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Guidance for people applying for restoration

Restoration guidance

Last updated: 22 April 2020


About this guidance

This guidance is for people who have previously been registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) or Social Work England and who would like to rejoin the register.

Our register

The Social Work England register is publicly available.

Anybody can search the register to check that a social worker is registered and to find out:

  • their Social Work England registration number
  • whether they’re subject to any registration conditions
  • the postal town in which they work
  • whether they have additional qualifications enabling them to act as an approved mental health professional (AMHP) or best interests assessor (BIA)
  • whether they’re subject to any fitness to practise sanctions or proceedings

‘Social worker’ is a protected title, meaning that only people on the register can practise as a social worker in England. Anyone who uses the title of social worker but is not registered is committing an offence and can be prosecuted.

For more information about our register see:

Professional standards

In order to apply for restoration, you’ll be asked to confirm that you’ve read, understood, and will comply with our professional standards.

These are the standards we expect you to meet and uphold throughout your registration and are necessary for safe and effective practice. They set out what a social worker in England must know, understand and do throughout their career.

Compliance with these standards is a requirement for continued registration, and any failure to do so may be taken into account in fitness to practise proceedings.

Read the professional standards.

For more information about the professional standards see:

Am I eligible to apply for restoration to the register?

You’re eligible to apply for restoration if you:

  • have previously been registered as a social worker with the HCPC or Social Work England
  • have not been subject to a removal order within the last 5 years or, if more than 5 years have passed since your removal order, you have not made an unsuccessful application to restore your registration within the last 12 months
  • are not subject to fitness to practise sanctions that prevent you from re-joining the register for a period that has not yet ended
  • have not been convicted of a listed offence5 (see ‘listed offences’ section below).

For more information about eligibility see:

How to apply to restore your registration

If you already have an online Social Work England account, you can log in with your existing details and request a restoration application form. If you do not have an online Social Work England account, you can download a restoration application form.

You can also use your online Social Work England account to:

  • pay your restoration and registration fees
  • record your continuing professional development (CPD)
  • renew your registration annually
  • update your personal details

To complete your application to restore your registration, you’ll need:

  • certified colour copies of ID and proof of address documents so we can confirm your identity
  • proof of any name changes that have occurred since you were last registered, such as a marriage certificate (this must be a certified colour copy)
  • details of the qualification that entitles you to join the register
  • details of any criminal convictions or cautions that you have not yet disclosed to Social Work England, the HCPC or the General Social Care Council (GSCC), except those that are protected (see ‘protected convictions and cautions’ section below)
  • details of any health conditions you have not yet disclosed to Social Work England, the HCPC or GSCC that could affect your practice as a social worker
  • details of any occasions when your fitness to practise has been found to be impaired by any regulatory body that you have not yet disclosed to Social Work England, the HCPC or GSCC
  • in some circumstances, up to date evidence of your knowledge of English

Restoration after a removal order

If you are applying to restore your registration after you were subject to a removal order, you must also provide:

Certificates of any approved courses that you have completed since the removal order was made, such as a postgraduate social work degree that appears in the list of approved courses on our website.

Details of any paid or unpaid employment that you have undertaken since your removal order was made.

You must tell us whether you wish to attend a hearing in person to give oral submissions in front of the adjudicators, as well as whether you wish to be represented.

When you submit your application you should also include any testimonial or other supporting evidence that you wish to rely on.

The adjudicators that consider your case will make their decision within 56 days of us receiving all the required information, unless you agree to a postponement.

For more information about restoration after a removal order see:

Your documents

Please do not send any original documents with your application unless we specifically request them. Any supporting documents, such as proof of a name change, should be certified colour copies.

To certify your documents, you’ll need to ask a person of standing in the community to confirm that any copies are true copies of the original documents. The person you ask should not be related to you, living at the same address, or in a relationship with you.

A ‘person of standing in the community’ refers to:

  • a lawyer or notary
  • a regulated health or social care professional
  • a bank manager or other bank official
  • a member of the judiciary or other judicial official
  • a minister of the church, rabbi, imam or other recognised religious official
  • a member of a parliament, other legislative body or local government authority
  • a consular officer
  • a teacher or lecturer
  • a member of a regulated profession

To certify your documents, this person must compare the original document with the copy and write on the copy:

  • ‘I certify that this is a true copy of the original document seen by me’
  • their signature and full name
  • the date of certification
  • their occupation, professional address and phone number

If your copies are not clear enough, or if we are unable to verify their authenticity, we may request to see your original documents.

