Over half of social workers yet to meet CPD requirement one month out from registration deadline

Social Work England warns of risk of removal and time it will take to restore registration if practitioners do not meet requirement to record continuing professional development by 30 November renewal deadline

November 30 written on a calendar to remind you an important appointment.
Photo: xtock/Adobe Stock

Less than half of England’s approximately 98,000 social workers have uploaded CPD to their Social Work England account, one month out from the deadline to do so in order to remain on the register.

As of 29 October, around 43,414, or 44.3%, of social workers have recorded CPD on their online account, significantly short of the regulator’s target for 31 October of 61,310.

Anyone who has not uploaded CPD by the registration renewal deadline of 30 November will be asked to do so within the next 21 days. If they do not, they will be removed from the register, unless there are exceptional mitigating circumstances.

On the back of the figures, the regulator warned that social workers risked being unable to practise unless they uploaded at least one piece of CPD in time and would face additional costs if they then wanted to return to social work afterwards.

Regulator’s removal warning

“If social workers do not submit their application by the end of November, their registration will lapse, and they will be required to apply to restore their registration to continue legally practising as a social worker, which comes at a cost of £135,” said Sarah Blackmore, Social Work England’s director of strategy, policy and engagement. “It is important to note that the restoration process may take some time to complete and they will not be able to practise until we have confirmed that the application to restore has been accepted.”

To renew their registration, social workers need to activate their account with Social Work England, complete their renewal application and upload at least one piece of CPD. The regulator has hit its 31 October for activating on online accounts, with 92% of social workers having done so, while 53,391 (52.9%) social workers have submitted their registration renewal application. Of the latter group, 15,511 still must upload continuing professional development (CPD) to complete their renewal.

Blackmore added: “CPD is an integral part of our legislation. We understand that social workers are incredibly busy, and to help social workers adjust to the new system we have made the process as simple as possible for our first year. We only require one piece of CPD, although we are pleased to see many have gone beyond this.”

“With 44.3% of social workers having already recorded their CPD, this shows that this is an achievable task, and we thank them for doing so.”

To encourage people to record their CPD, Social Work England has been sending out emails to registrants, holding online sessions and has published guidance, including a video tutorial, on how to do so on its site.

It has also just written to directors of adult social services and children’s services reminding of the need for social workers to register to remain in practice, while earlier this month chief social workers Isabelle Trowler, Fran Leddra and Mark Harvey published a letter to practitioners supporting the regulator’s approach to CPD and encouraging them to record it.

How CC Inform can help you meet CPD requirements

Community Care Inform users can access support on meeting Social Work England’s requirements by using their CPD log, through our guidance on CC Inform Adults and CC Inform Children.

25 Responses to Over half of social workers yet to meet CPD requirement one month out from registration deadline

  1. Stephen October 30, 2020 at 1:06 am #

    Seeing as threats and pleading has not worked, perhaps we can be offered a pre Christmas tangerine to incentivise us to upload the one meaningless CPD they are desperate to pretend will improve our practice.

  2. A Man Called Horse October 30, 2020 at 11:31 am #

    Social Work England is the new bully on the block. Social Workers you need to understand that from now on, you will dance and sing to our tune. We are your new bosses not your employer. We have absolute power, we will use it and we don’t care about you, we exist to protect the public from you.

    The situation facing social workers is grave, Social Work England exists to take control of what social workers, do, think and to make sure that they know who’s boss now. Don’t like it one bit and many Social Workers will likely say, you know what this is too much I’m doing something else. What we needed was a regulator who looked after Social Workers instead we get this, the big stick and no carrots. This is a very sad day for Social Workers that we are now controlled by a puppet organisation with no independence from the Government.

    How can we protect Social Workers from Social Work England? Does anyone have any ideas other than none compliance?

  3. Mercy October 30, 2020 at 12:09 pm #

    This should tell you about the ‘sad state’ of Social Work in this country, when around 45,000 Practitioners are essentially ‘too busy’ and ‘overloaded’ with work, to be able to met the basic requirement to continue maintaining their social work registration. Seriously, Social Work has been toxic and dangerous is the UK, there is no help or support from management, and no will to change the system and appalling working conditions by Frontline Practitioners and Central Government. This is why I resigned from my statutory CP position, and do no plan to practice again. I am ‘loving’ long lie ins, no stress, and getting my life back.

    • Brian Heppell November 5, 2020 at 3:42 am #

      But what about the lone parent is busy overloaded and then gets that knock on the door “you are not meeting the basic requirements that your child needs to be safe ”

      If Social workers did not do so many things wrong A they would not need to be watched over by Social work England B they would not have so many sleepless nights and C they would be more respected in their local community’s,

      May be you should try giving that ago ??

