From Monday 2nd December 2019, Social Work England will take over from the HCPC as the regulator for Social Work in England, as announced at the National Association of Directors of Children’s Services conference.

“Subject to continued progress, I expect Social Work England to take over from The [Health and Care Professions’ Council] as the regulator of social workers in England on the 2nd December this year,” MP Nadhim Zahawi announced in a speech at the meeting in Manchester.

It was made clear during the conference that Social Work England are working to build a new framework for the industry, with Zahawi assuring attendees that it will  “provide protection to the public and help to prepare new social workers more effectively than ever before”.

Chief Executive of Social Work England, Colum Conway, welcomed the announcement:

“As 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 we are putting collaborative working at the heart of all we do and our recent consultation on rules and standards was just one example of this,” he said.

 “Over the course of the year we will continue to work with the HCPC to ensure an efficient and smooth transition. We are also committed to exploring new approaches that offer responsive and proportionate regulation – empowering professionals to be the very best they can be,” Conway added.

The transfer of regulator was previously announced by the Department for Education in January 2016, when it was revealed that a new regulatory body was to be created to focus on raising the quality of social work, education, training and practice in both children’s and adult’s social work. Since then, Social Work England has been established and has been preparing itself to take over the regulatory role.

In preparation for the transfer, the new regulatory body held consultation events over 10 weeks in London, Plymouth, Salford, Newcastle, Birmingham and Sheffield as well as two events with the Social Care Institute of Excellence, with the aim of listening to children, young people and adults who have first-hand experience of social work. The results of these meetings can be found on the Social Work England website.

Some key points to make note of are;

  • Until 2nd December 2019, the HCPC will continue to be the industry regulator, and those wishing to join the register should continue to apply to the HCPC until the transfer date.
  • Current HCPC registered professionals do not need to do anything to transfer their registration to the new regulator. The transfer (including any existing direct debits) will be automatic for everyone on the register.
  • Any concerns about fitness to practise, should continue to be raised with the HCPC until the transfer date, when any unresolved issues will be handed over to the Social Work England team.

Full details about the transfer can be found at https://www.hcpc-uk.org/social-workers/social-work-england/

If you would like any further clarification on the above, or have any questions, please speak with your dedicated Recruitment Consultant.


Chloe Bodley

Chloe Bodley

Operations Manager

0203 917 5953