Just over third of social workers have renewed registration at halfway point

Social Work England welcomes progress but repeats call for remaining practitioners to renew as soon as possible to avoid last-minute rush before 30 November deadline

Register Now sign on a desk
Photo: 9dreamstudio/Adobe Stock

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.


6 Responses to Just over third of social workers have renewed registration at halfway point

  1. Ignatious Mwariwangu October 15, 2021 at 6:15 pm #

    I am a senior adult social worker and already renewed my registration, as well completed 3 CPDs. However; I don’t see the significance of submitting those CPDs. That should be the role and discretion of social work employers not the regulatory body.
    I strongly feel the CPD issue should be left to Social Work Employers. We are pressured with workload and the regular should empathise with us.

  2. Captain Fog October 15, 2021 at 7:39 pm #

    I have decided not to re register! After 30 years as a social worker with another 9 years before I retire I have decided that I simply do not want to or that being registered gives me any benefits. I am lucky I guess that I now do a job in social care where My job title is not social worker and I do not need to be registered as one to do it.

    Nevertheless I probably would have continued to register had it not been for my lack of confidence in SW England in what they do. It doesn’t help either that the majority of the board are non social workers. It feels like another club for elites to get nice paid jobs and for the Government to police social work with people who on the whole have never done the job.

    I very much doubt that doctors would tolerate that. The BMA for example has a majority of qualified medical doctors on their board.

    So come December I will discard my professional identity as a social worker.

    I wont miss it but I do miss what social work used to be like when I entered the profession in the 80s.

    • A Man Called Horse October 18, 2021 at 4:40 pm #

      Totally agree with you and many Social Workers have had enough of SWE and will be joining you in the exodus.

  3. Harry October 17, 2021 at 8:39 pm #

    If this really is about standards and CPD is the evidence of competent and safe practice, why the 21 days grace period for those who have paid the £90 in advance?

  4. Solly October 18, 2021 at 5:42 pm #

    Totally agree with Harry. Either there is a set registration process with standards that have to be met by a due date or there isn’t. How is this fair to those of us who comply diligently? And how are the public protected when social workers are still able to practice without meeting their registration requirements? There will always be exceptional reasons for why some social workers can’t meet the deadline but this is a blanket dispensation. This just comes across as if financial objectives trump practice standards.

  5. Keith October 21, 2021 at 2:09 pm #

    SWE is the Hotel California of social.work. You can get on the register but you can’t come off it by choice. You will show as “failed to register” implying a fault rather than you choosing to wave goodbye. Two years after I retired I am still show like this. They are after our money and if they don’t get it from our fees, they smoke and mirror the numbers to get the funding through the government. So Captain, you are in even when you are out.