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What happens after you apply to renew your registration

The renewal period ends on 30 November 2021. We will contact you on or after 1 December 2021 to confirm your registration status.

After you apply to renew your registration


What happens next

Your registration will be renewed if you have:

  • submitted your application.
  • paid your registration fee.
  • recorded at least one piece of CPD.

Sometimes we will ask for additional information. You must make sure that we receive this information within 14 calendar days, and no later than the end of the renewal period on 30 November.

Delays and unsuccessful applications

If you made a safe and effective practice declaration, this may delay the assessment of your application. It may also result in registration with conditions

There are some circumstances where you will not be able to renew your registration, including if you are subject to a conviction for a listed offence. For more information, read our safe and effective practice guidance.

If your application to renew your registration is unsuccessful, we will contact you to discuss next steps. Read more about unsuccessful applications.

Confirmation of renewal

The renewal period ends on 30 November 2021. We will contact you on or after 1 December 2021 to confirm your registration status. You can also check your registration status on the public register on our website.

Updating the register

Once your application to renew your registration has been accepted, this will automatically be updated on our live register on or after 1 December 2021.

It may take a few days or, in some cases, weeks to update entries on the register. Delays in updating the register could be due to you not recording CPD, or if we’re still considering any safe and effective practice declarations you have made.

You will continue to have a ‘registered until’ date of 30 November 2021 while we’re updating the register. This does not necessarily mean that your registration has expired. You can continue to practise as a social worker while we’re updating the register.

How to check if your entry on the register has been updated

If your registration status is ‘registered’ and your ‘registered until’ date is still 30 November 2021, your entry on the register will not have been updated yet.

If your registration status has changed (for example to ‘No longer registered – failure to renew’) or your ‘registered until’ date is 30 November 2022, your entry on the register has been updated.

Prove to an employer that you have applied to renew

Your registration has not been renewed until we contact you with our decision on or following 1 December 2021 and the register has been updated.

But, if an employer is asking for proof that you have applied to renew your registration, you may want to share the following with them:

  1. Email confirmation that you have submitted your application with the subject line: ‘Registration renewal application received’, or your renewal application reference number.
  2. Confirmation that you have paid your registration fee, such as bank statement and payment confirmation email.
  3. Screenshots of your online account that show you have recorded and submitted at least one piece of CPD.

You may want to tell your employer to check our register after 1 December 2021.

Renewal outcomes and failure to renew

If your registration is renewed

If your application is accepted, you will be registered for the 2021 to 2022 registration year. The 2021 to 2022 registration year is 1 December 2021 to 30 November 2022.

During the registration year, it is your responsibility to ensure that the information we hold about you is correct. That includes keeping your contact and employment details up to date on your online account, as well as telling us about any changes to your ability to practise safely and effectively.

You can read more about this in our safe and effective practice guidance.

You must also record CPD during the registration year. You can do this at any time and up to the renewal deadline of 30 November every year. But we encourage you not to leave recording to the last minute, as this can result in rushed or poor-quality CPD that would not meet our CPD review requirements. We recommend recording CPD 4 times a year or more as good practice.

Read more about CPD.

Failure to renew

It’s a legal requirement for all social workers who want to practise in England to renew their registration annually. This includes social workers involved in open fitness to practise cases.

To apply to renew your registration you must do the following:

  • submit your application.
  • pay your registration fee.
  • record CPD.

If you fail to do any of those, your registration will not be renewed and your status on the register will change to ‘No longer registered – failure to renew’.

That means you will no longer be able to practise as a social worker in England.

‘Social worker’ is a protected title. That means it’s illegal to use the title unless you’re registered with us. Anyone who uses the title without being registered is committing an offence and may be prosecuted.

The requirement to renew your registration is set out in our legislation, regulation 13 of The Social Worker Regulations 2018, and Part 7 of the Social Work England (Registration) Rules 2019.

Reasons why your status on the register has changed to ‘No longer registered - failure to renew’

You did not submit your renewal application

You may have failed to renew your registration because you did not submit your application after paying your fee.

