Almost 4,000 social workers removed as 96% renew registration

Number of those who did not renew up on 2021 but in line with previous years, with just over 400 appearing to have completed application form without meeting CPD requirements

registration printed on rubber stamp
Photo: Wolfilser/Adobe Stock

Story updated 7 December 2022

Almost 4,000 social workers will no longer be able to in practise in England because they did not renew their registration this year, according to provisional figures.

The number (3,740) marks an increase on last year’s figure (2,869) and represents 3.7% of those who needed to renew, up from 3% in 2021, said Social Work England.

However, it is in line with previous years, which have seen 4,000 to 6,000 people leave the register annually.

Overall, 96.3% (96,886) of practitioners did renew by the 30 November deadline, a 0.7 percentage point fall on the proportion in 2021.

Social Work England said that 428 of the 3,752 who did not renew but did not meet the continuing professional development (CPD) requirements.

This is a fall on the 826 who did so last year, despite the tougher CPD demands introduced for this year’s renewal period: to submit two pieces, one of which needed to have been reflected upon by a peer, rather than one piece without a peer reflection.

No CPD grace period

However, unlike in 2020 and 2021, these social workers will not be given a grace period in which to submit their CPD; instead, they will be removed. Last year, most of the 826 in this position met the CPD requirement and renewed, with just 125 being removed.

Anyone removed who wants to stay in social work will need to apply for their registration to be restored, at a cost of £135, and may not practise until their restoration is confirmed.

Following this year’s renewal round, Social Work England’s executive director of regulation, Philip Hallam said: “Thank you to everyone who submitted their registration renewal application and completed the CPD requirements by the deadline. Anyone who didn’t do this and wishes to continue to practise as a social worker must now apply for restoration through our website. It is illegal to practise in England using the protected title of social worker unless you are registered.

Registration ‘about public protection, not professional membership’

“Social work is regulated, in line with the legal framework set out by Parliament, as it a specialist profession that millions of people rely upon. Annual renewal of registration provides confidence to the public that social workers maintain their skills and knowledge and continue to meet their professional standards. Registration is not about having ‘membership’ of the profession; it exists to assure all of us that the public, including some of the most vulnerable people in society, are protected.”

Social Work England said it would email all of those who needed to renew on or after 1 December to confirm their status. It is currently updating the public register, but this will take a few days. Anyone whose status is listed as ‘registered until 30 November 2020’ has not had their entry updated, while those categorised as ‘registered until 30 November 2023’ or have had their status changed, for example, to ‘no longer registered – failure to renew’, will have had their listing updated.


82 Responses to Almost 4,000 social workers removed as 96% renew registration

  1. Jay December 2, 2022 at 11:54 am #

    Email i sent to SWE. Not yet had a reply

    I was just wondering if there is any support available as to how i move forward now that I have missed the renewal deadline. My workload has been outrageous recently and I had little choice but to leave my application to the last minute but as is always the way, my entire family fell ill last weekend and on the evening of the deadline, I woke in the middle realising I had missed it and have been wracked with anxiety since. I don’t know how to tell my employer. I know that as as soon as I am removed I can re-apply but I understand it could take up to 4 weeks. My team is already on its knees and people are working 60 hour weeks just to try stay above water. My families and my employers can not afford for me to now be working for a month and i literally can not financially afford it. I feel so sick with anxiety and worry and I don’t know where to turn or who to talk to. I don’t know how to tell my employers. I know this is ultimately my fault but it feels so horrendous, i put the application to the back of the pile to ensure children were ok and court documents were completed on time and then continued to work whilst I was so unwell. I know there will be other workers in the exact same situation who managed to get in but I’m just so burned out and still unwell as have not taken time off. I just feel so depressed by this situation and wondered whether SWE offer any support?

    • Corinna December 2, 2022 at 2:11 pm #

      Hi Jay – are you in BASW or a union – they met be better able to support how to address this with your employer – I really feel for you and I am sure this will resonate with other people. I hope this gets sorted – and that SWE are able to offer a solution

    • Claire December 2, 2022 at 2:59 pm #

      Try not to panic, speak to your manager, they’re not going to want to lose you over an admin error. We all learn from our mistakes and shouldn’t we forgive ourselves sometimes.
      It’s probable that you can continue to work on your team in an unqualified role whilst you reregister, like a social work assistant etc. I’m sure they can figure it out, however you have to be honest now you’re no longer registered as not telling could be the thing that gets you in real trouble. Good luck.

      • DKR December 2, 2022 at 11:14 pm #

        Hey Jay, I too feel your pain. You must inform your employer at the earliest. Don’t worry I know of others who have been where you are. The remedy for them was for the duration of the re application period they worked as ‘ practitioners under supervision’
        It’s is terrible that SWE offer consideration of the pressures we work under.

        Seek support for the emotional strain you are under .

        • Angela December 6, 2022 at 6:14 pm #

          I renewed mine on time submitted then received an email saying I failed, then when I spoke with them on the telephone they said I had not completed the basic details which I know I did as I had to add my new manager and update my employment. Its a joke. I was then made to pay 135.00 extra and compete all the information again

    • Margaret December 2, 2022 at 4:17 pm #

      Leave the profession and use the month to reboot your exhausted mind. Life is too short and your own family need a less stressed out burnt out version of you
      I came to this conclusion in March and am now enjoying the rest of my life without the heat of an LA Team eroding my identity.

