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Social Work England

Information for social workers in England regarding the transfer of regulation to Social Work England

The date for the transfer of regulation of social workers in England to Social Work England has not yet been announced.

Current social work registrants will not need to do anything as the transfer will be automatic for everyone on the register the day before the transfer. HCPC and Social Work England are working closely to ensure an effective transition for all registrants.

Those wishing to join the Register should apply as they would normally do to HCPC until the transfer.

Until the transfer date, HCPC will continue to be the regulator for social workers in England.

If you wish to raise a concern or check any details on your registration, please check the Register and contact us as you normally would. If you have any questions about the transfer, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions below.

FAQs on the transfer of regulation to Social Work England

  • No you do not need to do anything. The transfer, including your payment of fees by direct debit if appropriate, will be automatic for everyone on the register the day before the transfer. 

    Social Work England will welcome you to their register on the date of the transfer to reassure you this has taken place

  • Until the transfer date, please continue to raise any concerns about fitness to practise with HCPC. Any work to address your concerns that has not been resolved at the point of transfer will be carefully handed over to the appropriate teams at Social Work England.

    Both HCPC and Social Work England are committed to a smooth transfer to ensure registrants and service-users continue to experience a good service through the transition.

  • Subject to parliamentary process being complete, the HCPC fee increase is planned to take place in October 2019.

    Any new applicant Social workers, applying after October 2019 and before the transfer would be eligible for the new HCPC fees. Currently registered social workers would be eligible for the new fees at the next renewal in 2020 if the transfer to Social Work England has not taken place. However, we anticipate that Social Work England will be your regulator before the 2020 renewal date.

    Social Work England will be consulting on proposals for their fee rates early next year as they move towards a self-financing model. You will be alerted to this consultation.

  • All remaining balances will be transferred to Social Work England around the date of transfer.

  • No. If you cancel your Direct Debit without setting up alternative payment for the full two-year period before the deadline you will be removed from the Register and will not be able to practise as a social worker in England.

    We are working with Social Work England to transfer Direct Debits. This is subject to arranging banking permissions and the transfer of data. We will provide further information nearer the date of the transfer.

  • In its January 2016 paper, A vision for change, the Department for Education announced it would set up a new regulatory body for social work in England. The new regulatory body would have a “wider remit” than HCPC to look at post-qualification, accreditation, and potentially CPD.

    Social Work England (SWE) has since been established and is readying itself to deliver the regulatory function. In the meantime, HCPC continues to deliver the regulation of social workers.

    Read more about the government's decision on the Parliament website, footnote 155



Page updated on: 05/03/2019