Information for students
Information and advice for registered social workers, education and training providers, employers, students and people with temporary registration.
Information and advice
Last updated 14 January 2021 4.46pm
Information for students
We understand that as a student social worker, your studies will have been affected by COVID-19.
As the regulator for social work courses, we want you to continue to have the very best teaching, training and practice experience so you can practise to the very highest standards.
How we’re working with education providers
Our approach to regulation is designed to be as flexible as possible. We’re working closely with education providers to enable adjustments to courses where necessary, so they can manage their own response to COVID-19 based on their local arrangements.
Many providers have found new and creative ways to deliver courses, so that wherever possible, you can progress and graduate on time. These will differ from provider to provider and are necessary due to the local arrangements in place at your institution. Your marks should not be negatively affected by alternative modes of assessment. You should discuss what specific arrangements have been put in place with your course provider.
In previous advice we said that education providers can consider a reduction in the number of placement days. This is still the case. We do not set a minimum number of placement days in our education standards. However, education providers must ensure that students meet our standards at the point they wish to apply to join the register.
Students with any questions or concerns about placements should speak to their providers in the first instance.
There appears to be ambiguity in the government guidance and different situations across the country in relation to vaccinations. The guidance states that all social care staff who have close personal contact with people who are clinically vulnerable are eligible for the vaccine, but it is our view that all social workers, including student social workers who are on placement, should have the same priority as those in close personal contact with people who are clinically vulnerable.
We understand that discussions are ongoing, and that decisions related to vaccinating priority workforce groups are made locally. We recommend that students and education providers speak to their local authority, each of which should have a dedicated vaccine lead.
Social work students continue to be recognised by the Department for Education (DfE) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) as key workers supporting the national response to COVID-19. You may need to ask your education provider for evidence of this to access services like childcare places. Providers should be able to send students a letter or email confirming your key worker status.
Assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE)
The ASYE is intended to provide a year of support and assessment for newly qualified social workers. We are continuing to engage with Skills for Care on ASYE to ensure newly qualified social workers on ASYE courses get the support required as they transition from social work student to qualified practitioner during the pandemic.
Where to find information
While we regularly provide COVID-19 updates and guidance on our website, the best place for you to find information is your university or college.
You may also find the following sources of information useful: