Ministers Plan For Government Social Work Regulator To Be Established From 2018
Ministers have unveiled plans for the government to regulate social workers in England from 2018 via an executive agency.
The new body is set to replace the HCPC as a dedicated social work regulator and will be accountable to the education secretary, operating out of the Department of Education with support from the Department of Health.
It will be set up under regulations underpinning the Children and Social Work Bill announced during the Queen's Speech in May, and both departments will share responsibility for social work policy.
Setting up a new social work regulator is part of a government move to increase standards in the profession - it will be responsible for enforcing more challenging CPD requirements, tougher approvial regimes for social work degree programmes.
Unlike the financially and operationally independent HCPC, this new body would not be accountable to parliament, and its responsibilities will be expanded to include overseeing a fitness-to-practice system as well as introducing new career development pathways and post-qualifying accreditation.
Additionally, it will establish new standards for qualifying education/training and hold providers accountable to those standards by 2020, oversee new accreditation systems for child and family social workers and maintain a single register of social workers.
A chief executive for the agency will be appointed in 2017, while an expert reference group set up to ensure the sector's views are taken into account while standards are being set up.
These arrangements will all be reviewed in 2019 and a decision taken on whether the regulator needs more independence from government.
Click here to read more about the new social work regulator replacing the HCPC in our handy guide.
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