Just over one-third of social workers have renewed their registration at the halfway point in the process.
As of today, 35% of practitioners have completed their renewal application, paid the £90 fee and submitted at least one piece of continuing professional development, said regulator Social Work England. This means just under two-thirds of practitioners are left to renew.
Speaking at Community Care Live this week, Social Work England chief executive Colum Conway said he was pleased with the progress to date but urged the remaining practitioners to renew as soon as possible to avoid a last-minute rush before the 30 November deadline.
Anyone who fails to renew by that point will be removed from the register unless there are exceptional circumstances. However, practitioners who have paid their fee and completed their renewal application, but have not submitted a piece of CPD, will be given a 21-day grace period in which to do so.
This is the second annual renewal process since Social Work England became regulator. As last year, practitioners are being encouraged to complete the process through their online accounts with the organisation, though it is possible to submit a paper application, which takes about 10 days to process.
Social workers ‘finding process easier’
“We feel things are going fairly well,” said Conway. “We’re receiving fewer emails and phone calls than last year and people say they are finding the system easier.”
So far practitioners who have completed the process have submitted an average of 2.8 pieces of CPD, above both the requirement of one piece for this year and the two-piece requirement that will come into force for next year’s renewal period.
However, some practitioners have voiced criticisms about the value of the CPD requirement and the need to fulfil it at a time of significant workload pressures.
Speaking alongside Conway at CC Live, Social Work England’s executive director, strategy, policy and engagement, Sarah Blackmore, said: “Not enough value has been placed on CPD in our profession compared with others. It’s not a nice to have – it’s one of the fundamental ways we develop the sophistication of our practice.”
She added: “We need to move away from the conception of CPD being a one or two-day training course. A piece of reflective thinking about how Covid has shaped your practice is a perfectly good piece of CPD.”
Help with registration renewal and CPD
Social Work England has produced a suite of guidance on its website to help social workers meet their CPD requirement.
Community Care Inform has also produced a guide to how users can upload CPD to their Social Work England accounts from Inform.