Important information about your registration and what you need to do to stay on the register.
Important information about your registration
The renewal period is between 1 September and 30 November every year. All social workers who want to continue to practise in England must renew their registration annually.
If you were registered with the HCPC, renewals will have taken place every 2 years. We have changed this to maintain regular contact with you as a registered social worker, to ensure your details are up to date and that you continue to meet the professional standards.
It is a legal requirement that you renew your registration to continue to use the protected title of ‘social worker’. The requirement to renew your registration is set out in our legislation, and regulation 13 of The Social Worker Regulations 2018, and Part 7 of the Social Work England (Registration) Rules 2019.
You must renew your registration between 1 September and 30 November 2020 or you risk being removed from the register. If you have an open fitness to practise case, you still need to apply to renew your registration.
What you need to do
We recommend you do these steps as soon as possible, so you are prepared.
- Activate your online account
- Check your contact and employment details are correct
- Record CPD on your online account
- Self-refer if you need to
- Be ready to complete the renewal application and pay your registration fee
You must apply to renew your registration using your online account between 1 September and 30 November. We recommend that you activate your online account now, so you have enough time to record CPD and apply to renew your registration.
You can update your personal, contact and employment details on your online account.
You must tell us if any of your details change as soon as possible. It is your responsibility to make sure that all the information we hold about you is up to date and accurate throughout your registration. This includes your personal and employment details as well as any information relevant to your fitness to practise.
Failure to inform us of any changes could lead to you being suspended or removed from the register.
Recording CPD is an important part of your registration and an element of the annual renewals process. To provide evidence that you are meeting the professional standard on CPD, you must record CPD before the end of the current registration year (30 November 2020).
You can record and submit CPD any time before 30 November using your online account.
If there has been a change to your fitness to practise, you will need to tell us about it. Things that impact your fitness to practise include (but are not limited to):
- convictions, cautions or being investigated for a criminal offence
- determinations by other bodies
- disciplinary proceedings
- being barred from working with vulnerable groups
- health conditions that affect your ability to do your duties as a social worker
- employment proceedings
You can find more information in our guidance on self-referrals.
If you want to leave the register, you can apply to be voluntarily removed using your online account.
If you have a Direct Debit in place, we recommend that you cancel it before 25 September 2020 as this is not refundable.
Be ready to complete the renewal application
You can apply to renew your registration on your online account as soon as renewals opens on 1 September 2020. You must renew your registration before 30 November 2020 or you risk being removed from the register.
We have worked with social workers to design the online form and hope that you will find the experience straight forward.
Once logged in, the renewal application form should take you around 30 minutes to complete, but we recommend that you give yourself as much time as possible.
There are a few things you can do on your online account to make the renewal process quicker. You can:
- update your contact details
- update your employment details
- check or add your payment preferences (if you pay by Direct Debit)
- record and submit CPD
If you have not recorded any CPD when you renew your registration, you will have the option to do so during the application process. This will make the renewal process longer.
If you need to take a break, you can save your progress and return later via your online account.
When completing your renewal application, you will be asked to confirm or update the information we hold on about you.
If you want to change your name or your nationality you will need to provide evidence of this, for example a marriage certificate or passport. The evidence will need to be a high quality colour image that clearly shows the entire document.
The name you apply to renew with (which will appear on the public register) must be the name that you use when you practise 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.
During the application process, we will ask you to provide details of your employment as a social worker for the past 12 months, including any social work employments you have had outside the UK.
We need details of your employment history to secure public protection. This is to investigate concerns raised about you, or to tell employers about any concerns raised about you or if you have been removed from the register.
Details of other regulators
We will also ask you to provide details of any other social work or healthcare regulators which you are currently registered with.
Documents related to your safe and effective practice
We may also ask for additional documents if there has been a change to your circumstances which could affect your safe and effective practice. This could be details of any:
- criminal convictions or cautions that you have not previously declared to us or HCPC (you do not need to declare a 'protected' conviction or caution)
- health conditions that may affect your practice as a social worker which you have not previously declared to us, or to HCPC
- occasions when your fitness to practise has been found to be impaired by any regulatory body that you have not previously declared to us, or to HCPC
You can upload any supporting documents during the application process. If you’re unable to upload your documents, you can send your supporting documents to us by post. Please do not send original documents unless we’ve specifically requested them.
If you have recorded CPD before you apply
You can continue to edit the CPD you have already recorded or add further examples of CPD on your online account until 30 November.
If you have not recorded CPD before you apply
CPD is an important part of our professional standards, which aim to improve public safety and confidence in social work. Meeting the professional standard related to CPD is a requirement of renewing your registration.
If you have not recorded any CPD on your online account yet, you will have the option to record CPD during renewal. If you record CPD during renewal, your application progress will be saved, and you will be taken to your online account. When you are ready to complete your renewal, you can return via your account overview.
You can also choose to record CPD after submitting your renewal. If you do, you will be asked to tick a CPD declaration stating: ‘I want to continue without recording CPD now and I understand that I need to record CPD before 30 November’.
If you do not record CPD by 30 November, we may decide not to renew your registration. This would mean that you would not be able to practise as a social worker in England.
At the end of the registration period, we will check all social workers’ accounts to see whether they have recorded CPD in their online account. We will then randomly select 2.5% of social workers for CPD validation.
Annual registration fees are usually paid in full (£90) when you renew your registration or by Direct Debit in two instalments, on 1 April (£45) and 1 October (£45). Please note that we do not accept payments by cheque, or over the phone.
As Direct Debits are taken during the renewal period (1 October) you will have different payment options depending on when you apply to renew your registration.
If you apply between 1 September and 25 September
If you do not have a Direct Debit in place and you apply before 25 September, you will be asked to set up a Direct debit or pay your registration fees in full by card.
If you have a Direct Debit in place and you apply before 25 September, you will be asked whether you want to keep your existing Direct Debit or set up a new Direct Debit. You will also have the option to pay in full by card.
Regardless of whether you choose to keep your existing Direct Debit, or set up a new Direct Debit, your instalment will be taken on 1 October. You do not have to wait until the Direct Debit has gone out to submit your application to renew your registration.
If you apply between 26 September and 30 November
If you do not have a Direct Debit in place and you apply after 25 September, you will only have the option to pay your registration fees in full by card.
If you have a Direct Debit in place and you apply after the Direct Debit has been taken, you will see a confirmation of Direct Debit payment screen. If your Direct Debit has failed, you will be asked to pay your registration fee in full by card.
Once we have received your application, we will review the information you have provided.
If you have told us about a change in your circumstances which may affect your safe and effective practice, we may ask you for more information. You must make sure that we receive this information within 14 calendar days.
There are 3 possible outcomes from an application to renew:
- accepted with conditions
We will contact you after the 30 November with our decision. This information will also be published on our public register.
If you do not submit your application by 30 November 2020, your registration will lapse, and you will be required to apply to restore your registration if you want to continue to practise as a social worker. The current restoration fee is £135.
Read more about restoration.
If you do not renew your registration by 30 November (and you did not apply to leave voluntarily) your reason for leaving the register will be recorded as ‘removed - failure to renew’.
We have tried to make the renewal process as straightforward as possible, but if you need help please call 0808 196 2274 or email [email protected].
Our opening hours are 9am to 5pm Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and 10am to 5pm Tuesday (excluding bank holidays).