THIS SURVEY IS NOW CLOSED. Over 400 members completed the survey and BASW would like to thank all those that contributed to this important consultation. We will now use this feedback to compile an official response to the Government, which we shall share with members shortly.
BASW England is seeking the views of its members on the Government consultation on the new professional regulator Social Work England (SWE).
BASW England feels this is an extremely important issue as some of the recommendations in the consultation could have far reaching repercussions on the profession, and so are encouraging full participation in the consultation. The relevant documents can be accessed here; consultation document, draft social worker regulations and consultation on secondary legislative framework survey.
We are joining with Department for Education to host a free webinar for BASW England and SWU members on the Government consultation on Social Work England - Thursday 15th March 2018 10.00am. Find out how you can join here.
Areas of concern
Members have already raised concern about this consultation exercise, specifically on what appears to be an emerging theme which is seeing the Government pass a ‘skeleton legislation’, onto which detail is subsequently added by Government departments and hence, not open to parliamentary scrutiny.
BASW England finds this is applicable to both the CSW Act 2017 and this secondary legislation on social work regulation.
Whilst the consultation document is 39 pages and the draft social worker regulations are 33 pages, they contain a distinct lack of detail which renders answering many of the questions a potentially flawed process; respondents are being asked to give their views on extremely important proposals without full information being made available to them.
Furthermore, some areas of the consultation provide great cause for concern, such as the Government proposal to introduce a system of automatic removal from the register of social workers convicted of criminal offences without having to go through fitness to practise processes.
BASW have selected what we believe to be the most crucial elements of the proposals and put together a separate BASW England survey which we would like members to complete to inform the BASW England response by 14 March 2018. The survey is available here
The Children and Social Work Act 2017 became law on 27 April 2017 and included moving social work professional regulation from the HCPC in 2019 to a new body called Social Work England (SWE). Parliament currently holds the HCPC to account, but this will change to the regulator being held to account by the Department for Education and the Department of Health and Social Care alongside the PSA (Professional Standards Authority).
The role of the PSA is to oversee health and social care regulators. The Chair, Board members and the first Chief Executive of SWE are currently being recruited and will all be Ministerial appointments.
SWE will be responsible for maintaining a register of social workers, approving initial education and training courses of social workers, operating a fitness to practice system and setting professional standards including ethics. Find out more about Social Work England here
BASW position statement on the regulation of social work and social workers in the UK can be viewed here
BASW England's interim position statement on the latest consultation stage for Social Work England can be viewed here