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BASW England and SWU respond to consultations on DfE regulatory framework changes and SWE rule amendments

BASW and SWU work in partnership to protect social work professionals in their workplace

The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) England and the Social Workers Union (SWU) responded to the two following consultations in May 2022:

  • The Department for Education (DfE) consultation sought views on proposed changes to the Social Workers Regulations 2018 – which is Social Work England's regulatory framework – that covered registration of social workers, education and training, discipline and fitness to practise, restrictions on practice, protected titles and offences, and powers of intervention.
  • The Social Work England (SWE) consultation covered proposed changes to SWE’s fitness to practise rules, registration rules, removal from the register and registration appeals rules, and fees rules.

These consultation responses were completed jointly between BASW and SWU and representatives of both memberships. Comments from members have been included in these responses and reflect issues such as the need for more information about the changes, the potential impact of the changes on people with protected characteristics, concerns about access to social workers’ personal data, and dissatisfaction with the proposal to increase the time for SWE to take action and at the same time decrease the time that social workers have to respond to procedural requests.

You can find the joint BASW England and SWU response to the DfE consultation here.

You can find the joint BASW England and SWU response to the SWE consultation here.

BASW England Professional Officer and Social Worker Wayne Reid, who co-ordinated these consultation responses, said, “BASW England welcomes both consultations from the Department for Education and Social Work England. We believe any technical changes to the regulatory framework and processes should align with the values and principles set out in our Code of Ethics. 

“We hope the new proposed reforms will streamline the fitness to practice process and address the disproportionate outcomes experienced by social workers from Black and ethnic minority backgrounds and other inequalities. We also request that the revised rules and regulations incorporate and embody anti-racist, anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory values and ethics explicitly in accordance with equality, diversity and inclusion.”