      You’ll not regret it

      • Me December 3, 2022 at 11:14 am #

        Great advice

        • Kwabena Okyere-Kusi December 5, 2022 at 6:25 pm #

          There is a very big difference between failure to register and making a mistake in registration. I am of the opinion that removing names of individuals who did submit CPD and paid the stipulated registration fee need to be offered the opportunity to complete the registration as it happened in the past.

      • Carina December 7, 2022 at 10:45 am #

        Good advice .

    • Karen December 2, 2022 at 5:47 pm #

      Bless you. Be kind to yourself. Tell your employers and take a break until you can practice again. You can only take responsibility for so much. Don’t feel bad. Life’s too short

    • Bob December 2, 2022 at 7:48 pm #

      Go sick, you can get up to 6 months sick leave.

    • Shelley December 2, 2022 at 11:34 pm #

      I can see you have already received some good advice here so I don’t need to add to that. I just want to say that I really empathise. Like you I put my unmanageable workload and the needs of the people I work with before my own and spent two evenings prior to the deadline typing away for hours whilst also looking after my very unwell son who has had a temperature of just under 40 for days. I really hope you can get it sorted but in the meantime please do not feel guilty. Sounds like you are doing your best

    • The Scouse Social Worker December 3, 2022 at 6:42 am #

      Hi Jay

      As Corinna said, if you are a BASW member or a SWU member (either or both) then yes please call them as soon as pos as I know they will be able to help and support you.
      If you’re not in a union then please talk to your employer, I know it’s hard but you will fell better, and they should also support you to work with SWE and find best way forward to get you re-registered.

      Really sorry you’re feeling so bad and totally get it, and I bet my bottom dollar most of the 4,000 sw who also also didn’t renew was due to similar situations; burnt out trying their absolute best to keep people safe.

      You know you’re a good sw, your employer knows your a good sw and the families you support know you’re a good sw so try not to worry.

      We’re all with you!

    • Abduul December 3, 2022 at 11:49 am #

      Hi Jay,

      I was deeply saddened and affected personally by your email, as I have gone through the majority of what you describe in the children’s local authority for almost 25 years as a front line child protection social worker.

      I can tell you it does not get better, only worse, and I know you are barely able to think clearly and logically, as you have no time for yourself, and are overwhelmed by your workload, but you need to take this time to consider your future carefully, Do you wan the rest of your life to be like this, and is it really worth it, in terms of the price you will pay and the impact this will have upon your physical and mental health, and time taken away from your own family.

      You are one social worker, and you are not responsible to save your organisation; and staffing, retention, and workload should be the concern of your employer, and not yours, but they put everything back on us the Social Worker. Your employer will put all of the onus and responsibility on you alone to manage an unreasonable workload (which is actually their clients, and not yours), and the minute you cannot keep up or do something wrong, they will distance themselves from you, not take any responsibility themselves, and report you to SWE in a heartbeat. Your loyalty is misplaced, whilst you have a lot towards your employer, they have none to you, all they want is the work done, and there is no individual care or concern towards any of their staff.

      I was working at the second most deprived local authority in London for almost 12 months recently in R&A, and was managing over 31 children, and had the most complex cases, including CP, Section 7, and care proceedings. I was working above 25 hours for free over my normal hours per week, and never had any time back, just to be able to keep up with the workload and keep my hand in at a minimum level. My manager knew I was working until midnight every night, and weekends, but she was doing the same too.

      Things took a turn for the worse, when I stopped sleeping at night due to the stress, I became incontinent (i.e. I was wetting the bed at night due to anxiety), and I would automatically vomit each morning before work due to underlying anxiety. Once I was dressed and ready for work, and before I made it out the door, I vomited suddenly down the front, and had to change, and many times when I was walking to the bus stop, I would have to take deep breaths, and was trying to keep my breakfast down, such was my stress and anxiety levels. Nobody at work had any idea what I was going through, and I was putting on a brave face, and just got on with dealing with the work.

      My manager then started making more demands of me, increasing my workload, and chiding me for ‘not being as fast’ as I use to be anymore in turning over cases. She did not seem to understand I was given the most complex cases (i.e once I had 3 ICPCC’s in one week), and I was working 25 hours for free, and yet she wanted more.

      I was not prepared to compromise on the quality of the work, or put children at risk, so I had no choice but to use all my waking hours to complete work. When my manager started to demand more work and more turnover from me, I realised the only way this was possible, would be for more to start working until 2 or 3am (and not stopping at midnight, and working all weekends anymore). This was my turning point, as I realised I could not keep up with my workload anymore, and it was affecting my health, so I gave my notice. I am so glad I did that, as it something went wrong, the onus and responsibility would have been on me.

      It was hard getting out of that as it took me a month of working until midnight and every weekend just to clear and transfer everything on my caseload, but it was the best thing I did, as I could not have done that.

      I am now undertaking a short locum role out of the local authority, and will be leaving the social work profession, as I don’t agree with the values and ethnics anymore. I am looking forward to getting my life back, having my own free time back, and enjoying life.

      Leave and find another career path, as life is too short to be unhappy, overwhelmed, and overworked. Your own family need you more, than the Local Authority, and it is up to them, and not you, to lobby for change with the Government.

      This is physical and emotional abuse by systems and organisations, and is not just ‘A job’, what you are describing is this is not only significantly affecting your mental health, but your whole life, and has become the reason for your existence.