Verifying your identity

When you apply to restore your registration you will need to provide documents that prove your identity and address. You will need to send us:

  • 1 form of photographic ID, such as your passport or driving licence
  • 1 form of proof of address, such as a bank statement or utility bill that is addressed to you and dated within the last 3 months

If your name has changed since you were last registered, you will also need to provide evidence of this change, such as a marriage certificate. This document will need to be a certified colour copy of the original.

You also must tell us if you have ever been registered under a name different to the one you provide to Social Work England. Please see the ‘your documents’ section above for more information about providing these documents.

Can I register in a different name to the one on my official documents?

The name that appears on the public register must be the name that you use when you are practising as a social worker. If this is different to the name stated on your official documents, you will need to provide a further document that shows the name you wish to use professionally, such as a certified colour copy of your marriage certificate or birth certificate.

Fees


Restoration fees

To begin assessing your application, you’ll need to pay a non-refundable restoration fee of £135.

This covers the time and resources it takes to process this type of application. You’ll need to pay your restoration fee when you submit your application to restore and can be done via bank transfer using the following details:

Name: Social Work England

Account number:10029281

Sort code: 60-70-80

Reference: Social Work/Application number

For more information about restoration fees see:

Registration fees

If your application is successful, you’ll also need to pay a registration fee.

The amount you’ll need to pay is based on the length of time remaining before the end of the current registration period, as shown below. Each registration period runs from 1 December to 30 November.

Your first registration fee will be calculated based on the length of time remaining in the current registration period, so if your application is approved between:

  • 1 December and 28 February, you will pay £90.00
  • 1 March and 31 May, you will pay £67.50
  • 1 June and 31 August, you will pay £45.00
  • 1 September and 30 November, you will pay £22.50

You must pay this fee in full within 10 working days of our first request for payment. If you do not pay your fees within 10 working days, we’ll close your application.

If you still wish to practise as a social worker, you’ll need to submit a new application and pay an additional registration fee to restore your registration.

You’ll need to pay a £90 registration fee each year when you apply for renewal.

You can apply for renewal for the next registration period any time between 1 September and30 November.

Read more about registration fees.

The easiest way to pay your registration fee is through your online Social Work England account, which uses GOV.UK Pay. If, for any reason, you’re unable to use GOV.UK Pay, you can also pay by bank transfer using the details provided in the 'restoration fees’ section above.

For more information about registration fees see:

If you have not been practising as a social worker for 2 or more years

If you have not been practising as a social worker in the last 2 years, you’ll need to provide us with evidence to show how you’ve kept your skills, knowledge and experience up-to-date.

To do this, you’ll need to download the relevant form from the restoration page of your online Social Work England account. If you left the register between 2 and 5 years ago, you’ll need to show that you have spent at least 30 days updating your skills, knowledge and experience.

If you left the register more than 5 years ago, you’ll need to show that you have spent at least 60 days updating your skills, knowledge and experience.

A day is defined as a minimum of 7 hours. The 30 or 60 days do not need to be continuous, but they must all fall within the 12 months leading up to you submitting your application to restore.

You can use 1 or more of the following 3 options to update your skills, knowledge and experience. However, private study can make up no more than half of the required period. This means that you can undertake private study for up to 30 days if you are completing a 60-day period, or 15 days if you are completing a 30-day period.

Supervised practice

Supervised practice involves working with the supervision of a registered social worker in a social work role either in the UK or another country. Your supervisor must be registered with the relevant regulatory body for the duration of your supervised practice and have been registered as a social worker for at least 3 years. They must also not be subject to any fitness to practise sanctions or proceedings.

For each period of supervised practice you undertake during the 12 month period, you’ll need to provide:

  • the contact details of your supervisor
  • the name of the regulatory body they’re registered with
  • their registration number
  • the dates and number of hours of your supervised practice
  • details of what your supervised practice involved

We’ll contact your supervisor to confirm this information.

We do not set detailed requirements for the level of supervision needed, or the tasks that you need to carry out. We believe that this is best decided between you and your supervisor, based on your learning needs.

If social work is not regulated in the country you wish to undertake your supervised practice, you can be supervised by another social worker, but you must provide full details of what your supervised practice involved. Our registration advisers, who are qualified social workers, will then make a decision about whether what you have done is enough to update your skills and knowledge.

Formal study

A postgraduate course will be accepted as formal study as long as a qualification in social work was necessary to enrol on the course. You’ll need to send us a certified copy of your certificate or upload a scan of the original so we can verify your qualification. We may also contact your course provider for confirmation.

