Just over a fifth of social workers are yet to renew their registration, a week out from the deadline, Social Work England has said.
Practitioners who want to stay on the register must renew before 11.59pm on 30 November by submitting an application, paying the £90 annual fee and recording at least one piece of continuing professional development (CPD).
With one week to go, 78.2% of the around 100,000 social workers who need to renew have done so.
A spokesperson for the regulator said: “It’s very important that you apply to renew your registration if you want to stay registered.
“‘Social worker’ is a protected title. That means it’s illegal to use the title unless you’re registered with Social Work England. Anyone who uses the title without being registered is committing an offence and may be prosecuted.”
‘Last-minute dash’ in 2020
This is the second time Social Work England has run its annual renewal process. Last year, there was a last-minute surge, with almost 20% of practitioners (18,000) completing the process in the five days before the deadline. Just over 1,000 who had applied and paid for renewal then took advantage of a three-week grace period after the deadline to meet the CPD requirement so they could stay on the register.
The regulator has uploaded a video instructing practitioners how to renew their registration on their online accounts, saying it should take 20 to 30 minutes to do so if you have submitted a piece of CPD already.
Those who were unable to renew through their online accounts could have requested a paper application but it is too late to do so now.
Social workers on extended leave, such as maternity leave, and those who are not currently working, still need to complete the process to remain registered.
Those who join the register, or are restored to it, between September and November 2021 do not need to apply to renew or record CPD, but do have to pay registration for the upcoming year.
Those who want to leave the register can apply for voluntary removal. If they do not, and do not renew, they will be recorded as having failed to renew on the register.
Those social workers who are removed from the register because they haven’t applied to renew by 30 November will be charged a £135 restoration fee to apply to rejoin.
Support to renew
Community Care Inform Adults and Inform Children users can access their previously completed CPD via the My CPD section of Inform, which is designed to make it easy to copy to their Social Work England CPD form. They can also access guidance, including a short video, on how to use their Inform CPD log to fulfil Social Work England’s requirements – available here for Inform Children users and here for Inform Adults users.
Social Work England has published online examples showing versions of CPD which vary from traditional training courses. There are also guides and information on how to complete the process on the Social Work England website. Its regional engagement leads can also help practitioners with questions.