Major consultation to shape new social work regulator

Social Work England, the non-departmental public body being set up to become the new regulator of social workers across the country, has launched its first major consultation on the rules and standards it will set for the profession.

The consultation is open to everyone – including social workers and people with lived experience of social work – and the findings will help shape the organisation and challenge its thinking.

Its chair, Lord Patel of Bradford, hosted a launch event in London where attendees were invited to give their views around the rules and standards that are being proposed by the new specialist regulator. Over the next couple of weeks regional events are also taking place in Salford, Birmingham, Sheffield, Plymouth and Newcastle. The consultation is open online for those unable to attend the regional events.

The draft rules that are being proposed outline what social workers can expect from the new regulator in relation to registration, fitness to practise, and education and training assurance processes. They set out day to day practice; are designed to promote collaboration with social workers and education and training providers; and ensure a fair, proportionate and transparent approach. The new professional standards will provide clear and relatable expectations that social workers and education and training providers will need to meet.

Work with the current regulator, the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) is underway to ensure a smooth transition.

Colum Conway, Chief Executive of Social Work England, said:

“Having been a social worker I understand the positive impact that professionals have on millions of people. I also understand the complexity of the work and the competing priorities in the role. That is why I want to work collaboratively with everyone who shares our common goal – to protect the public, enable positive change and ultimately improve people’s lives.

“Over the course of the year, and with new rules and standards following the consultation, we will work to ensure an efficient and smooth transition. As we establish ourselves as a specialist regulator, we are committed to exploring new approaches that offer responsive and proportionate regulation – empowering professionals to be the very best they can be.”

Complete the online consultation before Wednesday 1 May at 5pm.