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Gender identity

Guidance to support social workers who wish to update their gender identity. This may be as part of an application to renew or during the year through their online account.

Gender identity

Last updated: 22 September 2021

About this guidance

This information is to support all registered social workers who wish to update their gender identity. This may be as part of an application to renew or during the year by requesting an update through their online account.

Why we hold this information

We hold gender identity on the register as a public protection measure. If people have similar names, sometimes gender identity can be a way of identifying one social worker from another. This information is not available on the public searchable register but is available to Social Work England staff.

Collecting this data also helps us to meet our equality, diversity and inclusion aims by ensuring we understand who our social workers are.

The data we hold for social workers was transferred to us by the previous regulator.

The information we hold and how to change it

You can check the gender identity we hold for you through your Social Work England online account. If the data we hold for you is incorrect, please submit a request to change your details through your online account. You can include a photo of your birth certificate, or other official document to request us to correct the information we hold.

The gender identities we currently hold are female, male, prefer to self-describe and prefer not to say. We want to ensure that the gender identity we hold for you represents the one you most identify with.

You can make a request to update your gender identity through your online account or when you apply to renew. This will be considered in a sensitive and confidential way by our head of registration or a delegate of the head of registration. You may have a birth certificate, passport or driving licence to evidence your change of identity, and you can upload this as evidence.

We are aware that many people who identify with a different gender do not hold official documentation in the correct gender for them. We are also aware that documents do not exist for nonbinary trans people, and that they are not available to all binary trans people due to cost and process.

If you are in this situation, please include a letter as evidence, which briefly outlines your request for us to update your gender identity.

For example:

Dear Head of Registration,

I request for my gender identity to be amended to: [female/male/other/prefer not to say.]

This should be effective from date [].

Yours sincerely

[Your name]

[Your registration number]

Please use the name you currently wish to be known by. If this is not the same name that we hold for you, please complete a name change request first and then send us the gender identity change letter.

Further information

Some people may find the requirement for paperwork to confirm gender identity an exclusionary practice. We appreciate that it may create additional barriers for some social workers. Coming out is an ongoing process, and we recognise that it is a vulnerable one that requires a lot of emotional energy and additional administrative work.

We aim to support people and understand their individual needs whilst also ensuring an accurate register is maintained to support public protection. Our values and our actions will always reflect the most appropriate way for us to support social workers to ensure that their record accurately represents them.

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