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Standards of proficiency - Social workers in England

Date of publication: 09/01/2017
Category: Standards
Audience: Prospective registrants, Registrants

This is the current version of the Standards of proficiency (SOPs) for social workers in England, effective from 9 January 2017.

The standards set out what a social worker in England should know, understand and be able to do when they complete their social work training so they can register with us. They set out clear expectations of a social workers’ knowledge and abilities when they start practising. These are the threshold standards we consider necessary to protect the public. Once registered social workers must continue to meet the standards.

We first published these standards in August 2012, and review them regularly. A number of changes and additions have been made, mainly to reflect developments in education and practice.

New standards include the following:

  • Be able to identify and apply strategies to build professional resilience. 
  • Understand the principles of information governance and be aware of the safe and effective use of health and social care information.
  • Understand the concept of leadership and its application to practice.

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