In January of this year, the Standards of Proficiency for Social Workers in England (the “Standards”) were introduced by the Health Care Professions Council (“HCPC”) which is the regulator for health, psychological and social work professionals in that jurisdiction. Following publication in late 2016, the Standards took effect on 09 January 2017.

1. The Standards of Proficiency

The Standards were first published August 2012 and have been regularly reviewed and amended to reflect developments in education and practice. The Standards aim to ensure safe and professional practice for social workers in England, a breach of which may form the basis for a complaint to the HCPC.

The Standards set out a number of guiding principles for social workers throughout various aspects of practice, to include the following;

  • Registrants should be able to ‘understand the need to maintain high standards of personal and professional conduct’ in order to maintain their fitness to practise;
  • Registrants must be able to recognise that they are personally responsible for, and must be able to justify, their decisions and recommendations;
  • Registrants must keep accurate, comprehensive and comprehensible records in accordance with applicable legislation, protocols and guidelines.

The Standards of Proficiency document in its entirety can be accessed here.

2. Republic of Ireland

In this jurisdiction, social workers are one of the health and social care professions regulated by CORU. The equivalent to the standards of proficiency in this jurisdiction is the Social Workers Registration Board Standards of Proficiency which can be accessed here.