The three-month period for almost 100,000 social workers in England to renew their registration opens next week with almost four-fifths not having met the requirement for recording CPD.
The registration period runs from next Tuesday (1 September) to 30 November and all practitioners must complete the online renewal during this time.
This requires them to activate an online account with Social Work England and upload one piece of continuing professional development to it, as well as checking their details are correct, declaring anything that may affect their fitness to practise, such as a criminal conviction or investigation, and paying the £90 renewal fee.
However, as of 25 August, 82.6% had activated their account and just 21.7% had recorded CPD.
Anyone who doesn’t upload a piece of CPD before, or as part of, their renewal by 30 November will be contacted by Social Work England and given 21 days to do so. If they do not, they will be removed.
Social workers have raised significant concerns about the process for doing so, including being timed out when uploading CPD and not being able to access their online accounts, issues which Social Work England has said it has addressed.
In an interview with Community Care this week, the regulator’s executive director of registration, quality assurance and legal, Phil Hallam, said there would be no concession on the 21-day limit – though he was confident that very few practitioners would be at risk of removal.
“It’s a requirement [to complete a piece of CPD] to maintain your registration with us,” he said. “Our rules are clear on that.”
Hallam said that, as people completed their renewal, they would be reminded of the need to upload a piece of CPD, and that those who had not uploaded CPD would be targeted directly by email.
He added: “We are not complacent about it but I am confident that by the time we get to the end of November there will be a very small number of people who haven’t [completed any CPD]when we’ll have to activate the 21 day process. There are consequences to not doing that at the end of the 21 days.”
Hallam urged people to set up their online accounts and upload CPD before they renew, and to renew early in the three-month process, to avoid the risk of not meeting the 30 November deadline.<
He added: “If people want to hang on until the end of November that’s up to them but we would encourage them to do it early. If there are issues with people’s application, for example if they need to make a declaration, we don’t want people to leave it too late and get anxious.
“Please do create your online account to enable you to renew your registration as soon as possible. Please do your renewal as soon as possible. Please be ready to put some CPD into the system. If you don’t have CPD to upload it should only take you 20-30 minutes to renew.”