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Qualification requirements (overseas)

Information for applicants who qualified as a social worker outside UK. 

If you qualified as a social worker overseas

Last updated: 27 May 2020

To register as a social worker, you must have completed a recognised social work qualification. You will need to provide the following as evidence of your qualification:

  • your certificate
  • the name and address of your course provider
  • the name and address of the awarding body
  • a full transcript showing all the modules you studied

Your certificate must show the date your qualification was awarded. If it doesn’t, you will need a letter from your institution confirming this date. We may contact your course provider to gather information about the areas you covered throughout your studies.

We will also ask you to provide details of any relevant training and experience.

To support your application, you will be asked to write a letter explaining how your education, training and experience meet our professional standards. You may wish to submit this with your application. 

Our advisers will assess your qualifications and experience to decide whether they meet our standards for registration.

If we feel there are significant areas in which your application does not show that your skills, knowledge and experience meet our standards, we may ask you to undertake a period of adaptation. This is a period of supervised practice and/or academic training intended to make up for the shortfalls that have been identified.

Read more about periods of adaptation

Qualifications awarded more than 5 years ago

If you have been practising as a social worker

If you've been practising as a registered social worker outside England, you need to tell us:

  • the regulatory body you were, or are, registered with
  • your registration number with that body
  • the dates of your registration period

If there was not a regulatory body in the country in which you practised, you must provide us with information about the work you were doing. For each role, you should provide:

  • your job title
  • the name, address and email address of your employer
  • the dates of your employment
  • a description of your duties
  • dates and details of any training, relevant study or CPD you completed

Our registration advisers, who are qualified social workers, will then make a decision about whether this work is enough to exempt you from a period of updating your skills and knowledge.

If you’ve not been practising as a social worker since you qualified

If you gained your recognised social work qualification more than five years ago and you’ve not been practising as a registered social worker for at least 12 months within the last 5 years, you’ll need to give us evidence to show how you have kept your skills, knowledge and experience up to date.

You can do this by providing evidence that you’ve completed relevant education and/or training. This must cover at least 60 days in the 12 months before you make your application. A day is defined as a minimum of seven hours. The 60 days do not need to be continuous.

You can use one or more of the following three options to update your skills, knowledge and experience:

  • Supervised practice 
  • Formal study
  • Private study

Private study can make up no more than half of the required period of updating your skills, knowledge and experience. This means that you can undertake private study for up to 30 of the required 60 days.

Read more about how to update your skills, knowledge and experience


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