About Social Work England

  • We will set the standards that regulate the social work profession, ensuring that children, adults, families and communities receive the best support in times of need.
  • We will operate at arm’s length from government. That independence means we can respond to the changing demands of delivering social work practice safely and effectively.
  • We want social workers in England to be trusted, highly skilled, safe and effective in their practice and our standards will reflect that.
  • During 2018, we will work with the current regulator (the Health & Care Professions Council) to ensure a smooth transition and continue to meet with social workers operating in different settings to communicate what the change means for them.
  • We are based in Sheffield and will employ in the region of 120 people when we’re fully staffed.



Helping to improve the sector

As a single-profession regulator focussed solely on social work, we will be able to use the data and evidence we gather through delivering our core regulatory functions:

  • maintain a register of all 95,000 social workers in England
  • deal with concerns raised about Social Workers
  • set standards of proficiency
  • set initial education and training standards and approve career entry courses
  • set and audit continuous professional development standards
  • have a role in approving post-qualifying courses

This will allow us to gain an expert understanding of the challenges facing the social work profession in England.

We will be able to use this information to feed learning back into the wider social work system.

Consulting with the sector

We expect our leadership team to establish constructive and consultative relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders. We will embed the views and interests of service users and social workers in our organisation’s culture, design and operating model.

We will be consulting on standards and regulatory rules.

Working with the current regulator

During 2018, we will work with the current regulator (the Health & Care Professions Council) to ensure a smooth transition.

We do not expect to begin regulating the profession before spring 2019.

If social workers in England wish to continue to practise then they will have to renew their registration with the HCPC between 1 September until 30 November 2018. Look out for your renewal letter which will be sent out by HCPC at the beginning of September.