When you submit an application to renew, we send an email confirming this with the subject line: “Registration renewal application received.” This message can also be found on your online account in the “Your messages” inbox. If you did not receive this confirmation email, it is likely that you did not submit your application.

If you did receive this email or have a renewal application reference number, please email us at [email protected] so we can investigate further.

You did not pay your registration fees

You may have failed to renew your registration because you did not submit your application after paying your fee.

Annual registration fees are usually paid in full (£90) when you renew your registration or by Direct Debit in 2 instalments, 1 October (£45) and 1 April (£45).

You may have failed to renew your registration because your Direct Debit failed and you did not respond to the payment request for outstanding fees.

We will have sent you several reminder emails since attempting to take payment by Direct Debit on 1 October, to inform you that you need to log in to your online account to make a secure online card payment for the full £90.

If you believe that you have paid the registration fee, please email us at [email protected] so we can investigate further. Please provide evidence including a bank statement or screenshot of your online banking showing the money leaving your account.

You joined the register after 1 September 2021 and did not pay your registration fees for the 2021 to 2022 registration year

Because you joined the register after 1 September 2021, you were not required to complete a renewal application form or submit CPD. You only needed to pay your registration fee (£90) to renew your registration for the 2021 to 2022 registration year.

You may have failed to renew your registration because you did not pay your registration fee.

If you believe that you have paid your fee for the 2021 to 2022 registration year, please email us at [email protected] so we can investigate further. Please provide evidence including a bank statement or screenshot of your online banking showing the money leaving your account.

You requested voluntary removal less than 10 working days from the renewal deadline (30 November 2021)

When you request to leave the register through voluntary removal, your registration status will usually change to: ‘No longer registered – voluntary removal’.

But if you made the request within 10 working days of the renewal deadline (30 November 2021), we would have been unable to process your request to leave the register in the 2020 to 2021 registration year.

This is because there is a holding period of 10 working days before we can process a voluntary removal request. The holding period is in the public interest. When we receive your request for voluntary removal, we will hold it on file in case a concern is raised about you, so we can hold jurisdiction of your registration.

That means that you were still registered at the end of the renewal period, which is why the register says that you failed to renew.

Unsuccessful applications

There are some circumstances where you will not be able to renew your registration, including if you are subject to a conviction for a listed offence.

If we refuse your application to renew your registration and remove you from the register, you may have the right to appeal the decision.

However, you are not entitled to appeal if you did not:

  • submit an application or your application was incomplete
  • pay the registration fee, or
  • record CPD

Read more about this in our registration appeals guidance.

Complaints

Our website has clear guidance and information on how to renew your registration.

Our priority is protecting the public and maintaining your registration means that you have confirmed to us that you remain capable of safe and effective practice. If you do not apply to renew your registration, we cannot confirm this and therefore it is our duty as the regulator to remove you from the register for public protection purposes.

The feedback and complaints team will be able to investigate and provide feedback regarding any complaints you have about the handling of your situation by Social Work England.

However, they will not be able to consider complaints solely on our regulatory processes, such as the decision to remove you from the register because you failed to apply to renew, because these are governed by the regulations we follow.

It is extremely unlikely that your complaint would result in you being put back on the register.

The team will normally aim to provide a response within 20 working days of receiving your complaint. We encourage you to apply to restore your registration at the same time as submitting your concern to avoid further delays if you want to return to the register.

Submit a complaint

Registration fees and refunds

Registration fees are non-refundable. However, if you apply to restore your registration, we will look at any fees paid in the renewal period and see if we can allocate that to your registration fee if your application is approved.

You will still be required to pay the restoration fee for us to assess your application. Read our fees guidance for more information.

Late renewal applications

If you want to stay registered, you must apply to renew your registration (including submitting a renewal application form) by 30 November every year.

This enables us to protect the public by ensuring that you’re capable of safe and effective practice. For this reason, we are not able to accept late renewal applications.

If you do not apply to renew your registration every year, your registration will lapse. This means that you will need to apply to restore your registration if you would like to return to the register.

Before applying to restore your registration, please read our restoration guidance to make sure you provide all the required information and documentation. You will not be able to practise as a social worker unless you apply to restore to the register.

