EU National social workers

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Guidance by Department of Health and Social Care (updated 30th August 2019): What adult social care providers and local authorities need to do to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.

Information from the HCPC - Health and care professions council

The HCPC has confirmed that in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit: -

  • The registration of EU National social workers will remain valid post Brexit. As their registration period comes to an end, social workers from the EU will be able to renew their registration in the same manner as a UK national.
  • All applicants applying under UK European Mutual Recognition (EMR) who are in the process of registering, but whose registration is not yet complete before Brexit will, as far as possible, be able to conclude their applications in line with the provisions of the Directive (EU Directive 2005/26/EC).
  • Once registered all registrants are treated equally within the Fitness to Practice process.
  • All EMR applicants who have not started an application for registration in the UK before Brexit will be subject to future arrangements, these arrangements will be published before exit day.

The Department of Health and Social Care laid the Health and Care Professions (Qualifications and Entitlements (Amendment etc.)(EU Exit) Regulations 2018 in Parliament. This sets out what would happen in relation to the recognition of social work qualifications obtained in the EU.

A copy of the HCPC full response can be viewed here and is also detailed below.

EU National HCPC registrants

At the HCPC, whether a registrant applies to join the Register under their UK European Mutual Recognition (EMR) or International application route, will depend on the country in which the applicant has completed their education and training, as opposed to their nationality.

EU Nationals who wish to exercise their right to practice in the UK under EMR must meet a number of conditions. Some of these conditions mean they must be a citizen of an EEA (European Economic Area) member state or Switzerland.  They must also have the legal right to practice Social Work in their relevant state and they must have qualified in a relevant state or hold qualifications obtained outside of the EEA or Switzerland which have been recognised in another relevant European state.

EMR relies upon the mutual recognition of professional qualifications which is governed by the European Union Directive 2005/36/EC.

Impact of a ‘no deal’ Brexit

Read the latest on the Government website on what adult social care providers and local authorities need to do to prepare for a no deal Brexit.

View the Brexit no deal reading list on the Parliament website

In the context of HCPC regulation for social work, this promotes free movement within the EU and aids the process of establishment. Therefore, in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, this would be the application route that would be primarily affected. 

The HCPC has provides information for EU Nationals that meet HCPC’s conditions to be considered under the EMR route below: -

Impact of a ‘no deal’ Brexit on EU Nationals who are currently registered to practice as social works

HCPC have confirmed that the registration of EU National social workers will remain valid post Brexit. As their registration period comes to an end, social workers from the EU will be able to renew their registration in the same manner as a UK National.

EU Nationals who are in the process of registration, but whose registration is not yet complete before 29th March 2019

All applicants applying under EMR who are in the process of registering, but whose registration is not yet complete before Brexit will, as far as possible, be able to conclude their applications in line with the provisions of the Directive (EU Directive 2005/26/EC).

EU nationals who are registered to practice as social workers but post 29th march are referred to HCPC for ‘fitness to practice’ issues

Once registered all registrants are treated equally within the Fitness to Practice process.

EU nationals who seek to register as social workers post Brexit

All EMR applicants who have not started an application for registration in the UK before Brexit will be subject to future arrangements, these arrangements will be published before exit day.

BASW position

BASW has been actively involved in the development of the sector’s position on the process since the original referendum was announced and lobbying Government and Parliament on the situation as it relates to social workers and service users.

If there a deal is agreed by Parliament, BASW will only comment once the implications of such a deal are known as it would be irresponsible to speculate.

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