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Social worker re-registration: The new requirements for CPD and how to meet them

Speaking at The Social Work Show last week, Matthew Devlin explained the new rules around CPD and peer reflection.

12/10/22

Social worker re-registration: The new requirements for CPD and how to meet them

Do not begin your professional registration renewal on the final day. It will be too late, Matthew Devlin, Regional Engagement Lead for Social Work England told visitors to the Social Work Show.

“It is a hard process in that if you have not renewed by 30th November, you will come off the register,” he said. “And if you leave it too late, you won’t have your CPD documents.”

He outlined the new rules for renewing registration, which have changed in relation to continuing professional development (CPD) and now require two pieces to be submitted.

“It was always the intention to raise the bar for CPD in the renewal process. We require a minimum of two pieces [recording your] CPD, now including at least one piece with a peer reflection. When it comes to renewal, your CPD will already be done and recorded.”

The changes have been made as a result of feedback from social workers themselves, Devlin said. “Social workers get why CPD is important. It is an essential part of the work because it encourages social workers to make learning an essential part of their practice.”

“We have intentionally never specified what exactly CPD is. Instead, we have always wanted social workers to be flexible and creative. The big thing for us is that it has an impact on practice.”

Examples could include reading books or articles, on the job learning, reflecting on leadership and management, or attending a seminar or webinar.

He told social workers that the new peer reflection requirement means recording your own reflections on feedback from a colleague or other person with relevant experience. A peer can be another social worker registered in the UK, a line manager or supervisor, or another professional who has knowledge of your social work practice such as an occupational therapist, nurse, teacher, police, GP or psychiatrist.

“We don’t need to see the transcript or the name of the peer. We are looking for about 250 words capturing what you learned from the reflection. You must record the CPD in your Social Work England online account and, based on consultation, we have made recording that CPD simpler by having just one form.”
The new standard on CPD has eight sections and the aim is for the social worker to meet all parts of the standard every year, but that is not mandatory.

Mr Devlin explained the work and role of Social Work England to the seminar, which included students and newly-qualified social workers.

“Social Work England is the overall regulator for social work in England and holds the register of social workers. There are currently 100,000 registered social workers in England. Social worker is a protected title, so it is illegal for anyone to use it unless they have completed the approved training for the profession and are on the professional register.”

He added that Social Work England sets the professional standards and deals with concerns about fitness to practise. The regulator also sets education standards which means approving courses leading to qualification and post-qualifying courses for social workers in mental health.

“Big things are happening in mental health which will lead to changes for Approved Mental Health Practitioner roles,” Devlin said.

The overall aim of setting standards is to ensure social workers:
- Promote the rights, strengths and wellbeing of people, families and communities
- Establish and maintain trust and confidence of people
- Be accountable for the quality of my practice and the decisions I make
- Maintain professional CPD
- Act safely, respectfully and with professional integrity
- Promote ethical practice

The renewal process is completed online via the SWE website, from 1st September to 30th November.

“Finally, when the registration is complete, make sure you submit your renewal and note down your RN number so you can give it to your employer.”

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