One of the four key themes of Social Work Week this year is “Understanding your regulator”. As Social Work England has been the specialist regulator for social work in England for just over a year now, this theme is all about reflecting on this first year and understanding the aims and purpose of the regulator.
What is SWE responsible for?
Social Work England became the regulatory body for the social work profession in December 2019, taking over from the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). As a specialist regulator, they are in charge of maintaining and increasing professional standards in social work, to ensure vulnerable people across England are able to access a high standard of support.
Beyond this, the regulator also aims to change perceptions of the profession so that the role social work practitioners play in improving lives is recognised and celebrated, and to work collaboratively in a way that includes the views of both social workers and people with lived experience of social work.
Changes to CPD
One of the most noticeable practical changes under the new regulator has been an overhaul of how CPD is approached in social work. Social Work England has implemented a system where social workers must record at least one piece of evidenced CPD annually in order to renew their membership. There are a wide range of activities which qualify as CPD, including theory-based learning, critical reflection and contributing to a culture of learning.
Find out more
Social Work England has published a report which reflects on their first year as a regulator. If you’d like to take a more detailed look at their performance, you can access the report here.