Coronavirus temporary registration
Information about why we have temporary registration, how it works and how to opt out.
Last updated 2 April 2020 2.22pm
Social workers protect millions of people every day and are more important than ever as society faces unprecedented upheaval. Social workers will play a vital role in helping communities through the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Due to these exceptional circumstances, we've been given emergency powers by the UK government to allow us to invite previously registered social workers in England who have left the register since 18 March 2018, and those who voluntarily leave the register during the emergency, to return to practice should they wish to do so. During the emergency, people with temporary registration will be able to use the protected title ‘social worker’.
The list of temporary social workers can be found here and will be closed 14 days after the end of the emergency. The social worker’s name, registration number and nearest local authority (if known) is included. No address information is included on this list.
We do not know how long the emergency will last for, but we expect to keep temporary registered social workers on the list for the entirety of the emergency.
If your name is not on the list but you think it should be, please send an email to [email protected] with your name, registration number (if known) and the date you left the register.
Social Work Together
Alongside temporary registration, a campaign - Social Work Together - is being launched in partnership with the Department for Education, Department of Health and Social Care and the Local Government Association to allow social workers to express their interest in employment opportunities in these extraordinary times. A website has been launched, which can be accessed at local.gov.uk/social-work-together and will connect those offering their expertise to local employers.
You are not obligated to return to practice
The fact that your name is on the list of returning social workers does not mean that you are in any way obligated to return to social work practice if you do not want to. If you would like your details to be removed from the list, you can opt out at any time by completing this form.
You do not need to apply for temporary registration
Temporary registration works on an opt-out basis and you will be able to practise again if your name is published on the list. However, we will write to your last known postal address to confirm your addition to the list of returning social workers. If you’ve received a letter from us and would like to get in touch, please contact us.
We’ve decided to register people as a group because that is the most effective way to respond to an emergency. If you wish to apply to rejoin the register during or after the emergency ends, you can restore your registration.
Social work employers will manage recruitment
We are responding to an emergency situation. This means that we will not be making any safe and effective practise checks as we would with new applicants. It will be the employer’s responsibility to ensure that anyone with a temporary registration returning to social work can evidence safe and effective practice.
We know from our ongoing conversations that social work employers are working hard to understand what the local demand might be. As this is a fast-moving picture, we will continue to work closely with them and keep our website updated with information on local needs.
There is no guarantee that being on the list of returning social workers will lead to employment. Employers have asked that you do not contact them directly as they are currently dealing with very challenging and fast-moving conditions. We will continue to update our website with information and advice.
You must comply with our professional standards
Social workers with temporary registration must read and make sure that they meet our professional standards. However, temporary registrants will not need to meet standard 4 which focuses on continuing professional development (CPD).
We expect all registered social workers to meet and uphold our professional standards throughout their registration. Our professional standards set out what a social worker in England must know, understand and do. Compliance with these standards is a requirement for temporary registration, and any failure to do so may result in you being removed from the list of temporary registered social workers.
You will not need to pay a registration fee
No fees will be charged for temporary registration.
If a concern is raised about you whilst you’re temporary registered
We will immediately assess the nature and extent of the risk to public safety by applying the criteria in rule 3 of the fitness to practise rules, referred to as the triage criteria. This will allow us to quickly assess whether the social worker is able to carry out their role safely and effectively, or whether continuing to allow temporary registration would undermine trust and confidence in the social work profession.
Once we have reviewed the evidence, we will revoke the temporary registration of an individual if necessary. The revoking of temporary registration means we will immediately remove the professional from the list of temporary social workers and they will no longer be able to practice.
If we decide to not revoke their temporary registration, the professional will remain in practice under existing arrangements until the emergency has ended and they are removed from the register, alongside the other temporary social workers.
We’re not currently planning to register students before they have qualified
Students are not currently able to register temporarily, but this could change in extreme circumstances. If we do decide to temporarily register students, we will provide detailed advice and guidance to education providers in line with government advice on workforce planning for broader health and social care settings.