Over a third of social workers still to renew five days from registration deadline

Social Work England says 63% of practitioners who need to renew have done so, with those who fail to do so by midnight on 30 November facing removal from register

registration printed on rubber stamp
Photo: Wolfilser/Adobe Stock

Over a third of social workers are yet to renew their registration with five days to go until the deadline.

As of this morning, 62,156 social workers had renewed their registration, 63% of those who need to do so, said Social Work England.

All social workers who want to continue in practice must renew by midnight on 30 November (next Wednesday) or be removed from the register.

To successfully renew, social workers must complete the application form, pay the £90 renewal fee and submit two pieces of continuing professional development, one of which must have been reflected upon with a peer.

No grace period on CPD

Social Work England said that 80% of practitioners had engaged with the CPD process, for example, by submitting one piece, or two pieces without a peer reflection. However, unlike in the last two years, there will be no grace period for those who complete the other steps but do not meet the CPD requirement on time.

Anyone who is removed but wants to continue practising will need to apply to have their registration restored, at a cost of £135.

In a tweet today, the regulator repeated its call for practitioners not to leave renewal until the last minute.

In comments earlier in the week, Social Work England said: “Thank you to the tens of thousands of social workers who have applied to renew their registration so far. We cannot advise social workers strongly enough to complete their renewal application as soon as possible and not leave it until the deadline. Anybody who has not completed all three steps to renew by midnight on Wednesday 30 November will no longer be able to practise.

“Please check that you have completed all three steps of the process. People receive an email confirmation when they complete each step. Once they have completed all steps their online account will show each step as green and show it is completed. If anybody needs guidance and support with the process there is extensive information on our website.”

Social workers who joined the register after 1 September this year still need to renew and pay the annual £90 fee but do not need to complete the application form or meet CPD requirements. Those who have applied for voluntary removal from the register do not need to renew.


34 Responses to Over a third of social workers still to renew five days from registration deadline

  1. James November 25, 2022 at 4:07 pm #

    Lastminute.com for me and my colleagues. #SilentProtest

    • A.E November 25, 2022 at 5:04 pm #

      I second the hastag 😉 Also a fellow lastminute.comer.

    • Jack November 25, 2022 at 5:13 pm #


    • Hannah M November 25, 2022 at 8:53 pm #

      We should be out protesting in the streets like nurses and teachers etc. Social Work is the ugly sister of public services.

      • Hazel Norton November 26, 2022 at 9:53 am #

        Far better to commit to a ‘work to rule’…ie arrive at 9, have a full one hour lunch break and leave at 5.30. If you work over that time ensure TOIL is logged and taken within that month as usually advocated. All perfectly within your contract.

        With every full time social worker likely carrying an extra half a post in extra hours worked for free, it would soon bite in. Workers need to stick together on this though for that message to be driven home.

      • Mary Foster November 28, 2022 at 5:23 am #

        When Social Workers finally give up being treated like shite who is going to step up and do the job?
        Wen non experienced pretend workers stop telling Social Workers how to do this vocation thinking “it’s just a job” watch everything fall apart

  2. jason November 25, 2022 at 5:36 pm #

    Dont do it. They will ruin your life for no reason. Run by non social workers overall. The ones that are there cannot face the frontline.

  3. Rachel November 25, 2022 at 9:56 pm #

    I wonder if they are reflecting on how achievable the requirements are for us? We set SMART goals for our clients but not ourselves perhaps?

  4. Josie November 25, 2022 at 10:16 pm #

    Maybe instead of striking. Social workers are deciding there are other better paid, less stressful jobs, out there that do not require CPD and associated costs.

    • The Watcher November 26, 2022 at 9:22 pm #


      • Kerri November 28, 2022 at 10:31 pm #

        Hear, hear

  5. Roryboy November 26, 2022 at 4:28 am #

    The reminder has threatening under tones … renew or be struck off. Then
    in the next news shot the Department for education are planning to prevent agency workers … interesting approach to hard working, committed, professionals

  6. Jules November 26, 2022 at 9:19 am #

    Just imagine how much time, effort and money it costs for SWE to process registration renewals annually, rather than biennially like the HCPC did… ?

  7. Citizen Smith November 26, 2022 at 9:20 am #

    Pay to work ,pay to park at work, told what to do , micromanaged.No autonomy ,massive staff turnover and high levels of sickness nobody looking at the reasons why .
    Job description – Admin ,unless it goes wrong ,then you are a Social Worker.

