us to evidence CPD then?

      Being deregistered for not paying registration fees sounds more like B following A than a threat to me …

  44. James July 21, 2020 at 10:39 am #

    Dear dk, the issue for me is not what is the best learning environment but whether the SWE process of randomly asking for logs that they will not verify adds anything to the quality of social work practice? I do not think that an essentially bureaucratic process enhances anything other than making some people feel that they have introduced rigour. The comment about threat to deregister a social worker who has already deregistered themselves by leaving the profession is to show the absurdity of uninformed threats.

  45. Rachele July 21, 2020 at 4:04 pm #

    Having just found time to read this article I saw that some online CPD workshops had been set up, tried to register but all 27 are sold out!

    I think that says a lot about the anxiety this is creating for us. I am a lone social worker in the NHS so do not even have colleagues that I can share my concerns and fears with. I can access supervision through the local authority hospital team but during COVID this has been quite difficult due to the immense pressures the hospital and hospice ,where I am based, has been under. Even prior to COVID training opportunities were few and far between.

    I agree with many of the comments above and feel somewhat reassured that I am not alone in experiencing the significant stress this is creating.