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Leave the register

You may want to leave the register for a variety of reasons for example, if you are retiring, moving abroad or have long-term health conditions.

When to leave the register

Last updated: 14 April 2021

You may want to leave the register for a variety of reasons for example, if you are retiring, moving abroad and want to work outside England or have long-term health conditions.

It does not cost anything to leave the register, but there are fees associated with returning to the register.

You do not have to leave the register if you stop practising. Many social workers choose to stay registered while working in different roles such as teaching on social work courses. There are several registered social workers who work for Social Work England. If you stop practising but stay registered, you still have to meet the professional standards, including CPD. 

You will not be able to leave the register if your fitness to practise is currently being investigated. You can find more information for social workers under investigation

If you have long-term health conditions 

You may be able to continue to practise if your health conditions can be managed, but you need to tell us about your situation. This is to make sure that you are practising safely and effectively. 

You can read more about safe and effective practice.

If you need any support, you may want to read more about other organisations that offer independent and confidential advice

If you need to take a break from practising

You may be thinking about leaving the register short-term, for example if you are going on maternity or paternity leave.

If you stop practising, but choose to stay registered, you still have to meet the professional standards, including the standard on CPD.

If you are moving to a new country, you may also want to leave the register as your registration only allows you to practise in England. It is up to you whether you want to remain registered with us if you plan to practise as a social worker in another country.

Your decision to leave the register should take into account whether you plan to return to social work practice. You may want to consider staying registered. 

You can read more about returning to the register

If you have any questions about taking a break from practising while registered, you can us on 08081962274 or email [email protected]

How to leave the register 

If you want to leave the register, you can make a request using your online account.

Go to your online account

The online form will ask you to provide a leaving date. Your actual leaving date will be at least 10 working days from the date you provide. This delay is in the public’s interest. When we receive your request for voluntary removal, we will hold it on file in case a concern is raised about you, so we can hold jurisdiction of your registration.

Once we have processed your request to leave the register, you will receive confirmation. This will include the date you will no longer be registered as a social worker.

If you submit a request to leave the register while under fitness to practise investigation, we will get back to you to explain why we cannot process your request.

You will not get a refund if you choose to leave the register during a registration period.

If you have any questions, you can us on 0808 196 2274 or email [email protected]

Detailed guidance

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