    • Jane December 3, 2022 at 12:28 pm #

      This happened to me last year, I went for it and told my managers you get the slap on the wrist, etc and it took a few days to re-register. I just had to work from the office. Honestly do not let this make you feel so unwell. I send you my best wishes. Jane

      • kat December 6, 2022 at 6:02 pm #

        HI Jane, did it really take a few days to complete the restoration process? I’m so concerned that SWE are advising up to 20 working days – this is a month. The repercussions are long-reaching (the impact on my team, families and my own personal financial implications, on top of the shame I already feel. I paid my fees, submitted by CPD and thought I had completed the form. I’m really trying hard to focus on being positive but the uncertainty is a lot when faced with the demands of statutory SW.

    • Laura December 5, 2022 at 4:42 pm #

      Don’t tell your employer. Go off sick with stress (wouldn’t be a lie). Return once you’ve been restored on the register.

    • DP December 6, 2022 at 3:50 pm #

      Hi Jay,

      I can only imagine the anguish; I really do feel for you in this position. But social workers have an absolute duty to register as a basic necessity to protect the very people you now find yourself feeling worried about. You accept omission of registration due to workforce pressures but now indirectly place additional stress into the system and public protection. I know you don’t need to hear this, the compassionate social worker in me really wants to find a solution for you.

      I simply write this a reminder to all that are reading this, to critically reflect on the need for us all to be mindful of our roles and what it means to the people who need services. Take time for yourself and don’t feel guilty or pressured not to do so. This is exactly why it’s important.

      Yes, I agree about the registration fees, the complicated system, the pressures we are currently under and the added pressures of workforce depletion on being able to take time for CPD. This is why it’s critical everyone is protected to remain in practice. The press, Emails and updates have been relentless to remind us all of our duty.

  2. Coco Bing December 2, 2022 at 12:42 pm #

    Absolute disgrace £135 to renew if you miss the registration
    There’s a cost of living crisis, I’m sick of our profession being bullied and treated like this!

    • Bob December 2, 2022 at 7:50 pm #

      Social workers should stand and refuse this payment with SWE.

      • Linda Y December 12, 2022 at 6:29 pm #

        I agree.

  3. David Welsh December 2, 2022 at 1:35 pm #

    Social workers have enough work to complete without social work England adding more CPD. I have a few friends who are looking at leaving the service due to this and this really should be addressed. We appear to be short on social workers and this is not good on anybody causing more strain. I understand we are regulated, our managers at work make sure we are competent and are up to date on training without the added extra work.

    Maybe Community Care could complete a poll on this subject and get real feedback from social workers who are stressed enough without more constraints.

  4. LM December 2, 2022 at 1:39 pm #

    I am in the same boat as you Jay! I am completed and submitted my CPD to then be told I did not complete the registration (which I believe that I have done), with no way of checking as my records have been cleared and I have been deregistered. I feel that is is unfair and unjust as there is no right of appeal and no one ro turn to because I have been told by the union that it is not an employment issue! Feeling deflated right now! This is even worse given the life saving work that we do. Does anyone know who I can go to for advice in this matter…
    I know thatbi am not the only one in this position!

    • KJ December 2, 2022 at 11:11 pm #

      Check back through your emails as you will have been provided with a renewal number (starting with an R). If you don’t have this, I don’t think there is anything you can do

    • Sharon Simon December 3, 2022 at 7:54 pm #

      I also completed the process and I have a email stating I have paid and my CPD submitted. Then sent a email stating they I have failed to follow the process. I am at a loss as to what to do next. I have emailed back to a reply if they are dealing with high volumes of emails. I am beyond words. I am thinking is there a glitch in the system or a money making scam !!

      • Donna Mian December 4, 2022 at 9:22 am #

        I had the sanme thing and it turns out there was an ‘it issue’ which meant the renewal box was missing from my home page. I found out in time because I was sent a ‘renewal rreminder.I emailed and no response so I called and called them and got a manager callback etc,, his went on for weeks and was extremely stressful, they even sent me an email asking me for more money when I’d paid my 2022-23 fee in full already!

        Eventually the issue was fixed and i could finally renew about 3 weeks ago, the only reason I think they sorted their error is because I made a formal complaint and the very day it was finally sorted I said I was contacting my MP!.(Bear in mind I paid and uploaded CPD in Sept).They have upheld a lot of my complaint and state they’re reviewing their processes in the new year to improve them but we shall see.

        I feel sorry for all of you who have not been renewed due to similar errors on the part of SWE, they need to sort their website out and I think they’re disorganised. Also every 2 years would be more reasonable for reregistration imo.

      • Tracey L December 5, 2022 at 8:11 pm #

        I did my CPD both early, then paid the registration fee which they have taken from the bank.
        After a very busy work week where i worked till 9 on Friday and all day saturday i finally had time to check my personal email only to discover i had my registration canceled as i did not complete the application.

        This is the first time i have done a renewal as was NQSW last year, I am gutted my already swamped team will have to carry me while i wait for my registration reinstated and i am £135 worse off just before Christmas.

        Payment should be the final step of the process you can’t reach unless you have completed the rest then there would be no way it could not complete your application.

        Quick calculation if 3000 of the non renewed SW paid £135 each to renew it will generate
        £ 40,500 i appreciate some renewals will be more complex but for simple clerical errors it is ludicrous.