Private study

Private study is a method of updating your skills and knowledge through self-structured learning. Some examples of the types of activities that you may include in your period of private study are:

  • reading journal articles or library books
  • reading information on relevant websites
  • observing or shadowing a social worker (which is different from supervised practice as there is no formal supervision arrangement)
  • attending training courses
  • reflecting on and recording your learning

Private study can make up no more than half of the required period. You’ll need to keep a record of the activities you undertake throughout any period of private study.

When you apply to rejoin the register, you’ll need to demonstrate how each aspect of your private study has contributed to your learning and enabled you to meet our professional standards. In relation to each day or activity that makes up your private study, it’s important that you keep a record of:

  • the date
  • the number of hours spent
  • what you did
  • how this helped you meet our professional standards

Your responsibility

It’s your responsibility to make sure what you learn during a period of updating your skills, knowledge and experience is enough to meet our professional standards

If you have been practising as a social worker outside of England

If you have been practising as a registered social worker outside of England, you will 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.

Convictions, cautions and penalty notices

We need to know about any convictions, cautions or penalty notices that you have not already disclosed Social Work England, the HCPC or the GSCC. The information below explains any exceptions and which details you need to provide for convictions, cautions, or penalty notices.

Convictions and cautions

You must declare any convictions or cautions that have been issued in the UK or any other country.

We have powers to require all applicants to disclose these matters. You must declare:

  • all convictions and cautions, including spent convictions and cautions, issued in the UK or any other country unless they’re protected (see ‘protected convictions and cautions’ section below)
  • all road traffic convictions or cautions unless they’re protected (see ‘protected convictions and cautions’ section below)
  • all offences convicted in a military court or tribunal

You should provide as much information as possible about any convictions or cautions you disclose so we can make a decision about your application. If we need to ask for more information, your application will take longer to process.

You must provide the following information for each of the convictions or cautions you disclose:

  • Whether you received a caution or were convicted of an offence
  • The offence the conviction or caution relates to
  • The date of the conviction or caution
  • The name and address of the issuing court or police authority, if known
  • Any other information that you believe will help to explain the circumstances that led to the conviction or caution

For more information about convictions, cautions and penalty notices see:

Penalty notices

You must also declare any fixed penalty notices, penalty notices for disorder, or harassment notices issued to you in the UK or any other country, with the exception of:

  • any road traffic offences where you have paid a fixed penalty notice (for example issued for speeding offences or civil matters such as parking tickets)
  • any fixed penalty notices, penalty notices for disorder, or harassment notices issued in Scotland (these are protected from disclosure by amendments to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974)

Please provide the following information for each of the above notices you have received:

  • The offence the notice was issued for
  • The date you received the notice
  • The name and address of the authority who issued you with the notice, if known
  • Any other information that will help to explain the circumstances that led to the notice being issued

Protected convictions and cautions

Some convictions and cautions are protected by law meaning you do not need to declare them to us. If you do tell us about a protected offence, we will not take it into account when we assess your application for registration.

Protected cautions

A caution is protected and you do not need to tell us about it if:

  • more than 6 years have passed since you received the caution (or more than 2 years have passed if you were under the age of 18 at the time of the caution)
  • it is not for a ‘listed offence’ (see ‘listed offences’ section below)
Protected convictions

A conviction is protected and you do not need to tell us about it if:

  • more than 11 years have passed since the date of conviction (or more than 5 years and 6 months have passed if you were under the age of 18 when convicted)
  • it is not for a ‘listed offence’ (see ‘listed offences’ section below)
  • you did not receive a custodial sentence and
  • you have not been convicted of any other offence at any time

Listed offences

Listed offences are defined in legislation and include serious violent or sexual offences as well as other offences that are relevant to the role of a social worker.

A list of these offences is included at the end of this document. These offences will never be removed from a criminal record. You will not be eligible for restoration if you have been convicted of a listed offence, unless this conviction has been quashed (ruled invalid).

You must also tell us if you have committed an offence abroad that would be considered a listed offence in England.

If you’re aware that you’ve committed an offence overseas that may be equivalent to an offence in the UK, you should seek independent expert or legal advice to check whether you need to tell us about it.

What happens if I disclose a conviction, caution or penalty notice?

If you disclose a conviction, caution or penalty notice we’ll assess whether this is likely to impact your ability to practise safely and effectively. We’ll take into account the nature of the offence, when it occurred, and whether you’ve committed any other offences.

