Return to the register
Returning to the register, also known as readmission or restoration, is for social workers who want to return to social work practice in England.
If you want to return to social work practice
Returning to the register, also known as readmission or restoration, is for social workers who want to return to social work practice in England. We call the process of returning to the register 'restoration'.
This process is only for those who have previously been registered as social workers. If you are reapplying for registration, and were never registered, you will need to apply as a new applicant.
To return to the register, you will need to create an online account if you don't already have one.
If you were previously registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), your details will have been transferred when we became the new specialist regulator for social workers in England in December 2019.
When you create an online account, we ask for your name and date of birth to help us identify you. It will make the process quicker if you are able create an account using the email address you gave to HCPC, if possible.
If you were only ever registered with the General Social Care Council (GSCC), we will not have your details, so you will need to apply to register as a new applicant.
You can find more information in our guidance on applying for restoration.
You can apply to return to the register if you were previously registered with:
- Social Work England
- The Heath and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
This includes people who were previously registered to practise as a social worker in England and want to return to the register after having practised outside England.
If you have never been registered as a social worker in England, you will need to apply for registration as a new applicant.
Evidence you will need to provide
As part of your application to return to the register, we may ask you to provide evidence of your:
- social work qualifications
- knowledge of English
- continuing professional development (CPD)
If you have not practised as a social worker for more than two years, you will also need to provide evidence of getting your skills and knowledge up-to-date. You can do this through 30 days of formal study, private study or supervised practice.
If you have not practised as a social worker for more than five years, you will need to evidence 60 days of formal study, private study or supervised practice.
You can read more about how to update your skills and knowledge.
You may also want to read about the Return to Social Work programme. This national scheme supports councils to recruit social workers who have taken a 2 to 10 year break from work. It provides free, high-quality training to former social workers helping them to return to the profession.
Read more about Return to Social Work.
How much you need to pay and when
Once we have received your application, and any supporting documents, we will email you to confirm receipt.
We will also ask you to pay a restoration fee of £135 which helps us fully review your application and complete any required checks.
For this reason, the restoration fee is non-refundable, even if your application is not approved.
You will need to pay the restoration fee in full, via bank transfer. We will send you all the relevant payment details when we receive your application.
If your application to return to the register is approved, you will need to pay the registration fee. The full registration fee is £90, but the amount you pay will depend on when in the year your application is processed.
Once we have received your registration fee, you will be added to the register within 10 working days.
You can read more about how registration fees work.
If you have been practising outside England
If you have been practising outside England, you may not need to complete the skills and knowledge update.
To help us decide whether you meet the necessary threshold, please provide the details of how you have been working including contact details for your employers.
You will also need to provide evidence of your CPD for these years.
If you have previously been removed from the register
If you were removed from the register for a specified amount of time, you can apply to return after that time has passed. You will need to provide details of your fitness to practise history as part of your application.
If you were removed from the register as a result of fitness to practise proceedings, you cannot apply for restoration until five years after your removal.
If you have a conviction, caution or penalty notice
You cannot return to the register if you have been convicted of a listed offence.
All other convictions and cautions that you have not previously declared must be disclosed in your application.
If you have any health conditions
When you apply to return to the register, you must tell us about any health conditions that affect your safe and effective practice.
If you have any questions about your application to return to the register, call our registration and advice team on 0808 196 2274 or email [email protected].
Last updated: 29 December 2019
To apply for restoration, please complete and return the restoration form.