    • Tracey Smith December 3, 2022 at 9:38 pm #

      I have just seen an email from SW England saying that I am de-registered. I cannot believe it. I updated my CPD, paid my £90, both for which I have email evidence for, and appear not to have been
      registered. This is sickening abd upsetting. I’m reading previous comments saying that your record gets wiped, so my CPD record will not be there. I am so furious. This is a punitive and spiteful action from SWE. I’ve just paid £90 and I am expected too pay another £135! This cannot be for real?

      • MR December 5, 2022 at 4:54 pm #

        I’m in exactly the same position, and feel just the same. But if you contact SWE enquiries they can email you your CPD, some small comfort I know but at least you won’t have to do it again. The person I spoke to did it for me.

    • Lauren December 5, 2022 at 6:30 pm #

      Same here! Submitted CPD and paid as usual and been told I haven’t! Just you have been removed please pay 135 quid. I have screenshot messages saying I have submitted the CPD. Spoke to my HR today as I am not practising at moment as seconded to Unison branch and they said to challenge and they won’t dock my pay which they can do if you fail to register. I reckon there will be a lot of people in same situation.

      • Vicky December 6, 2022 at 4:07 pm #

        I am in exactly the same.position, submtted CPD and paid registration. However, after trying calling them 2 hours before getting through (had already sent email last week with no reply), to be told I had not clicked a declaration box. Apparently they said there is nothing they can do, I have to pay the extra 135 pound and wait to be re registered. All for a tick box which I did not see on my account. Wondering now if like some it wasn’t on mine.
        I feel that at this time of financial hardship, it is disgraceful that they can charge this extortionate amount for one tick box.

  5. James December 2, 2022 at 2:37 pm #

    Once again we rely on Community Care to tell us what is happening in our profession. SWE tweeter feed hasn’t been updated for two days and the last information on there is about it being a day left to register. You may well beleive that SWE are doing a great job but it can not be acceptable that we depend on journalists to update us on developments.

  6. Lisa Smith December 2, 2022 at 2:51 pm #

    I submitted the CPD but somehow managed to miss declaration form. So will now be deregistered. Talk about punitive.

    • Karen December 2, 2022 at 5:51 pm #

      I nearly got caught out by this. The form was designed with a set of questions, then cpd, then more questions. In my mind as the cpd was uploaded later I thought that was all I needed to do. An email on the morning of 30th told me I hadn’t finished. I’m sure there are many in this predicament. I’m sorry, I can really empathise X

    • Lucy December 2, 2022 at 6:57 pm #

      I know someone who did exactly the same thing. They’d focussed so much on the CPD they completely missed this section. SWE still happily took their registration fee that they paid after submitting their renewal. They are now deregistered until they complete the restoration application which takes up to four weeks to process. Not only do they have to pay for this, but they are now on a significantly reduced salary right before Christmas. SWE were contacted immediately by this person 48hrs before SWE finally informed them the renewal was incomplete as they had realised their error. SWE was not interested. Despite the regulations stating you are ‘at risk’ of removal, SWE are enforcing a mandatory removal. Social work values at their very best!

    • Rachel December 2, 2022 at 10:56 pm #

      Was the declaration form the dbs etc etc cos I ticked all those boxes and updated all my employers etc etc..there is nothing that I was aware of that I didn’t do, but like you say no proof at all.. I assumed payment had been taken all was fine..

  7. Paul December 2, 2022 at 3:11 pm #

    I have renewed in time and received confirmation of my registration, but from SWE perspective it does feel like they are not entirely prepared for this annual event despite being our regulator! Surely there must be a better way of administering this registration process with a degree of flexibility and also some forward planning. For example why close down the access to the SWE website for 5 days while they process everything seems crazy to me. I actually did some pretty important CPD training on the date of closure so couldn’t add this to my CPD. I’m guessing that the process for re-registration is done by recruiting staff just for this purpose and for a short time only, which then makes it less flexible. It feels like a poor relation to our previous HCPC system so I’m left wondering what my registration fee goes on….?

    • KJ December 2, 2022 at 11:14 pm #

      Use that CPD for next years renewal. You can submit CPD all through the year, we should get into the habit of doing this and not leaving it to the last minute – I promise myself every year that I will do this ….

  8. Lyn December 2, 2022 at 3:19 pm #

    One of my gripes is from being a social worker with the NHS in e.g mental health settings: You are not given access to e.g. AHP and other health:related qualifications, etc. I periodically raise this but, to my knowledge, SWE is not really interested.

    I let my membership lapse last year when my employer could not reduce my hours -preferring to burden an already stretched team with my case list. I was sad as I loved the job. I was however past ‘retirement age’ and also studying.

    But SWE registration costs money, and if you’re having a break from work/retraining, etc. it can seem an unnecessary expense. I enquired recently about renewing and it seemed that it was going to be a palaver – dare I say, a rather bureaucratic and expensive system, and so I thought better of it.

    At a time when there is an obvious shortage of social workers in all areas, I suggest that a simple re – registration system, without extra charges, would be helpful to all, and make it easier for ‘retired’ social workers to return.

  9. mel London December 2, 2022 at 3:59 pm #

    Social care is on its knees. No one listens to front line workers doing the work excessive case load
    working in a caring profession and there is no care and compassion for workers. the bullying is still apparent, as well as discrimination of ll kinds.

    it is a disgrace considering it is 135.00 to renew registration with the living crisis. for the amount that it cost social workers are not supported with by social work england in situations where staff are just too burnt out.

    I have decided to leave the profession.

