Important information about your registration
The renewal period is between 1 September and 30 November every year. All social workers who want to continue to practise in England must renew their registration annually.
If you were registered with the HCPC, renewals will have taken place every 2 years. We have changed this to maintain regular contact with you as a registered social worker, to ensure your details are up to date and that you continue to meet the professional standards.
It is a legal requirement that you renew your registration to continue to use the protected title of ‘social worker’. The requirement to renew your registration is set out in our legislation, and regulation 13 of The Social Worker Regulations 2018, and Part 7 of the Social Work England (Registration) Rules 2019.
You must renew your registration between 1 September and 30 November every year or you risk being removed from the register. If you have an open fitness to practise case, you still need to apply to renew your registration.
Renewals opens on 1 September 2021
We recommend you do these steps as soon as possible, so you are prepared.
- Check your contact and employment details are correct
- Record CPD on your online account
- Self-refer if you need to
- Be ready to complete the renewal application and pay your registration fee
Apply to renew your registration using your online account from 1 September 2021.
You may also want to read our renewal FAQs.
The renewal period is 1 September to 30 November 2021.
We have worked with social workers to design the online form and hope that you will find the experience straight forward.
Once logged in, the renewal application form should take you less than 30 minutes to complete, but we recommend that you give yourself as much time as possible.
If you have not recorded any CPD when you renew your registration, you will have the option to do so during the application process. This will make the renewal process longer.
If you need to take a break, you can save your progress and return later via your online account.
When completing your renewal application, you will be asked to confirm or update the information we hold on about you.
If you need to change your name or your nationality you will need to provide evidence of this, for example a marriage certificate, certificate of citizenship or passport. The evidence will need to be a high quality colour image that clearly shows the entire document. If you have multiple nationalities you only need to inform us of the nationality you wish to use for the purpose of your registration.
You may have provided information (for example about your nationality) to previous regulators. However, for us to ensure that the data we hold about you is correct, we may ask you to provide this again. Once you have provided this, you will not need to update this in future years unless you wish to make a change.
The name you apply to renew with (which will appear on the public register) must be the name that you use when you practise as a social worker. If this is different to the name stated on your official documents, you will need to provide a further document that shows the name you wish to use professionally.
During the application process, we will ask you to provide details of your employment as a social worker for the past 12 months, including any social work employments you have had outside the UK.
We need details of your employment history to secure public protection. This is to investigate concerns raised about you, or to tell employers about any concerns raised about you or if you have been removed from the register.
Your current employer's town will be disclosed on the online register, so please make sure this is up to date.
Details of other regulators
We will also ask you to provide details of any other social work or healthcare regulators which you are currently registered with. You do not need to provide details of your registration with HCPC.
Documents related to your safe and effective practice
We may also ask for additional documents if there has been a change to your circumstances which could affect your safe and effective practice. This could be details of any:
- criminal convictions or cautions that you have not previously declared to us or HCPC (you do not need to declare a 'protected' conviction or caution)
- health conditions that may affect your practice as a social worker which you have not previously declared to us, or to HCPC
- occasions when your fitness to practise has been found to be impaired by any regulatory body that you have not previously declared to us, or to HCPC
You can upload any supporting documents during the application process. If you’re unable to upload your documents, you can send your supporting documents to us by post. Please do not send original documents unless we’ve specifically requested them.
If you have recorded CPD before you apply
You can continue to edit the CPD you have already recorded or add further examples of CPD on your online account until 30 November.
If you have not recorded CPD before you apply
CPD is an important part of our professional standards, which aim to improve public safety and confidence in social work. Meeting the professional standard related to CPD is a requirement of renewing your registration.
If you have not recorded any CPD on your online account yet, you will have the option to record CPD during renewal. If you record CPD during renewal, your application progress will be saved, and you will be taken to your online account. When you are ready to complete your renewal, you can return via your account overview.
