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Find out more about our approach to co-production and how you can get involved.


We believe in the power of collaboration and share a common goal with those we regulate—to protect the public, enable positive change and ultimately improve people’s lives. We want social work to be the best profession it can be.

Co-production is about giving people who are affected by our work the opportunity to participate in and influence our work. When co-production is done well, people should feel heard and like we have listened to their experiences.

Read an interview with Emina (a social worker) and Sally (who has lived experience of social work) about their experience of co-production at Social Work England.

We know that if we design our work without including the people who are most affected by it, we risk making false assumptions about their experiences and what is important to them.

That is why engagement and co-production are guiding principles of our 2023 to 2026 strategy.

To do co-production well, we continue to adapt our culture, structure and the way we work. We regularly review our progress to ensure that we create the best environment for co-production, focusing on:

  • equality
  • mutual understanding
  • valuing all contributions
  • accessibility
  • diversity
  • openness to challenge
  • feeding back
  • regularly reviewing our approach

There are some limitations to our ability to co-produce due to our role as a regulator and the rules that govern us. These rules set out how we must work and deliver services to meet our objectives as a regulator.

Our co-production policy explains how we work with people, including our approach to payment.

The National Advisory Forum

One of the ways we make sure that co-production is an important part of our work is through our National Advisory Forum. The forum acts as critical friend and collaborates with us on different areas of work. It is made up of different people who are affected by our work, including:

  • social work professionals
  • educators
  • people with lived experience of social work
  • social work students
Learn more about the forum

Join the National Advisory Forum

We're currently seeking new members for our National Advisory Forum. Find out more and apply now.

How to apply
Four people sit around a table taking notes)

Forum members

Learn more about the people in the National Advisory Forum.

Meet the forum members
Purple Flower In The Middle Of Orange Flowers)

What the forum has achieved

Read a summary of what the forum has achieved from 2022 to 2023.

Read the blog

Knocking on the regulator's door...or is it an open door?

Read reflections from forum members in The British Journal of Social Work.

Read the article

Decision review group

The role of the National Advisory Forum in the group is to keep the perspective of people with lived experience of social work central to the decisions we make. Involving people with lived experience of social work as part of the group allows us to make more informed decisions to contribute to our objective of public protection.​

We regularly benefit from the important views of people with lived experience when discussing fitness to practise cases at the decision review group.​

“National Advisory Forum members have brought a different and unique perspective to the decision review group and have very much kept the group focused on people with lived experience in the fitness to practise process, and what it is like for them. It has really brought home to other members of the group the reality of fitness to practise and what it really means and achieves when done properly.​”

Sarah Blackmore, Executive Director – Strategy, Policy, Engagement

Feedback on our approach

We are committed to providing the best service we can for the people who use our services. We welcome your feedback on our approach.

Feedback form

Social Work Week

Social Work Week is a programme of events, taking place in March each year. These events are largely created by, and for, people with lived and learned experience of social work.

Learn more about Social Work Week
rows of coloured chairs in a hallway, viewed from behind)

More ways to get involved

There are lots of different ways to get involved and influence our work. Find an opportunity to get involved, in a way that suits you.

Find out more
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