      • Jacenta November 5, 2020 at 6:33 pm #

        It’s because Social Work England can’t do the things you rightly expect Brian Heppel that most of us are trying to expose that their process will not improve our skills. Do you really believe that social workers will improve their standing because of us writing a story SWE are not even going to read? I want proper scrutiny of our conduct with transparent consequences when we fail not this pretence at raising standards.

  4. Sue smith October 30, 2020 at 12:32 pm #

    So complicated so many links and on and on …

  5. Adriana October 31, 2020 at 8:46 am #

    Give up now. We don’t believe in your process because we don’t believe in nonsense that makes no difference to our practice. Instead of this why not set rigorous training standards and insist we have competent managers and supervisors who understand the lives of the people we work with. Support us to end the stifling bureaucracy that values targets with no evidence base over a social work that used to be alongside the disadvantaged not just as workers but as citizens. Echo chambers of the privileged never change. What we want is a SWE that is about social work not an establishment cartel of leaders most of whom the average social worker couldn’t name.

  6. Henry October 31, 2020 at 9:01 am #

    Can we really believe that by mid December 15,511 social workers will be barred from working? No we can’t. Stop making idle threats that I guarantee employers don’t support. Start listening to why we are resistant to participate. I have not uploaded any CPD not because I am too busy but because I would be ashamed to be judged competent by dint of a self defined learning experience SWE will not even evaluate.

  7. James October 31, 2020 at 12:00 pm #

    We ae in the middle of a pandemic !! It is beggars belief that SWE have not acknowledged the difficulties this has posed for SW’s to actually carry out their jobs and the risks of doing so leave alone sort out training. And yet they continue to make threats of removal from the register and costs. This organisation does not on any level uphold the best interests of social workers.

  8. Jenniffer October 31, 2020 at 10:16 pm #

    I think it’s time to buckle down and comply with what is after all a legal requirement as much as professional accountability. Agreed the process is flawed but it’s the only one we have

    • The scouse social worker November 28, 2020 at 11:07 am #

      …Yes Jenniffer, it is a legal requirement, but we are not robots.

      If we don’t stand up for ourselves and our profession, how can we be expected to stand up for the disadvantaged and marginalised people we work with

      “Be the change you wish to see”…You are in Control”..GANDHI

  9. Jean November 4, 2020 at 9:00 am #

    Agree, we should be registered as a profession but we are in the middle of a pandemic and social workers are working flat out in difficult circumstances, trying in many cases to adapt to new ways of more isolated working and stay safe and still carry risk. The lack of acknowledgement of this in the demands around CPD and the lack of flexibility in the renewal process beggars belief. It is also complicated and comes with no real encouragement/requirement to employers to make sure that social workers have access to decent training, respite, supervision and support and an organisational context which supports us. This is all somehow down to the individual. We know that many social workers on the frontline, in residential care , in children’s residential units dealing with difficult day to day situations get very little meaningful clinical supervision yet it insists that somehow meaningful supervision is an individual deficit. The threat to deregister social workers in this context is not helpful at the present time.

    Please can some real leaders step up for the social work profession!

  10. Bernardine November 4, 2020 at 11:10 pm #

    Social workers don’t have leaders, we have time serving bureaucrats incapable of understanding our experinces let alone the lives of vulnerable people. Leadership isn’t self reverential tweets, it requires courage to annoy and enrage. Difficult to do for the likes of SWE and BASW when they are part of the cartel of quangos. Being the voice of the Establishment may bring an MBE but it hardly articulates the reality of the marginalised. We need to be our own leaders.

  11. James Appledore November 5, 2020 at 10:20 am #

    Well social workers, you can turn lack of supervision, bullying, unsafe work practices, resource led decision making, managers who think shouting is motivational and the rest of the idiocies we put up with into an “opportunity”. Why not enter the Polyanna world of SWE, and reflect, quantify, critique the sunny pastures of social work world and turn this into a wonderful CPD upload. You may be exhausted, you may be dissulisoned, you may question the pointlessnes of most of what passes as “good social work”, you may wonder how your betters become Leaders, but learn to pretend and collude and magically you will be fit to practice. Don’t forget to pay your fees though.

  12. Marta J. November 5, 2020 at 3:56 pm #

    I am getting annoyed now by the damaging criticism heaped on SWE. Frankly how many contributers here have the skills to work at SWE? Let them get on with improving our standards. It must be so damaging to our profession for people to see these negative views. If you don’t want to be accountable work in a job without a regulator. Please let the rest of us get on with helping people, most of whom are grateful for our intervention in solving their problems.

