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New year, new regulator

Our CEO Colum Conway reflects on our journey so far and looks ahead to 2020.

New year, new regulator

12/20/2019 10:00:00 AM

As we near the end of our first month as the specialist regulator for social workers - and we enter into the holiday season - I want to take some time to reflect on the work we’ve done to establish our organisation with everyone who has an interest in social work.

It’s been an interesting and engaging journey, and we’ve achieved something we should all feel proud of. And when I say ‘we’ I mean in the broadest sense – the staff here at Social Work England,  social workers, social work leaders, people with lived experience, those who work in education and training, national and regional networks and associations, those working on social work policy and in regulation, and colleagues across the UK. Becoming the regulator is our first but very important step, and there is still a lot to do but we remain firmly committed to a collaborative approach; to working with and listening to people as we move forward.

I would like to thank the HCPC for working with us in a way that ensured the safe and effective transition of regulation. I would also like to thank all registered social workers, those who have applications on track for registration, those involved in the fitness to practice process, and the education and training providers for their patient and positive response.

I’m delighted that thousands of social workers have already created their online account and a number have also uploaded evidence of their continuing professional development. Making sure all social workers set up their online accounts will be a priority for us in the year ahead.

Now that we’re up and running, we will work to enable positive change and make sure that our regulation is responsive, fair and effective, recognising the complex landscape in which social workers operate. This also means a significant amount of work to embed both our professional and education and training standards. I look forward to publishing our first strategic plan early in the new year and continuing the conversation on our vison and ambition for social work regulation.

I am taking a bit of break over the holiday season with my family in Ireland. I hope you also get a chance to take a break and recharge. The road to quality is always under construction, the key to success is to mark progress and keep moving forward. I am delighted to mark the progress we have made this year culminating in the fact that Social Work England is now the social work regulator in England.

The journey, however, is all still ahead of us!