We’ll also take into account any details you provide about the circumstances surrounding the offence. We’ll contact the police to verify any details you provide about your convictions, cautions or penalty notices to help us decide whether your fitness to practise will be affected.

For more information about listed offences see:

Safeguarding vulnerable groups legislation

For us to restore your registration, you also need to tell us if you’ve been barred from working with vulnerable adults or children. Unless you’ve already disclosed this information to Social Work England, the HCPC or the GSCC, you must disclose whether you are, or have ever been:

  • listed on the adults’ or children’s list under the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007
  • listed on the adults’ and or children’s list under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (Northern Ireland) Order 2007
  • subject to a barring order under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006)
  • barred from working with vulnerable people in any other country

If any of these apply to you, you’ll need to provide us with full details.

For more information about safeguarding vulnerable groups legislation see:

Health conditions

When you apply to restore your registration, you’ll need to tell us about any physical or mental health conditions that may affect your practice as a social worker.

We use the term ‘health condition’ to mean an illness, injury, disability, or impairment.

You do not need to tell us about any health conditions that you have previously disclosed to Social Work England, the HCPC or the GSCC, unless the way your health condition affects, or could affect, your ability to practise safely and effectively has changed.

When you apply for restoration, you should also tell us if a health condition you previously disclosed no longer exists or is now being effectively managed.

Why we ask about health conditions

We ask about health conditions because we need to know that the people on our register are able to fulfil their role as a social worker safely and effectively. Our focus is whether you have a health condition that could adversely or negatively affect your practice, not whether you have a health condition that you are able to manage effectively.

Many people with health conditions are able to practise safely and effectively. For example, you may receive support or treatment from a health care professional. Your employer also has a responsibility to discuss what reasonable adjustments they can provide to support you at work.

Which conditions do I need to disclose?

You must tell us about a health condition if both of the following apply:

  • Your health condition affects, or could affect, your ability to perform your role as a social worker safely and effectively. This includes any episodic conditions (conditions that may present occasionally or unpredictably) that may affect your ability to practise safely and effectively if you experience a recurrence.
  • You do not have arrangements in place that manage the health condition and enable you to perform your role as a social worker safely and effectively.

If the above criteria apply to your health condition, we’ll need to know more about the effect it may have on your ability to perform your role as well as what steps you’re taking towards managing the condition.

You should include the following information in your application:

  • The nature and seriousness of your health condition
  • Whether it is an ongoing or episodic condition
  • How your condition may affect your ability to practise safely and effectively
  • What steps you are taking to manage your health condition (for example, medication or reduced hours) and how effective these are
  • Whether you’ve made your employer aware of your condition
  • Any relevant dates of occurrences and treatment

What happens if I disclose a health condition?

If you declare a health condition to us, we’ll need to be sure that you have insight and understanding into your condition and its effects. We need to know that you’ve considered how certain aspects of your practise may be affected and that you’ve taken appropriate steps to make sure you do not put yourself or others at risk.

We consider each application on a case by case basis. In some cases, we may need to speak with your doctor or other treating clinician, but we will never do this without your permission. All information regarding your health will be treated in the strictest confidence and will only be shared with those who need it to deal with your application.

For more information about health conditions see:

Fitness to practise history

When you apply to restore your registration, you’ll be asked whether any regulator has ruled against you in fitness to practise proceedings either in the UK or abroad. This includes regulators outside of the social work profession.

If you’ve already told Social Work England, the HCPC or the GSCC these details, you do not need to disclose them again.

If a regulatory body has found your fitness to practise impaired, you must provide the following information:

  • The name of the regulatory body
  • The date that they made their decision
  • The outcome of your fitness to practise case (for example, whether you were suspended, removed from the register etc)
  • Any further details about the case that will help to us to understand the circumstances that led to the decision

For more information about fitness to practise history see:

Knowledge of English

If English is not your first language and you’ve been off the register for more than five years, you’ll need to give details of how you’ve kept your English language skills up-to-date during this time. For more information, see The Social Work England Registration Rules 2019, rule 59(1)(c).

Restoring your annotations

If, when you were previously registered, you had any annotations attached to your registration, you can apply for these to be restored once your application to restore has been accepted.

We’ll need to see evidence showing that you’re qualified to act as an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) or Best Interests Assessor (BIA). For more information, see The Social Work England Registration Rules 2019, rule 45.

Read more about annotations

Submitting your application

Once you’ve completed your restoration application form, you can scan it and send it to us as an attachment along with any certified copies of supporting documents. You can send it through either the message centre on your online Social Work England account or email it to [email protected].

