Social Work England opens registration renewal period

England's 100,000 practitioners have until 30 November to complete process or face the removal of their right to practise

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

With Social Work England's registration renewal period having started on 1 September, when do you plan to submit your CPD?

  • Before the end of the registration period (30 Nov) with time to spare (51%, 92 Votes)
  • I don't know when I'll have time (18%, 33 Votes)
  • At the last minute (17%, 31 Votes)
  • I already have (13%, 24 Votes)

Total Voters: 180

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Social Work England has opened its annual three-month registration renewal period.

England’s roughly 100,000 registered practitioners have until 30 November to complete the process or face the removal of their right to practise social work.

Renewal involves completing an application form, paying the £90 registration fee and submitting two pieces of continuing professional development (CPD) – one of which must have been reflected upon with a peer – through registrants’ online accounts with the regulator.

As in previous years, Social Work England has urged practitioners to complete the process in good time.

The regulator said that, as of 31 August 2023, 7% of social workers had met the CPD requirements.

Practitioners removed inadvertently

Last year,  just over 1,000 practitioners appeared to have been deregistered unintentionally after paying their fee and submitting their CPD, but not completing the application form.

Some put this down to what they described as flaws in the regulator’s online registration system that meant they thought they had completed the form when they had not.

But Social Work England said it had put out clear and repeated guidance on the process and that most of the practitioners concerned were completing the process on 30 November 2022, which may have led to errors.

Following last year’s registration round, over 800 practitioners applied to rejoin the register directly after being removed, at an additional cost to each of £135.

Social Work England’s assistant director of regulation, Rachel McAssey, said it had “[reflected] on feedback from previous years to make the process as simple as possible”.

Renewal guidance

Its guidance on renewal sets out the 12 steps required to complete the application form, stressing that practitioners must ensure they submit it at the declarations stage to avoid the risk of being removed.

McAssey also urged practitioners to ensure their contact details were up to date on their online accounts so they would receive Social Work England’s regular updates during the renewal process.

The regulator has also published separate guidance on submitting CPD, which states that it encompasses a wide range of activities, including attending conferences or training sessions, on-the-job learning, self-directed study, such as listening to podcasts, and lived experience.

It has also set out what is meant by peer reflection, which registrants must complete for one of their two CPD submissions. Peers can be any professional with knowledge of the practitioner’s social work practice, including a line manager or supervisor, but not someone who reports into the registrant.

Help with submitting your CPD

Community Care Inform users have plenty of learning they can benefit from that can contribute to their CPD for registration renewal.

We have put together guidance on submitting learning you have acquired on the sites – and saved using our CPD tool – to Social Work England. Access the guidance on Inform Children or on Inform Adults.

Also, Social Work England’s regional engagement leads are running a series of online sessions on submitting CPD, which practitioners can book a place on.

Social workers on extended absence from work, for example, due to maternity, parental or sick leave, must renew if they want to stay on the register.

Those who join – or rejoin – the register from 1 September to 30 November 2023 need not apply to renew or submit CPD but must pay the £90 registration fee.

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