  13. Giles November 6, 2020 at 9:30 am #

    Can we please be told:
    1. What are the skills needed for working for SWE?
    2. What is the evidence to support that SWE are improving standards?
    3. Why is having another view to SWE, negative?
    4. What’s the evidence that social workers don’t want to be accountable?
    5. Helping grateful people? Who knew service users were so passive.

  14. Julia Smitheers November 6, 2020 at 8:57 pm #

    That in the middle of probably the biggest slump in morale and genuine fear for our wellbeing, SWE are advertising
    for a Commercial and Contracts Officer says all. Those colleagues who still believe the CPD debacle will improve standards should reflect on that.

  15. Anita November 6, 2020 at 10:17 pm #

    What’s damaging to the profession is the ludicrous pretence that with the collusion of BASW to ‘scrutinise” a miniscule fraction of what’s uploaded, standards will improve and accountability be transparent. Why can’t we be told what the criteria is for an acceptable reflection and what will not ‘pass’?

  16. Althea Jones November 9, 2020 at 8:59 pm #

    We can’t be told something that SWE and BASW haven’t a clue about. There’s is the swan approach, seemingly serene and in control while below the surface abject panic that they have no real idea how to respond should a substantial number of social workers not upload any CPD.

  17. CiderPress November 10, 2020 at 11:57 am #

    Not my real name and details for obvious reasons but I just uploaded my daughters year 6 essay on ’emotions and feelings” so let’s see if it proves my fitness to practice. I know its puerile and I can do this because I am retiring in February and don’t have to face any consequences but I feel strongly that we need to get SWE to appreciate how demoralising their sham processes are.

    • The scouse social worker November 28, 2020 at 12:51 pm #

      …CiderPress, please please let us know the outcome!

      …we’re all waiting with baited breath (but think we already know)

      …best wishes for a happy retirement 🙂

  18. Maz November 10, 2020 at 6:25 pm #

    Just wow; I’m shocked. I’m a parent who works in the financial services industry- the most heavily regulated professions. My qualifications require me to do at least 35 hours of CPD per year to retain my qualification. I see this very much part of the professional and ethical principals of being a regulated individual. I welcome doing my CPD and it’s an ever evolving industry. What I find most disturbing here is the utter disregard for the regular, the principals of regulation and the benefits of CPD to practice. And YES I do almost all in my own time; as a full time working Mum of 2. But let’s put this in perspective if I do something wrong it’s money and it can be compensated for. You however can destroy fragile lives or you can enhance. You lot need to grow up and focus on the benefits to your practice and your clients that CPD and wider reading and learning give. You’ve all moaned about it here- you could have done your CPD!

  19. frustrated November 10, 2020 at 11:53 pm #

    Maz
    your reply is insensitive and shows no understanding of what is required of a a Social Worker.
    I am an ex Social Worker of 3 years and I can tell you categorically that the conditions my son experiences in the financial services industry are way better than any I experienced in several children’s departments.
    You are paid a lot more for your work .
    Whilst my son works long hours he still has time for a lunch break, activities after work.
    He can talk to management, he is treated with respect.
    He does not feel constantly overloaded.
    The training he does is relevant to his job.
    Whereas for Social Workers the more we learn; the more we realise how much the system, of which we are a part is failing children and families. Judges, lawyers, managers are not also learning about what constitutes abuse and neglect, they are more concerned with budgets.
    I wanted to enhance fragile lives and tried to everyday that I worked but I could not continue it on my own indefinitely, I was paying too high an emotional price.

  20. Julia Smitheers November 11, 2020 at 8:03 am #

    Maz, you miss our point I am afraid. We want a proper process, not this nonsense. Do you know that the regulator wont be scrutinising 98% of uploaded CPD? Do you know there is no criteria set out by the regulator about what the standard of CPD should be? Its because we are grown up that we take our professional responsibilities seriously We want a validation process that has merit and rigour. What we object to is the pretence the regulator is engaged in, namely, that this process will improve standards and protect and safeguard the public. It’s ill do none of those things. You are wrong, we accept regulation, we want our practice to be scrutinised and we welcome proper standards for our CPD. Support us to get a regulator that has proper regard for improving our accountability not this con on the public. How is letting individual social workers define the standards safe and accountable? If you want grown up, safe, skilled, motivated and educated social workers, dont ask them to collude in a deceit.

  21. Alison Bradbury November 12, 2020 at 10:19 am #

    On their tweeter page SWE claim registration take 20-30 minutes. This is not true. On their website they say it takes longer if uploading CPD. I am wondering why the discrepancy. They also state “have your card” ready. Surely encouraging us to evidence learning isn’t the equivalent of paying fees? It’s so confusing to me.