Alternatively, you can post your completed application form with certified copies of your supporting documents to: Registration and Advice Team, Social Work England, 1 North Bank, Blonk Street, Sheffield, S3 8JY.

Declaration

  • Before you submit your application you’ll be asked to complete a declaration to confirm the following:
  • I confirm that I have read, understood and will comply with Social Work England’s professional standards.
  • I confirm that I have read and understood the privacy notice and understand that Social Work England will process my data as required by the Social Worker Regulations 2018 and associated rules.
  • I agree to pay the fees for my registration.
  • I understand that Social Work England may contact other relevant person(s) or organisations to obtain further information about my application or to verify the information that I have provided and agree that any person who is so contacted may provide Social Work England with any information about me which that person holds.
  • I confirm that the information I have provided in this application is correct and understand that fraudulently procuring an entry in the Social Work England register is an offence under the regulations for which I may be prosecuted.

Honesty and integrity

It’s important to be honest when applying to restore your registration. If you give incorrect or misleading information, we may reject your application for restoration. You must tell us as soon as possible if any of your details change. Failure to do this could lead to suspension or removal from the register. For more information, see The Social Worker Regulations 2018, reg 16(1).

Making a decision about your application

Once we’ve received your application, we’ll review the information you’ve provided. We’ll notify you through the message centre on your online Social Work England account if we need any more documents or information. For example, in some circumstances, we may need to see evidence of your social work qualification, such as a certificate or transcript.

If your previous registration ended because of a removal order, your application will be considered by our adjudicators and may require a hearing. For more information, see The Social Worker Regulations 2018, reg 15(4)(a).

When making a decision about your application, we have 3 options. We may:

  • accept your application to restore your registration
  • reject your application to restore your registration
  • accept your application with conditions (see separate guidance on registration with conditions)

You must not carry out any work as a social worker unless your application for restoration has been accepted, you have paid your registration fee, and you’ve received written confirmation that you’ve been added to the Social Work England register.

Appealing a decision

If we reject your application, you’re entitled to appeal this decision. The only time you cannot appeal the decision is if you did not pay the relevant fee within the required timeframe. For more information, see The Social Worker Regulations 2018, reg 19(1)(a) and 19(2).

Read more about making an appeal

Further information

For any further information or support with the application process, please call us on 0808 196 2274 or email us on [email protected].

Listed offences

1. Murder.

2. An offence under any of the following provisions of the Sexual Offences Act 2003(1)—
(a)section 1 (rape),
(b)section 2 (assault by penetration),
(c)sections 5 to 8 (rape and other offences against children under 13),
(d)sections 9 to 12 (child sex offences),
(e)sections 30 to 33 (offences against persons with a mental disorder impeding choice), or
(f)sections 47 to 50 (abuse of children through prostitution and pornography).

3. An offence under any of sections 9 to 12 of the Protection of Children and Prevention of Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2005(2) (sexual services of children and child pornography).

4. An offence under any of the following provisions of the Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008(3)—
(a)article 5 (rape),
(b)article 6 (assault by penetration),
(c)articles 12 to 15 (rape and other offences against children under 13),
(d)articles 16 to 19 (offences against children under 16),
(e)articles 37 to 40 (abuse of children under 18 through prostitution and pornography), or
(f)articles 43 to 46 (offences against persons with a mental disorder impeding choice).

5. An offence under any of the following provisions of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009(4)—
(a)section 1 (rape),
(b)section 2 (assault by penetration),
(c)sections 3 to 6 (sexual assault and sexual coercion) committed against a person who is, by virtue of section 17 of that Act (capacity to consent: mentally disordered persons), treated as incapable of consenting,
(d)sections 18 to 26 (rape and other offences against children under 13), or
(e)sections 28 to 33 (offences against older children).

6. An offence under either of the following provisions of the Modern Slavery Act 2015(5)—
(a)section 1 (slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour), or
(b)section 2 (human trafficking).

7. An offence under either of the following provisions of the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015(6)—
(a)section 1 (offence of human trafficking), or
(b)section 4 (slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour).

8. Extortion (in Scotland).

9. An offence under section 21 of the Theft Act 1968(7) (blackmail).

10. An offence under section 20 of the Theft Act (Northern Ireland) 1969(8) (blackmail).

11. An offence under section 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (sexual assault).

12. An offence under article 7 of the Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008 (sexual assault).

13. An offence under section 3 of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 (sexual assault).

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