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Protection of title comes out top in GSCC ‘most influential policy’ poll

The General Social Care Council (GSCC) has marked its imminent demise by publishing a poll in which more than half of all social work respondents named ‘protection of title’ as the policy which has had the greatest influence on the profession over the last decade.

The survey of 623 social workers found 56% of the view that ‘protection of title’ has had the biggest impact, 28% pointed to the introduction of the employee’s code of practice and 16% cited the replacing of the social work diploma with the more academically rigorous social work degree.

Commenting on the findings, which come just weeks before 31 July when the GSCC is replaced as the social work regulator in England by the Health and Care Professions Council, BASW England manager Ruth Cartwright, said: “BASW lobbied for and welcomed the protection of the title for social workers and its restriction to those who were qualified and registered as such.

“Our hopes that this would see a decline in views from the media and general public that ‘anyone can be a social worker’ have not been entirely fulfilled, but, coupled with the social work degree, we can perhaps see an attitude change and greater recognition of ourselves as professionals. We were disappointed with the code of practice applying across social care rather than specifically to social work, but of course can take comfort in BASW’s own specialist Code of Ethics.”

Ms Cartwright concluded: “While BASW has not always agreed with the actions of the GSCC against social workers, we do wish all the staff of the GSCC the best for the future. We are actively engaging with our new registration body, the Health and Care Professions Council, and will do our best to ensure it has a good understanding of social work and social workers, and that its policies and procedures are supportive of the profession as a whole.”