Information about when you can make a registration appeal, how to appeal a registration decision and what happens after you've submitted an appeal.
Appeal a registration decision
Last updated: 30 October 2020
If you are not happy with a registration decision, Regulation 19 of the Social Worker Regulations 2018 gives you the right to appeal.
You can appeal a registration decision, for example where:
- your application for registration was refused
- you have been removed from the Social Work England register
You can find a full list of the circumstances in which you can make a registration appeal in The Social Workers Regulations 2018.
You must submit an appeal within 28 calendar days of notification of the decision. Your appeal is not regarded as made until it is received by Social Work England.
If you are considering making an appeal, please read our guidance on registration appeals.
How to appeal a decision
If you want to appeal a decision made by Social Work England, you can do this by post or email, using the contact details below. All appeals must be made in writing.
Appeals, Social Work England, 1 North Bank, Blonk Street, Sheffield, S3 8JY.
What you should include in your appeal
Your appeal should include the following information:
- the reason for your appeal
A statement to describe why you are appealing, for example: ‘I want to appeal the decision to remove me from the register’
- the grounds for your appeal
When you make an appeal, you need to explain why you think the original decision is incorrect. The grounds for your appeal must be detailed, but do not need to be lengthy or written in legal language.
- any supporting evidence
If you have any documents which support your appeal, you should provide them to us.
- whether you would prefer a paper appeal, or an oral hearing
Appeals may be determined based on documents only. This is called a paper appeal. If you wish, you can choose to have an oral hearing instead. Oral hearings are normally held in public unless certain circumstances apply.
- whether you’d like someone else to represent you at your hearing and, if so, whether we should contact them directly
This could be a legal representative, or a friend or family member.
If you are not submitting your appeal using an email address you have provided to us, you should also include:
- your full name and address
- your signature
We’ll verify the authenticity and accuracy of any documents that are submitted as part of your appeal.
You can bring a representative with you to a hearing. This could be a legal representative or a friend or family member. You must let us know in advance if you are bringing a representative.
A representative cannot give evidence on your behalf. The appeal panel will likely be keen to speak directly with you, to ask you questions and listen to your answers.
You can ask to have all correspondence sent to your representative rather than you, if you wish.
After you’ve submitted an appeal
Once you have submitted an appeal, you will be contacted by a member of the registration team to talk you through the process. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and get more information about the appeals process.
You may want to discuss whether you want a hearing with your representative, supervisor or a friend or family member before appealing a decision.
Hearings give you, or a representative, the opportunity to present your case in person and to call witnesses. Hearings are normally held in public at our offices in Sheffield and usually take no longer than one day depending on the information you’ve provided and the number of witnesses you want to call.
You need to tell us if you want a hearing when you submit your appeal, so we can arrange a date for the hearing.
If you change your mind later, you can request a paper appeal instead. Please let us know if you have changed your mind as soon as possible, and no later than seven working days before the scheduled hearing date.
The appeal panel may decide that a hearing is necessary to consider your appeal, for example when it’s in the public interest.
Once a hearing has been scheduled, you will be notified of the date, time and place of the hearing at least 28 calendar days in advance. You may request a hearing be postponed to a later date if there is a good reason for the delay, for example bereavement or serious illness/injury.
To prepare you for the hearing, you will receive a bundle of documents containing the evidence that we intend to rely on at the hearing and any information that you have provided.
If you fail to attend a hearing, the appeal panel may consider the case without you.
Appeals will be decided by a panel. The appeal panel must include a lay chair and at least two adjudicators of which:
- one must be legally qualified adjudicator or a solicitor with at least 10 years’ experience
- one must be a lay person
You can read more about adjudicators.
The appeal panel is independent and will not have been involved in the decision which is being appealed.
There are four possible outcomes, but some may not apply to your case. The appeal panel may decide to:
- dismiss the appeal
- reverse the original decision
- substitute the decision being appealed with any other decision that the decision maker could have made
- remit the decision to the regulator to be disposed of in accordance with the adjudicators’ directions
If your appeal is dismissed, you have a right of appeal to the County Court in England and Wales.
If the panel decides to reverse the original decision or a substitute decision is made, we will contact you within five working days from the conclusion of the hearing to explain next steps. You may need to take further action.
We are legally required to publish the details of the panel’s decisions and their reasons, unless the panel decides in your favour. In that case we are not required to publish this information unless you request it, or we have your consent to do so.
You can find information about how get independent or legal support.
If you have any questions or need help submitting an appeal, please call us on 0808 196 2274 or email [email protected].