December launch date announced for specialist social work regulator in England

Minister for Children and Families, Nadhim Zahawi has confirmed Social Work England will become the new regulator for the profession later this year.

Speaking at a national Association of Directors of Children’s Services conference, Zahawi confirmed Monday 2 December 2019 as the date when Social Work England (SWE) will take over from the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as the new social work regulator.

In preparation for the handover, SWE report ‘significant progress’ has been made to ensure a smooth transition for social workers.

Speaking about the announcement, Colum Conway (pictured), Chief Executive of Social Work England, said: “We are delighted to be able to announce that we will soon become the new specialist regulator for social workers. 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.

“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.”

Marc Seale, Chief Executive of HCPC, said: “We will continue to work closely with Social Work England to ensure there will be a smooth transition. Good progress has been made so far, and this will continue until the regulatory functions are effectively transferred.

“Until that time, we are committed to regulating the profession and delivering our core purpose of public protection. We will also ensure that our work on the regulation of the 15 other professions remains unaffected by our focus on the transfer of social workers.”