    • Bob December 2, 2022 at 7:56 pm #

      Yes, I’m also done with social work, the job leads to high levels of stress, headache and anxiety, how I’ve done it for so long. I will never know. New horizons for me, as social workers we have so many transferable skills, I wish you the very best.

    • Rachel December 2, 2022 at 10:50 pm #

      Plus a further £90 for registration fee onto the list

  10. Lesley December 2, 2022 at 5:29 pm #

    I am in the same situation. I uploaded my CPD had confirmation and thought that was it! I have received an email today to say I have been de-registered. I have just called Social Work England and the person I spoke with was extremely patronising and just kept repeating that to re-regiister I had to pay a £135 “restoration fee”! Absolute joke, what are we actually paying for? I really feel like after 15 years in the profession it’s time to try something different!

    • jules December 3, 2022 at 11:14 am #

      This happened to me last year. I was off sick from stress and was not accessing my work email. I had received confirmation that my payment had been received and also the CPD had been accepted, however I did not realise there was another part in which I had to ask for the registration to continue. I was then shocked to receive a letter from my employer telling me that I had been removed from the register. The added stress was awful and I mentioned this to the bureaucrat at SWE to whom I spoke. There was no empathy or lee-way and I was forced to pay another fee and wait to be reinstated. I absolutely get why some people are saying enough is enough if they have alternatives in mind. I do not have this option at the moment as both offspring are at uni and need my support to cope with living expenses.
      I feel that my employer is better placed to sign off my CPD each year without having a regulatory body that is not run by social workers, judge whether I am allowed to continue to do the job I trained for and appears only to receive the fees we pay,jules to support themselves in employment. Does anyone know to what purpose our fees are put?

  11. Carol December 2, 2022 at 7:36 pm #

    I was prioritising my workload. The stress is unbelievable. I just forget to fill out another form. In desperation you can take me off the register. I will apply for another job elsewhere. Fed up social worker.

  12. Sue Inthecommunity December 2, 2022 at 7:57 pm #

    I’ve just completed 32 years as a Social Worker. The career I trained for in 1990 doesn’t exist anymore. Neither does any organisation exist that supports the profession – just these dumbed down agents of Government control.

    When I recall the calibre of CCETSW, compared to these bungling authoritarians it makes me realise just how eroded the profession has become.

    Who are these decision- takers who charge us for the ‘privilege ‘ of acting as the ‘mop n bucket’ of it’s fragmented society ?


  13. Cherry December 2, 2022 at 9:55 pm #

    The unreasonably high levels of cases has completely taken over my life, and left me no time to do anything, including importance matters for myself. I will ensure that my next income will permit me to live and enjoy life again, and not to be so horribly exhausted and worn down when working and when having days off.
    Deregistrstion is a blessing in disguise.

  14. Rachel December 2, 2022 at 10:49 pm #

    I wonder if you would contact me about this community care.. I have come across 21 social workers today who have been de-registered and like me they did submit cpd and payment but were told they did not click a final submission button..
    I received an email on 30th November telling me I hadn’t renewed properly, I was at a funeral. By the time I read it I couldn’t get through to anyone. Logged onto my portal couldn’t access the email as it wouldn’t show on my screen went to my account no advise whatsoever on what the problem was.
    Until today , I have been advised I have been de-registered. It costs me over £200 to re-register… on the 21 social workers alone social work england are set to make 4.5k. Some of these social workers could be made homeless over a 20 day waiting period to re-register.
    And all allegedly because we missed a button ? I ticked all terms and conditions all tick boxes and swear I ticked a submit button.. but apparently there was a further stage I only found out about hours before renewal closed and no one can assist me

  15. Tired December 2, 2022 at 11:05 pm #

    SWE is it fair to penalise emotionally drained and exhausted Social Workers £135 for missing the actual application form whilst in fact they have submitted the CPD?

    The website is designed in a confusing way to trick social workers into falling into this trap.

    As for employers, they use this as a means to victimise Social Workers!! Instead of being sympathetic which we are encouraged to be in this profession, you are threatened and pressurised to take unpaid leave!. Tell me about supportive management and throwing workers under the bus. These poor social workers are mentally tired because of the same employer’s unrealistic demands.

    It’s shocking to be a Social Worker at times because we don’t look after each other and yet you are expected to give your all. It’s a nasty oppressive culture.

    • Kat December 5, 2022 at 5:21 pm #

      I also submitted my two CPD and paid my fees but didn’t click the declaration button (i’m not sure how i missed this and SWE said that they have no reported IT glitch. I”m feeling disheartened and disillusioned that I’ve been taken off the register with potentially a wait of one month before being re-registered. This has so many repercussions, and while I accept that I didn’t receive an acknowledgement email, I didn’t realise I needed to check this. It feels so punitive that they can see I completed everything within timescales yet there is no flexbility. I feel that you shouldn’t be able to pay the fee’s without the form being completed (bar CPD). it seems such a frustrating experience as a statutory Social Worker when you already work over your hours with high case numbers. This is not withstanding potential financial costs on a personal level in a midst of a cost of living crisis.

  16. Caro December 3, 2022 at 3:42 am #

    The registration process should be done in a way that payment is the last step. That’s payment should not be accepted by the system untill CPD and all requirements are completed. This will keep social workers alert.

    On the other hand, high caseload is unmanageable and its having negative impact social workers. I wonder when SWE will set standard to appropriate this. Social workers continue to work extended unpaid hours to meet competing demands.

    This is a caring job but we burn out caring for others neglecting ourselves. SWE we need your intervention.

