Vast majority of social workers complete their registration renewal in time

Just 5.5% of social workers failed to submit a registration renewal after last-minute concerns that up to a quarter of social workers could miss the deadline.

Social Work England has released preliminary final figures showing that 94.5% of social workers who needed to renew their registration with Social Work England have submitted an application.

The figure will be a cause for relief for many in the sector after concerns that a quarter of social workers had not completed their application – and would therefore be unable to practise as a social worker – just four days before the deadline. The troubling figures prompted sector leaders to call for an extension to the deadline.

Many social workers have still yet to upload one piece of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) however, with 1,444 being given until 21 December to upload CPD to their online account. If they fail to meet this deadline, they will be removed from the register. ‘Exceptional circumstances’ for these social workers, if they are unable to complete this, will only be considered for this 21-day period; not prior to 1 December, the regulator said.

There were, however, 5,309 social workers that have not submitted a registration renewal (either at all or only partially) and will therefore be removed from the register. The regulator says this figure is in line with previous years when approximately 4,000 to 6,000 social workers would not renew due to retiring from, or leaving, the profession.

Philip Hallam, executive director of registration, quality assurance and legal at Social Work England, said: “It is a real testament to the profession that the vast majority of social workers have completed their renewal application and uploaded at least one piece of continuing professional development (CPD), despite the very challenging circumstances of the pandemic.

“Social workers who have completed CPD but not completed their renewal application may be considered for temporary registration. However, this will not happen until at least January. We advise them to contact their employer immediately as it is illegal for anybody not on the register to use the title of social worker.”

In the coming days, Social Work England will email social workers who made a renewal application to let them know the outcome of their application.

Social workers who did not meet the deadline but do wish to restore their registration and continue practising across the duration of this year will now have to follow the restoration process.

Find out more about the restoration process: https://www.socialworkengland.org.uk/registration/restoration/

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