More than half of social workers still to renew two weeks out from 30 November deadline

Social Work England figures show 55,000 had not completed renewal process as of 16 November, with regulator expressing concern that rates were lagging behind 2022 levels

November 30 written on a calendar to remind you an important appointment.
Photo: xtock/Adobe Stock

More than half of social workers had not completed the registration renewal process two weeks out from the 30 November deadline, Social Work England has revealed.

As of 16 November, 45,875 social workers had completed their renewal application form, submitted two pieces of continuing professional development (CPD) – one of which had been reflected upon with a peer – and paid their £90 fee.

This is 45.3% of the total who need to complete the full renewal process and means 55,342 were yet to do so with two weeks to go.

Social Work England said it was concerned that progress was now tracking slightly behind 2022 levels, with 46.7% of relevant practitioners having renewed at the same point last year.

Regulator concerned about level of progress

“Despite seeing an increase during September and October, it is concerning that the number of social workers who have completed the necessary steps to renew their registration as of 16 November 2023, is slightly below the levels of last year,” said executive director of regulation Philip Hallam.

“Social workers must apply to renew their registration before 30 November 2023, or risk being removed from the register. If they do not apply to renew, their registration will lapse.”

He said that anyone whose registration lapsed would need to apply to have it restored, at an additional cost of £135, in a process that could take 20 days, during which time applicants would not be able to practise as social workers.

The regulator has said previously that an increase in misuse of title cases – when practitioners are alleged to have worked as social workers while unregistered – was in part because of people practising during periods of lapsed registration.

Call to avoid ‘last-minute rush’

Hallam said that the Social Work England had tailored its communications to individual circumstances during the current renewal period, and warned practitioners not to ignore emails from the regulator, which would show them what they needed to do.

“We urge all social workers to log in well ahead of the deadline to complete the registration renewal application process and to avoid a last-minute rush,” he added.

Social Work England released the data yesterday (23 November), one week before the registration deadline.

The regulator’s data revealed 58,023 (57.3%) had completed their renewal form, however, a fifth of this group had not met all of the CPD requirements.

While the 101,217 practitioners who were on the register before the renewal period started on 1 September must complete all three steps, the 2,419 who have joined since need only pay the registration fee.

Of the latter group, 1,886 (78%) had paid their fee as of 16 November, compared with 2,002 (80.8%) at the same date in 2022.

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.

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5 Responses to More than half of social workers still to renew two weeks out from 30 November deadline

  1. Jennie November 27, 2023 at 2:08 pm #

    Well I am not surprised by this at all.
    I have given up trying to register after 8 months of grief with SWE. Been a Social Worker for over 20 years and never had problems with my registration. This has been a minefield and not made any easier by SWE.

  2. Abigail November 28, 2023 at 9:52 am #

    The question is why after threats of deregistration, additional fees to get back on the register, every year the desperation from SWE as deadline day approaches is so predictable. A workforce seeing the benefit of a registration process that actually contributes to accountability and raised standards would comply without glitches. A workforce that has no confidence in it’s regulatory body, sees the process as merely a revenue raising one, knows practitioners who remain on the register while their practice remains poor year after year, will only engage to maintain their registration and nothing more. But what would I know, I’ve just left social work disillusioned and bereft. 24 years should mean something not this nonsense.

  3. Diogenes November 29, 2023 at 11:53 am #

    Disillusioned and bereft sums up how most of us feel daily trying to hold on to some kind of ethical social work in the face of bullying managers, unworkable caseloads and a regulator which had next to nothing to say about the erosion of basic social work values by the bureaucrats that manage us. No amount of social worker of the year verbiage that had no reality to it or satsumas for Christmas ‘thank you’s’ will raise morale anymore. I’ve submitted my cobbled up “nonsense” because I have no choice and it’s been the most dispiriting experience knowing well that no one at SWE will scrutinise it, evaluate it and most certainly ever value it. My boss says that is just cynicism which sums up the never want to hear, never want to understand attitude of managers. I would say willfully ignoring social workers and diminishing their experiences is perhaps a better definition of cynicism. Abigail is yet another thoughtful social worker lost to our tarnished profession.

  4. Lizzy Boulton December 1, 2023 at 1:02 am #

    Can anyone advise as I’m in complete meltdown here. Due to technical issues and various other problems tonight my final CPD evidence was submitted at 00:04 and therefore I am unsure if the application would have all gone through and be accepted as I missed the midnight deadline. Will I really have to pay the £135 because of four minutes? I feel sick with dread. Has anyone else experienced this before and can advise?

    • Clare owen December 2, 2023 at 1:30 pm #

      Sadly your application will probably not be accepted, as you submitted after the deadline- SWE appear to be pretty unsympathetic to this kind of situation. People have been knocked off the register because they omitted to press one button on a form. All you can do is call them and plead your case.