    • Sue December 5, 2022 at 10:29 am #

      Caro I could not agree more. I am doing my next CPD about the tensions between being a social worker and practicing self-care because it is impossible. My team is a multi-disciplinary duty team with only two qualified social workers. The demand cannot be sustained. I am on anti-depressants, sleeping aids, am menopausal and have bills and a mortgage to pay. because the post cannot be recruited to. Enough is enough.

  17. MD December 3, 2022 at 9:47 am #

    I completed everything and paid the £90 but was deregistered too!

  18. Lucy December 3, 2022 at 10:25 am #

    I completed two pieces of detailed work on one form, it shows that they don’t even read the work. Just look at the number how many times you submitted

  19. Hannah December 3, 2022 at 10:34 am #

    I’m amazed that with three months sept to nov, knowing that we have to reregister , from comments above many professionals seem not to have given this the priority or attention it deserves.

    • J December 4, 2022 at 2:13 pm #

      Youre clearly one of the lucky ones in a functioning team Hannah. I’ve been workin 50 hr weeks , overtime of course unpaid, for the last few months, paying for extra childcare for my own daughter cause I can’t get home to pick her up, looking after my sick partner, along with a million other things in life. There is no respite. Court deadly best take priority over everything. Cpd just isn’t a priority in the midst of all this

      • KJ December 4, 2022 at 10:04 pm #

        We all are working 50/60 hour weeks – Yet 96 thousand social workers did manage to register. I’m sick of hearing excuses to get honest. I’ll probably now be told I’m lacking empathy and shouldn’t be a social worker – but I did prioritise registration and made sure I ticked the right boxes, despite my impossible caseload.

        • The Scouse Social Worker December 6, 2022 at 10:38 am #


          Yes you’re right, 96,000 social workers did manage to reregister, however only 5% of that 96.000 had submitted any CPD by time registration opened in September.

          That means 95% had not.

          CPD is supposed to be ongoing earning throughout year, which all social workers are doing in some form every day as they go about their work, but bet most of 96,000 left it till last minute to upload CPD due to strain of heavy workloads.

          In the current context of staffing crisis/cost living crisis etc, there is something fundamentally wrong with the SWE system if the majority of social workers don’t have any time to actually reflect and write it down.

          Time for change SWE

  20. Pat December 3, 2022 at 11:08 am #

    The Scottish Registration Board doesn’t exploit or are as punitive to their qualified social workers. Also, the Scottish Social Work Registration Board is effectively protecting the public. Unfortunately there is a real shortage of social workers, which has led to staff being terribly overstretched and exhausted to do either their personal or professional tasks effectively. After 24 years of being a qualified social worker, I’ve decided to leave the profession, because it is now an abusive experience. I’m treating this as a blessing in disguise.

  21. JayPe December 3, 2022 at 12:51 pm #

    Feel sorry for you, I feel there needs to be someone flexibility, and membership should run from the date one is accepted on the register. This should avoid the mad rush when pple are expected to renew at the same time.
    Anyway, I started training as a Cognitive therapist which doesn’t need SW registration but was considering renewing membership so I could practice on the side, and I like the title. But with the CoL all over the place, I couldn’t justify the £90. Then I started to think, what’s that money used for when the only time I need SWE is at registration. Does it cost that much to update a database (tick a box against a name) and read two A4 size CPDs? Then like your case, genuine mistake arising from work and family pressures, but what’s the additional £45 for, and why does it take a month or so when you’ve just been off the register for 2 days! I thought technology made things easier but sounds like SWE uses old school methods to manage 21st century tasks.

  22. Susan Smith December 3, 2022 at 1:12 pm #

    Susan, Dec 2nd 1pm.#
    I retired at 66 yrs old 2 years ago and judging by S Workers comments about the registration process and costs to register, I am glad I am no longer working. I would have loved to go back for some part time work but the whole process has put me off . I feel so sorry for S Workers these days. I feel that they are in a profession that is not valued by society, and certainly not politicians.
    Perhaps this S W E organisation is a deliberate ploy by the Tory government to push S Workers into leaving and the whole profession no longer exists. After all any Tory government hates the welfare state. What on earth do you get for the £135 you have to pay. ?
    S Workers are some of the most hardest working people in this country and this SWE organisation does nothing to make them feel valued and treated as a professional.

  23. Laura December 3, 2022 at 7:42 pm #

    I am so annoyed, I would love nothing more than to be a social worker and because I cannot pass my maths GCSE I am unable to further my education to gain these qualifications! The UK is crying out for social workers and yet myself who has been in the care industry for 10 years, as management, supervisory roles, senior care assistant I cannot make the transition to social worker when I am so passionate about adult social work. It’s so disheartening knowing 1 mark is what is stopping me!

    • Lou December 4, 2022 at 1:05 pm #

      Look at the alternative ways to achieve the maths grade. You do not just have to do GCSE.
      Please look at alternatives

    • Mel December 4, 2022 at 3:21 pm #

      Try the functional maths level 2 course. It’s much easier and equivalent to a GCSE grade 5. That’s what I did

  24. Joanne December 4, 2022 at 12:11 am #

    I was working last Sunday on my day off taking children to the theatre. Phone was stolen and only just got email’s reinstated on a new iPhone. Just seen like others I’m informed I didn’t register in time but have emails both times CPD was submitted. I could cry because now I can’t work and am under a lot of stress xmas and bills to pay. I’ve had enough!

