Quarter of social workers at risk of removal as registration deadline approaches

Social Work England confirms the deadline remains 11.59pm on 30th November, despite calls from sector leaders.

More than a quarter of all social workers could be removed from the register if they do not complete their renewal by the deadline on Monday 30th November.

Figures from Social Work England show that, as of 9am on 26th November, only 74.2% of social workers registered with the regulator had completed their renewal, leaving 25,000 at risk of removal.

Of those 25,000 yet to renew, roughly 15,000 had not completed their application and paid the fee, while 9,664 had paid the fee but not completed the requirement to upload one piece of continuing professional development (CPD) to their account.

Social Work England confirmed that those who have paid their registration fee – but who have not uploaded one piece of CPD – will be written to and given a further 21 days to complete this. If they fail to do this in the 21 days they will be removed from the register, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) urged the regulator to extend the deadline given the ‘strain’ the social work workforce was under due to the pandemic.

Rachell Wardell, Chair of the ADCS Workforce Development Policy Committee, said that the pandemic will have had a serious impact on stress levels and fatigue.

“While the opportunity to reflect on this period by uploading evidence of continuous professional development (CPD) will have been welcome for some, others have been unable to do so.”

She added that sector leaders anticipated that the peak in referrals to children’s services is yet to come which, when combined with significant numbers of social workers being removed from the register, will put added pressure on the workforce.

“We would welcome an extension to the 30 November deadline to allow all social workers to complete the registration process and therefore continue to deliver the essential work that many children and families rely on.”

Social Work England has confirmed however that social workers who want to continue to practise must complete the three steps of creating an account, recording CPD and applying to renew their registration by 11.59pm on Monday 30 November.

Colum Conway, Chief executive of Social Work England, stressed that registration was needed to demonstrate to the public and to employers that a social worker remains fit to practise, adding “everyone agrees on the need to deliver safe and effective social work practice.”
“It is a real testament to the profession that the vast majority of social workers in England have completed renewal applications and uploaded at least one piece of CPD, despite the very challenging circumstances of the pandemic.

Those with particular circumstances that may prevent them from renewing on time are encouraged to contact us as soon as possible, and can still do so ahead of the deadline, to help us consider and respond to these circumstances.”

Social workers who do not complete their registration will have to apply to restore to the register and pay a £135 restoration fee, on top of the £90 registration fee. There will also be a period of time where they will not be able to practise while their application is processed.

Renewing your registration with Social Work England is a legal requirement for all social workers who wish to practise in England. The deadline for renewal applications to be completed is 11.59pm on Monday 30th November.

To find out more about how to renew your registration, visit https://www.socialworkengland.org.uk/renewal/

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