  8. Jonathan G Butler November 26, 2022 at 10:29 am #

    Having experienced the profession prior to mandatory registration and the introduction of this CPD and undermining of professional autonomy, it is little surprise the resentment I felt is shared by others when these innovations came in. Hopefully one day the light may dawn, when it is realised that hoop jumping does not empower and benefit the majority of clients or social workers tackling tasks that require long term and adequate funding.

  9. K Stone November 26, 2022 at 8:07 pm #

    I’d love to be a fly on the wall at SWE next week. Palpitations all round methinks. ?

  10. Abdul November 27, 2022 at 5:52 pm #

    The chances of social workers who haven’t registered being barred from practice on the 1st of December is zero. No service can cope with even one social worker being taken away and their work reallocated. Question is why does this happen every year. Equally if there is a rush to register 48hrs before deadline what reassurance is there that the work uploaded is satisfactory. We never get told what the data is after the process ends. It must be the case that some social workers do not meet the standards and presumably are asked to resubmit. What is in place to ensure their competence while under this scrutiny? If something keeps stalling repeatedly the strategy shouldn’t be threats but a considered analysis as to why it’s not working. In my authority all questions are shut down. That is not a healthy way to improve practice.

    • Yoda November 29, 2022 at 12:45 pm #

      If you don’t renew by 1 December, I can assure you, you WILL be barred from practice and your employer notified.

      • Abdul November 30, 2022 at 8:16 pm #

        For a simple practical reason no employer will be notified on 1 December because SWE will not know who hasn’t registered. I have experience of this last year. A colleague practiced for a period having told our employer she hadn’t registered during her notice period. SWE informed our manager after she had left. Employers have a vested interest I stretching the rule. I am not encouraging people not to register as it is an inevitability. But idle threats are no more than that for the first day. You could do an FOI on how many social workers have been and are practicing whilst not on the register. Instructive. I got a pen for completing mine so that was nice.

  11. Anonymous November 28, 2022 at 5:51 am #

    Make recording CPD useful and people will do it. Make it mandatory for employers of social workers to give them time to do CPD and record it. This is currently nothing more than a tick box exercise that people hate doing. Most will only make a half hearted attempt anyway, and just hope they’re not picked out.

  12. dk November 28, 2022 at 9:24 am #

    Never sure why this warrants multiple articles each year, people work to deadlines. Whatever date was set, a significant number of people are going to do the related work on the day it’s due. That is as true of social work re-registration as it is any other task.

    • Marianna November 28, 2022 at 12:11 pm #

      Because the ‘profession’ acts on the basis that without threats and bullying leaders aren’t doing their jobs properly. Community Care on the other hand is doing its journalistic task of reporting what is happening. I for one welcome that.

      • dk November 28, 2022 at 4:22 pm #

        Really not following this. “What is happening” is that the minority of social workers haven’t done a job … That isn’t yet due. Shock horror? The real story here is that the vast majority of people have registered, many considerably ahead of the time. There are plenty of inferences that could be drawn from that.

        I’m not really sure who here is accused of making threats and bullying. Social Work England? Unless we favour no regulation of who can use our protected title and so don’t mind there being no deadline to be registered, I don’t see what the issue with having a deadline is.

        • Mary Foster November 28, 2022 at 11:12 pm #

          We have earned our protected title. It’s not an airy fairy gift we wok hard way over hours way many cases while checking re checking following the law protecting those that find it hard to protect themselves or just are not sure. We take abuse physical abuse emotional abuse and are treated disgracefully because false rumours say we steal children taking them into care. Nothing could be further from the truth we keep families together unless to do so creates damage to the child endangering their future. And we have to hand in homework to satisfy some yehaw that we know what we are doing. We don’t work in a vacuum we work with police councillors specialists consultants mental health genetic experts Drs any one that can help our client live a happy independent life. After over 35 years DISW. BSc Science Hons degree Social Work I have had enough of being treated like an idiot

          • M Riley November 29, 2022 at 8:59 pm #

            I’m with you on all counts – twenty years of being told to jump through hoops – autonomy being eroded and being treated like we are the naughty kids that need to write lines to prove we understand. It’s all bullocks and everyone knows it. I’m
            Not surprised one third yet to complete five days in – as someone else said we submit court statements and various other reports to the deadline – all because we are over worked and then made to feel
            Guilty if we actually want to take time owed back. I’m truly sick of it all – just want to be left alone to do my job to the best of my ability . If I had known all this crap was coming I would have done a degree in law – then I could be that person who gets paid shit loads for turning up !

  13. Marianna November 29, 2022 at 11:56 am #

    I favour regulation. I favour a process that requires evidence based and verifiable submissions. I favour a regulator that commits to scrutinising ? of submissions by people who are competent and who understand what social work is and how it’s practiced in England. I favour proper feed back from SWE about how it determine submissions meet their standards. I favour a regulator that cares enough about our profession to demonstrate why we should have confidence in it. I favour a registration process that enthuses social workers to invest in it because they see how it improves practice and protects the public. I favour a process that means something outside of self regarding platitudes. I favour a process that doesn’t complacency blather about how 30% of social workers not registering so late in the process is just a ‘minority’. The issue isn’t the deadline. It’s the dead hand of an unaccountable regulator that thinks repeating every year “do this or you won’t have a job” is raising standards. I could go on. If you think all is dandy and SWE are doing a grand job dk, I disagree. That’s the only thing I’ve said you need to follow.

    • dk November 30, 2022 at 9:40 am #

      I haven’t said anything that would indicate I think SWE are doing a grand job, or are even fit for purpose, or that I think this method of regulation or maintaining standards works well. It’s a strange, but interesting and I think elucidating, inference for you to make. It points, to me, to a defensive groupthink within social work.

      30% is, by definition, a minority.

      • Marianna November 30, 2022 at 7:12 pm #

        But you defend their process because it protects your title? Simply by uploading unprovable narratives SWE is very unlikely to read let alone give feedback on? That is my definition of groupthink. I can buy a blue tick on twitter to “verify” my identity which is the equvilant pretence we are asked to collude with by SWE. What’s the inferences to be drawn from some social workers not having registered “ahead of” the deadline? That we are lazy? That we only do things if someone imposes a deadline on us? If you really value having a protected title challenge SWE to have a transparent process. Ask them to tell us how they evaluate our submissions and by whom. Last year the upload ‘evidencing’ my competence was re-phrasing wording of the standards I chose. Apparently that was good enough. That shouldn’t be enough. All
        I want is a proper debate and accountability. Presumably given that I will complete my registration at the last minute that puts me in the lazy unprofessional inferences corner. Abdul has it spot on by the way. Worth thinking about what he says.

  14. Yoda November 29, 2022 at 12:54 pm #

    I never could understand why social workers moan that SWE’s renewal process is onerous. ALL professions have to do this. Social workers aren’t special. Unless you don’t consider yourself a professional, then I get it. Here’s what doctors have to do: https://www.gmc-uk.org/-/media/documents/rt—supporting-information-for-appraisal-and-revalidation—dc5485_pdf-55024594.pdf?la=en&hash=1CA018A10A29AEEA7CDE433E0B901B97DFE96402

    • Flaming June November 29, 2022 at 2:50 pm #

      Yoda, if SW’s got an ounce of the recognition and respect doctors get you’d have a valid point.

  15. Jane November 29, 2022 at 8:33 pm #

    I’ve submitted mine today. I work to deadline. I don’t consider this a reflection on how much I value the profession, or of my compliance in meeting the standards.

    I’m confused why working to deadline seems to be frowned upon or considered late ?.

  16. Marianna November 30, 2022 at 12:01 am #

    The process isn’t onerous, that’s the point. It’s a unverifiable narrative regurgitation we have to pretend has value and. That said it’s not particularly useful to compare unlike with unlike. It’s not a competition between professional bodies, it’s about better and more credible regulation of social workers.

    • Marianna December 2, 2022 at 9:11 am #

      Well it’s 2 December and SWE has this to say: “Once we have updated our records you will get an email confirming your registration”. And a leading tweet that forewarns there is one day to registration end date. Have faith social workers, your protected title is in good hands.

  17. Pat Rich December 2, 2022 at 12:49 pm #

    After 40+ years in social work practice I decided not to renew my registration this year as feel work as qualified IMCA, IMHA and statutory care act advocate sits better with my values and principles than working for a local authority.