    Totally sickening and lack of compassion for us hard working social workers

  25. Adrian December 4, 2022 at 11:33 am #

    Whatever SWE uses your £90 for its certainly not for updating their tweeter account. How is a 3 day old tweet stating there is one day left to register consistent with “public safety” being priority? If SWE is committed to ensuring the public have confidence in social workers, it can start by putting out relevant and up to date information. Last year a quite senior person in my authority said ” it’s a game, just play it, nobody really believes this stuff, save your energy for doing your job and staying healthy”. SWE seem determined to prove them right. I uploaded my ‘stuff’ 6 months before deadline. I wonder how my practice improved or got worse since. Nobody asks, nobody seems concerned “evidence” is contemporary, nobody asks, nobody tells. But it does get you a “Protected Title”.

  26. Jane London December 4, 2022 at 6:48 pm #

    I have received an email on Saturday morning, informing me I’ve been chucked off the register for not meeting the competencies, the email was very cold, uncompassionate, and abrupt. No feedback as to what I’d done wrong or advice as to how i could rectify my submitted written work, no supports from social work England.
    I’m saddened by the way social work England have carried themselves., treating social workers who have dedicated themselves to their profession, service users, colleagues and agencies.
    Iam devastated, that there will be NO Christmas for my family now, I’ve no job, no income, no finances to buy the kids any gifts or buy a Christmas tree and dinner, happy Christmas social work England

  27. Sue December 5, 2022 at 9:56 am #

    I was informed that I was taken off the register despite completing the application, the CPD and the payment. I had clicked exit on the application page instead of continue thinking I had submitted that page. I had just finished a week of stress working on a case that I was struggling with, but the person was in crisis and my manager was off sick. As everyone here, I am dedicated to the people that I work with and achieved a good outcome on the case only to come home to be faced with this stress. We all work in a person-centered way.

    Social Work England states “Social work is about people. Our purpose is to regulate social workers in England so that people receive the best possible support whenever they might need it in life”. What about social workers??? We are not robots…are we not ‘people’ too.

    I am not saying that we should not be regulated, clearly, we need to be accountable, and I acknowledge that it is my responsibility to meet requirements. However, to take such a ridged approach will only put social workers off a profession that is moving away from the core values of what it is supposed to be. The approach of Social Work England is creating more tensions and stress not only on individual social workers but on departments as they are seriously understaffed, and this only creates dangerous practice. My team now has only one practicing social worker.

    As an agency worker, I have now had to pay the re registration fee, but because I cannot work, I will also lose pay just before Christmas. I don’t have a partner and have a mortgage to pay. Please try to look after yourselves no one else will!

    Seriously contemplating if I want to be a social worker anymore………

  28. Jo December 5, 2022 at 10:11 am #

    I have similarly been emailed to say I have ‘failed to renew’, although I had confirmation I submitted 2 pieces of CPD (one of which had the peer reflection). There is no information about what I failed to do, and no indication from the email or on the website about how to address it. There is information about ‘restoring’ registration. The form says it should only be filled in by practitioners who were last registered over 2 years ago. I don’t understand why that would be.

    This morning my account briefly showed two pieces of CPD in draft form (so they appear to be still there, just not visible to us), and also there are the two messages which confirm the CPD was submitted, so I’m hoping it is just a problem with their website. Currently I have been hanging on the phone so far for over an hour, which would be unnecessary if it was clear on the application if something else needed to be done following the CPD submission, and what to do now. There was no indication of any further steps needed. There was even the pop-up screen showing successful completion which I sadly did not screenshot. Lesson learnt. So annoying as I screenshot almost everything!

    Quite incredible that SWE don’t appear to uphold the values and standards which they are there to ensure social workers uphold.

    • Jo December 5, 2022 at 11:03 am #

      I finally got through after nearly 2 hours and was told I did not complete an ‘application form’ which comes after the CPD submission, and that I exited the form before completing the application form. This is not the case. Wherever there was a ‘continue’ button this is what I pressed, and then the pop indicating successful renewal appeared, so I believe this is a glitch with their online system.

      Now it is all hidden from view so we have no way to check anything or confirm or challenge what they say. Appalling.

  29. Laura December 5, 2022 at 10:20 am #

    I and 4 others in my circle have all decided that this year will be our final year to register as Social Workers. We are not respected, we have heavy workload now more than ever before. It’s now become a Well-being question for us and our families. I’d rather rethink my career ahead than stay in this shorty job.
    And we have noticed that Social Work England has become draconian in their approach. Yes, they should protect the public like we do everyday, but they are so removed from the public they regulate from their high horses. SWE don’t care about Socia Workers. HCPC did better job at finding balance between public protection and protecting the Social Workers.
    So we’ve had enough. We will use this year to prepare for our future careers away from this oppressive profession.

    • Andy December 10, 2022 at 11:43 am #

      I made that decision to leave social work nearly three years ago. It was a tough decision and there were some challenges to overcome (not least the virus outbreak) but I’m in a much, much better and healthier place now and most importantly, I’m making use of a whole range of unique and invaluable transferable skills from my social work career palette.

  30. Sinead December 5, 2022 at 10:38 am #

    I received an email on Friday after 4pm – they have not got my completed application.
    I had uploaded CPD and made payment.

    At a time when social workers are needed more than ever and yet so thin on the ground SWE are prepared to remove many of a register over admin error rather than consider a late application form?

    I experienced issues with the website this year and lost a CPD draft so had to start again.