Please note: You cannot practise until your application is approved. Anyone who uses the title without being registered is committing an offence and may be prosecuted.

Late registration payments

If you want to stay registered, you must apply to renew your registration (including paying your registration fees) by 30 November every year.

We send several reminder emails throughout the renewal period to encourage you to renew your registration, including paying your registration fee.

If you do not pay your registration fee by 30 November, your registration will lapse, and you will need to apply to restore your registration if you would like to return to the register.

Read our fees guidance.

Apply for restoration after failing to renew

If you already have a Social Work England online account, you can log in with your existing details and apply to restore your registration.

If you do not have an online account, you can email [email protected]. Please make the subject of your email ‘Request restoration account’. In your email, you should confirm:

  • the name you were last registered under
  • your date of birth
  • your previous registration number
  • the home postcode we’re likely to have on our system.

This will help us ensure that we’re giving access to the right person. You will then be able to apply for restoration online.

Please read our restoration guidance thoroughly before applying to restore your registration through your online account. This is to ensure that you provide all the required information to process your application.

Practising while your application is being processed

‘Social worker’ is a protected title. That means it’s illegal to use the title unless you’re registered with us. Anyone who uses the title without being registered is committing an offence and may be prosecuted.

You must not practise as a social worker in England unless you receive written communication from us saying that you are allowed to practise while we’re processing your restoration application.

Once we receive your application, we will aim to process this as quickly as possible, however please note that we work through applications in the order we receive them. Our guidance states that it can take at least 20 working days to process your application.

We deal with applications as effectively and efficiently as possible, but as the specialist regulator for social workers, our priority is to protect the public. We assess every applicant to ensure that they are capable of safe and effective practice, and this takes time.

Once your application has been assessed, a member of the registration team will contact you regarding next steps.

Fees

Whilst registration fees are non-refundable, if you apply to restore your registration, we will look at any fees paid in the renewal period and see if we can allocate that to your registration fee if your application is approved.

You will still be required to pay the restoration fee (£135) for us to assess your application.

If you feel your personal circumstances should lead to the restoration fee being waived, you can write an email to the head of registration for consideration.

Please note, we can only consider these requests from people who have applied for restoration and have paid the fee already. If the head of registration decides that your fee should be waived, it will be as a refund.

To submit a request, please send your email to [email protected]. Please make the subject line ‘Fee waiver request’ and include your restoration application number.

Please note we are currently getting an incredibly high volume of enquiries. We will reply as soon as possible but response times are longer than usual.

Support

If you need support

Maintaining your registration with Social Work England is a mandatory part of being able to practise as a social worker. Our registration periods are governed by our rules and regulations and we are unable to extend the renewal period.

We send a number of reminders advising social workers to renew their registration. There is also lots of information on our website about the renewal requirements.

If you are feeling anxious about your finances, there is information about organisations that may be able to support you on our website, including:

  • Samaritans (to support with concerns over mental health)
  • Turn2Us and Citizens Advice (to support with money concerns) and
  • Shelter (to support with housing concerns for example if you’re unable to pay your rent or mortgage due to not being able to work)
  • Acas (to provide advice about employment rights)
  • BASW

If you are concerned about your job, we would advise that you speak to your employer about your situation.

If you have any other questions

You can send an email to us at [email protected]. Please include the following details to help us verify your identity:

  • Social work registration number
  • Registered email address
  • Date of birth

Relevant rules and regulations

What the rules and regulations mean

This states that you are required to submit a renewal application form, pay the registration fee and record at least 1 piece of CPD by 30 November every year.

This states that you are required to apply to restore your registration if you wish to practise as a social worker in the future after having been removed from the register.

This states that you will not be able to practise as a social worker unless you apply to restore to the register. You cannot practise until your application is approved. Anyone who uses the title without being registered is committing an offence and may be prosecuted.

This states that the renewal period runs annually between 1 September and 30 November.

This states that if you feel your personal circumstances should lead to the restoration fee being waived, you can write a letter to the head of registration and attach it to your restoration application for consideration.

This states that registration fees are non-refundable, as it is your responsibility to renew your registration.

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