Social Work England—fitness to practise proceedings
Produced in partnership with Victoria Shehadeh of 2 Bedford Row Chambers
Last updated on 20/08/2020

The following Local Government practice note produced in partnership with Victoria Shehadeh of 2 Bedford Row Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Social Work England—fitness to practise proceedings
  • Legislative framework
  • Grounds of impairment
  • Triage stage
  • Investigation stage
  • Case examiners
  • Interim orders
  • Accepted disposal outcome
  • Automatic removal procedure
  • Final hearings
  • More...

Social Work England—fitness to practise proceedings

The Part 2 of the Children and Social Work Act 2017 (CASWA 2017) established Social Work England (SWE) as the regulator of social workers in England, taking over from the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). The regulation of social workers was taken over by SWE from the Health and Social Care Professions Council in December 2019.

SWE comes under the auspices of the Professional Standards Authority. This means that the Professional Standards Agency is able to refer a case to the High Court in certain circumstances. See Practice Note: Professional Standards Authority.

SWE was set up with a view to taking a new approach to regulation. As such, some differences can be expected between the approach of more established regulators and SWE.

SWE seeks to set the tone of a collaborative regulator, emphasising that it shares the values of those whom it regulates. On a practical level, what this means for the fitness to practise process is that there are multiple opportunities for Registrants to engage at an early stage, and there are ways of resolving referrals which do not require a hearing.

The term ‘Registrant’ is used to refer to a registered social worker.

The fitness to practise process is broadly the same as the process adopted by healthcare regulators. Practitioners may find many of the principles familiar, but there are some notable

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