    Surely they could reconsider these circumstances. I am currently trying to contact and have d add pent over 45 minutes on hold

    • Jo December 5, 2022 at 4:27 pm #

      I waited nearly 2 hours earlier, and got a (polite) ‘computer says no’ response from the person who I spoke to.

      I have applied to be reinstated to get it rolling ASAP, and will lose pay and £135.00 reinstatement application fee. This will take up to 3 weeks. The workplace consequences are unfolding today. This will involve lost pay and I’m not yet sure what else.

  31. SLT December 5, 2022 at 4:52 pm #

    I too am in the ‘de-registered’ group despite submitting the required CPD and paying annual fees. I rang SWE today and waited to speak to someone for two and a half hours. Finally got through to be told, like everyone else, that all I can do is complete the restoration process and pay the ridiculously high fee of £135. I have no understanding as to why I didn’t complete the registration process, but I was told that I didn’t complete all of the tick boxes. I am normally very thorough, so I am putting this down to a problem with the website or unclear instruction. I asked to speak to another person but was told that there was nobody else in the building. I finally agreed to a callback from a manager – but this will take five working days. I have completed the restoration process and paid the fee as, like everyone else, I cannot afford to work. Absolutely appalling. Isn’t there anything that can be done as it seems that this is a widespread issue?!

  32. Lauren December 5, 2022 at 10:31 pm #

    I am absolutely disgusted with SWE. I am not practising as seconded to Unison. I uploaded 2 CPD and paid. The website did nor mention or prompt me to fill in application form. Yes there was an email prompting me to re register but I ignored as last year had the same after having registered so assumed was spam. Their website is not fit for purpose. I’m now 135 quid down just before Xmas and getting married in January. Going to speak to my employer and ask if i can pay post Xmas.

  33. Ali December 6, 2022 at 10:00 am #

    Just think of the money that SWE will make from social workers having to pay £135 restoration fees for a minor administrative error of not completing one form? I, like many others uploaded my CPD, pay my fees bi-annually by DD and did not realise there was another form to complete! I am now struck off, with immediate affect…. not because of malpractice, not because I didn’t prove my CPD, because I didn’t complete one form updating them on my current circumstances. No option to appeal, no grace period or temporary suspension until relevant paperwork submitted…. just de-registered. After 14 years of being a social worker and paying the fees annually etc. I am now not allowed to call myself a social worker, have no income and no way to pay my mortgage meaning my young family will suffer! I have not been given any clarity as to how long the restoration process will take and was on hold for an hour to SW England yesterday and then got cut off! Social Work England should be supporting us not chastising us for an administrative mistake! Boycott SWE!!!

  34. Haddy December 6, 2022 at 10:55 am #

    It is most concerning that so many SW’s have experienced the same thing and consequently been deregistered; yet SWE is not acknowledging that this process is potentially flawed or that there was a glitch in their IT systems.

    I too submitted and received confirmation emails for CPD and paid Registration fee. When I saw my registration had not been updated I called SWE and believed them when they said I did not press the submit button. On reflection I now question this as I have learned of others with the same experience. Added to the fact that I cannot think or even check what I may have missed as I clearly remember completeing the form and moving onto the next step??

    I always pay SWE via Direct Debit, which automatically carries over each year. However this year whilst going through registration process it said I didnt have a direct debit so I just paid the full registration to get registration done. I noted there was a message in my account I would never stop this DD and wonder when this happened and is this a small indication something is wrong with their systems?

    The fact there is no way to check our submission, nor appeal, adds to the stress & frustration which is compounded by SWE’s total disregard re the cost of living crisis, the time of year as well as the impact on indivduals who now cannot work and will suffer financial hardship as a result of thier flawed admin system. Shocking conduct by our regulatores who appear to have no sincere regard for SW’s with their cold, corporate, response to this issue…not sure they even care about the severe consequences for us Social workers and the vulnerable adults and children we work with???

    Surely there is a way we can provoke some changes to this process and make our voices heard?? Please let me know if you are aware of any forum this can raised, Thanks

  35. Maria December 6, 2022 at 1:48 pm #

    I thought I completed all the steps required & SWE even took my registration fee only to be informed via email on 2 December that I failed to renew my registration! When I contacted them they said I failed to complete the declaration step which I didn’t even see but they still took my registration fee & now I have to pay again to restore my registration! I have made a formal complaint to SWE & asked for my restoration fee to be refunded as they should not be taking the registration fee before you complete the declaration step!

  36. Daisy December 6, 2022 at 2:37 pm #

    It is a profession which allow you to empathise with vulnerable people and do disregard their workers’ feeling.
    I remember trying to take time off to complete my work but was told we have Ofsted and ask to work extra. When it was finally time to complete my registration, my manager told me that she did not care if I was registered or not as what she needed was my assessment to be completed.
    Now I am de-registered like many others as I did not press the submit button but feel ashamed of myself.
    Lessons learnt ‘ put yourself first as no one else will do’. I am taking this month to chill

  37. Disillusioned December 13, 2022 at 6:24 pm #

    How many people have had a response to their restoration application?

    After being fleeced for £135 on 5th December I’ve heard nothing. It doesn’t matter that it can ‘take up to 20 days’ when SWE do not think it’s their responsibility to communicate with people. To at least give us some indication as to how long it’s likely to take.


  1. 1,000 social workers deregistered after paying £90 fee and meeting CPD requirements - Rvpg media - December 6, 2022

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