Leadership

Colum Conway

Colum is our chief executive. He is a registered social worker and previously led the Northern Ireland Social Care Council from 2013 to 2018. Prior to this, he spent six years as chief executive of a large not-for-profit organisation providing care services across both jurisdictions in Ireland. Colum has worked in statutory family and child care services, early years policy, funding and service provision, and family systems support services.

Sarah Blackmore

Sarah is the executive director of strategy, policy and engagement and qualified as a social worker from Trinity College Dublin in 1997. Since then, she has worked in a variety of national and international contexts, from frontline practice in Dublin, to working with street children and ex-child soldiers in Sierra Leone during the civil war, to managing services for children and families in the UK. Sarah has worked across statutory, voluntary and regulatory services. She was previously deputy director of inspection with the Scottish social care regulator, and executive director of delivery and development for a large mental health charity.

Jonathan Dillon

Jon is the executive director of fitness to practise and is an experienced senior manager with a background in safeguarding and public policy. He has specialised in health and social care regulation since 2007 and has played a key role in the migration of social work regulation from the General Social Care Council to the Health and Care Professions Council in 2012. As head of adjudications at the General Dental Council, he led a significant change and improvement programme with a focus on safe and effective practice, proportionate adjudication and enhanced collaboration.

Philip Hallam

Prior to joining Social Work England as executive director of registration and quality assurance, Philip was assistant director of scrutiny and quality at the Professional Standards Authority for health and social care, where he was responsible for leading the Authority’s reviews of the nine health and care regulators. Before that, he was head of registration at the General Optical Council and has also led casework teams at the General Dental Council and National Clinical Assessment Service.

Nadine Pemberton

Nadine is the executive director of legal with extensive experience as a lawyer in the public sector. She started her career as a prosecutions lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service and then Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office before taking on an advisory role at what is now the Independent Office for Police Conduct. Prior to joining Social Work England, Nadine was the head of governance and legal services at the Care Quality Commission where she was key in transforming the way in which the organisation undertook its criminal enforcement work and where she led a significant change programme within governance and legal services.

Adnan Bashir

Adnan is our executive director of finance and is a qualified accountant. He has worked in public and private sector organisations, having started his career as a trainee accountant with the NHS in 1998. He was previously managing director of a financial management and business consultancy organisation within the educational and not-for-profit sector.