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Interim orders

When concerns are so serious that, if we allowed the social worker to continue to practise, public safety would be put at risk, or there would be a risk to the social worker themselves.

Why we have interim orders

Interim orders are only needed when concerns about a social worker’s fitness to practise are so serious that, if we allowed the social worker to continue to practise, public safety would be put at risk, or there would be a risk to the social worker themselves.

An interim order is made during fitness to practise proceedings and ends (one of the following):

  • after a specific amount of time
  • when it is revoked
  • when it is replaced by a final order

You can read more about this in our guidance on referrals for interim orders.

If we receive information about a social worker that raises serious ongoing concerns, we will apply for an interim order at the earliest opportunity to prevent the social worker from practising, or to restrict their practice, while their case is being investigated.

We are likely to apply for an interim order if we receive evidence of serious concerns including (but not limited to):

  • sexual misconduct
  • criminal investigations
  • theft or dishonesty in the workplace
  • a serious error related to unsafe practice

If you have serious concerns about a social worker, you need to tell us as soon as possible. You can read more about how to raise a concern about a social worker.

If the adjudicators decide that an interim order should be applied to a social worker's registration, this will happen immediately. The interim order will be reviewed initially after 6 months and then every 3 months by the adjudicators. We can apply for the order to be extended by the High Court.

A social worker may apply for an early review of the order if there is new information by contacting the case review team.

If that happens, the adjudicators will decide whether it is still appropriate for the interim order to remain in place.

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