Information for students and graduates
Information for social work students and graduates
Social worker is a protected title. This means that you cannot use the title unless you have completed the required training and you are registered with us.
It is your responsibility to apply to join the register. Your university or employer will not be able to do this for you, but they may be able to help you with your application.
You must not practise as a social worker until your application to join the register has been approved and you have paid the registration fee.
Once you are registered, your name and registration number will be listed on our public register.
How the professional standards apply to students
Our professional standards set out what a social worker in England must know, understand and be able to do.
Social workers must continue to meet the professional standards to maintain their registration. The standards apply to all registered social workers in all roles and in all settings.
Social work courses should make sure that you develop the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the professional standards by the time you complete your course. You can read more about our standards for education and training providers.
Although we don’t regulate students, we do expect you to understand and work towards our professional standards in preparation for when you apply for registration.
You should make sure that during your course, including while you are on placement, you do not do anything that goes against the professional standards or the policies and procedures of your course or placement provider.
Check that we recognise your course
As a regulator for social workers in England, we approve qualifying social work education and training courses. You can check whether your course is on our list of approved courses.
If you have any questions, please contact our education and quality assurance team on [email protected].
When to apply
You can register within five years of qualifying.
If it has been more than five years since you qualified, you will need to complete 60 days of additional training to update your skills and knowledge, for example:
- supervised practice with a registered social worker who has at least three years’ experience
- formal study such as a postgraduate course
- private study
You can read more about how to update your skills and knowledge.
Apply for registration
You can apply for registration as soon as you have completed your social work qualification.
If you have any questions about applying for registration, please call us on 08081962274 or email [email protected].
Assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE)
The assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE) is a programme that gives newly qualified social workers extra support during their first year of employment.
The programme aims to develop their skills, knowledge and professional confidence.
ASYE is open to all newly qualified social workers employed in the public, private and voluntary sectors.
You can read more about ASYE on the Skills for Care website.
Last updated: 28 November 2019