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.