You can also choose to record CPD after submitting your renewal. If you do, you will be asked to tick a CPD declaration stating: ‘I want to continue without recording CPD now and I understand that I need to record CPD before 30 November’.
If you do not record CPD by 30 November, we may decide not to renew your registration. This would mean that you would not be able to practise as a social worker in England.
At the end of the registration period, we will check all social workers’ accounts to see whether they have recorded CPD in their online account. We will then randomly select 2.5% of social workers for CPD validation.
If you join or rejoin the register between 1 September and 30 November
If you join or rejoin the register between 1 September and 30 November, you will not need to complete a renewal application. However you will still need to pay your registration fee. It is not mandatory to record CPD during this period, but it would be good practice.
Annual registration fees are usually paid in full (£90) when you renew your registration or by Direct Debit in 2 instalments, on 1 April (£45) and 1 October (£45). Please note that we do not accept payments by cheque, or over the phone.
As Direct Debits are taken during the renewal period (1 October) you will have different payment options depending on when you apply to renew your registration.
If you apply between 1 September and 25 September
If you do not have a Direct Debit in place and you apply before 25 September, you will be asked to set up a Direct debit or pay your registration fees in full by card.
If you have a Direct Debit in place and you apply before 25 September, you will be asked whether you want to keep your existing Direct Debit or set up a new Direct Debit. You will also have the option to pay in full by card.
Regardless of whether you choose to keep your existing Direct Debit, or set up a new Direct Debit, your instalment will be taken on 1 October. You do not have to wait until the Direct Debit has gone out to submit your application to renew your registration.
If you apply between 26 September and 30 November
If you do not have a Direct Debit in place and you apply after 25 September, you will only have the option to pay your registration fees in full by card.
If you have a Direct Debit in place and you apply after the Direct Debit has been taken, you will see a confirmation of Direct Debit payment screen. If your Direct Debit has failed, you will be asked to pay your registration fee in full by card.
Once we have received your application, we will review the information you have provided.
If you have told us about a change in your circumstances which may affect your safe and effective practice, we may ask you for more information. You must make sure that we receive this information within 14 calendar days.
There are 3 possible outcomes from an application to renew:
- accepted with conditions
We will contact you after the 30 November with our decision. This information will also be published on our public register.
If you do not submit your application by 30 November, your registration will lapse, and you will be required to apply to restore your registration if you want to continue to practise as a social worker.
If your registration lapses, you must not use the protected title 'social worker'. As the regulator for social workers in England, we have a duty to ensure public protection and dealing with title misuse is an important part of this.
However, under the powers given to us by government, temporary registration remains in place for as long as it is required during the pandemic. All those who do not renew their registration for the registration year 2020 to 2021 will be given temporary registration status.
This is a temporary measure. If you want to use the protected title of ‘social worker’ in the future, you must apply to restore your registration.
Unless you receive written communication from us advising that you have been granted temporary registration, and your registration status on the website reads ‘temporary registration – coronavirus’, you will not be able to practise as a social worker.
It is also important to remember that temporary registration will only remain in place until we are advised that the emergency is over from the Secretary of State. Once this happens, all temporary registrations will end 14 days after the date we are notified. We are not able to advise when the temporary register will close.
Temporary registration status does not give you the same rights as full registration status and you can be removed from the register at any time. If a concern is raised about them that meets our triage test whilst they have temporary registration, they will automatically be removed without an investigation.
If you are removed from the list of social workers with temporary registration because of a concern raised during that period, you must declare this as part of the restoration process. We will then consider it as a fitness to practise declaration through our standard process.
Our website has more information about temporary registration.
We have tried to make the renewal process as straightforward as possible, but if you need help please call 0808 196 2274 or email [email protected].
Our opening hours are 9am to 5pm Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and 10am to 5pm Tuesday (excluding bank holidays).
If you want to leave the register, you can apply to be voluntarily removed using your online account.
If you have a Direct Debit in place, we recommend that you cancel it before 25 September as this is not refundable.