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Professional standards

Our professional standards are specialist to the social work profession. After engaging with thousands of professionals, our standards reflect the value and diversity of social work practice and the positive impact it has on people’s lives, families and communities.

Our professional standards


The professional standards are the threshold standards necessary for safe and effective practice. They are specialist to the social work profession and apply to all registered social workers in all roles and settings.

The professional standards set out what a social worker in England must know, understand and be able to do after completing their social work education or training.

The standards are underpinned by guidance intended to support social workers to understand the standards and to uphold them in their practice so that social workers can continue to meet the professional standards and maintain their registration.

View or download the professional standards.

View or download the professional standards guidance.

Last updated: 28 November 2019

The standards