Our partners are a vital part of our organisation and their combined experience and knowledge ensures that we have balanced representation in all proceedings.
The role of our partners
Last updated: 12 March 2021
We collaborate with a range of partners to regulate the social work profession. Our partners are registered social workers, legal professionals and members of the public who provide their expertise to Social Work England. They are a vital part of our organisation and their combined experience and knowledge ensures that we have balanced representation in all proceedings.
Our partners provide independence, impartiality and transparency. They enable an objective approach to our decision making and make sure that we have both professional and lay input into our work. While many of our partners have previous experience working in similar roles for other regulators, we also recruit people who are new to regulation to ensure a fresh approach.
Read more about how partners are selected in our appointment rules.
Continuing professional development partners
We work with a team of 10 continuing professional development (CPD) assessors who are responsible for the assessment of social workers’ CPD records. The assessors have been recruited under our appointment rules for their experience of working with quality assurance in social work or a similar setting. 5 assessors are registered social workers and 5 are lay assessors.
CPD assessors make decisions about whether individual CPD records meet our requirements. Where records do not meet our requirements, the assessors will provide advice to the social workers on what they should do.
Education quality assurance partners
We work with various inspectors who are responsible for the assessment of social work education courses. Inspectors are recruited for their ability to analyse evidence in order to make sound, impartial and reasoned decisions. We currently have the following partner roles to deliver education quality assurance:
- Lay inspectors
- Registrant inspectors
- Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMPH) and Best Interest Assessors (BIA) inspectors
Our inspectors are at the heart of the quality assurance of social work education courses in England. Working in a small team, they assess whether education and training courses meet our standards.
We also work with AMHP and BIA inspectors who have the relevant knowledge, understanding and experience of the AMHP and BIA courses that we assess.
Read more about education quality assurance.
Fitness to practise partners
We currently have the following fitness to practise partner roles:
- Panel chair
- Legal adviser
- Lay adjudicator
- Registrant adjudicator
Fitness to practise partners make decisions at hearings about social workers’ professional conduct, competence or health. No two days are ever the same as our partners work to make sure that cases are dealt with efficiently, objectively and fairly.
Lay panel chairs
Panel chairs oversee proceedings in line with the regulations and fitness to practise rules. They also write full reports on the decisions reached. You can only be a lay panel chair if you’ve never been on a social work register.
Legal advisers provide advice to the panel of adjudicators and can assist in explaining the hearing process to social workers. Legal advisers do not form a part of the decision making process but will provide appropriate legal advice to panels to assist them in reaching their decision and to ensure a fair, transparent, and lawful fitness to practise hearing.
Lay and registrant adjudicators
Lay and registrant adjudicators sit on panels and help determine whether a social worker’s fitness to practise is, or continues to be, impaired. This includes whether the social worker meets the requirements for registration or restoration to the register.
Our adjudicators are expected to have great attention to detail and ask questions during hearings. They might work on interim order hearings, practice committee hearings and meetings, registration appeals or restoration applications.
Registrant adjudicators must be registered social workers. You can only be a lay adjudicator if you’ve never been on a social work register.
Read more about fitness to practise.
Our registration advisers are qualified social workers. They make sure that people who apply to join the Social Work England register have the necessary requirements for safe and effective social work practice.
Registration advisers assess information provided by applicants and analyse the content of overseas qualifications to assess equivalency with UK qualifications.
Read more about registration.
Become a partner
We’re developing a brand new organisation, doing things differently. We’re constantly growing and learning, and we’ll continue to evolve as we learn from experience.
We need people with a range of expertise – people like you are key to our success. You will join an organisation of multi-talented and passionate people and be part of our learning and development culture. Your voice will have an influence and you will make a real difference to people’s lives through your expertise, independence and impartiality.
Recruitment for partner roles takes place periodically, however if you have any questions about becoming a partner or would like to hear about any future opportunities, please email us on: [email protected].