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Authority publishes its performance review of Social Work England

The Professional Standards Authority has published its annual performance review of Social Work England for 2020/21. We review each of the statutory health and social care regulators each year to assess whether they are meeting our Standards of Good Regulation. As of 31 December 2021, Social Work England’s register included more than 97,000 social workers in England.

We have assessed Social Work England’s performance against our Standards of Good Regulation. For this review period, covering 1 December 2020 to 30 November 2021, Social Work England has met 16 out of 18 of the Standards. The judgements we make against each Standard incorporate a range of evidence to form an overall picture of performance. Meeting a Standard means that, based on the information we have reviewed, we are satisfied that a regulator is performing well in that area.

Social Work England did not meet our Standard for equality, diversity and inclusion. Whilst it is making encouraging progress in this important area, its action plan was published after the end of our review period and we were concerned about the lack of EDI data it held on its registrants. It also did not meet our Standard relating to interim orders in fitness to practise, because we were concerned about how long it took to make those decisions.

More information about how we reached our decision is set out in our Performance Review - Social Work England 2020/21 and through a summary in our snapshot.

You can also read Social Work England’s statement on the publication of its performance review here.



Note to Editors

  1. The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care oversees 10 statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK.
  2. We assess their performance and report to Parliament. We also conduct audits and investigations and can appeal fitness to practise cases to the courts if we consider that sanctions are insufficient to protect the public and it is in the public interest.
  3. The Standards of Good Regulation are designed to ensure that the regulators are protecting the public but also promoting confidence in health and care professionals and themselves. The Standards cover the regulators’ four core functions: setting and promoting guidance and standards for the profession; setting standards for and quality assuring the provision of education and training; maintaining a register of professionals; and taking action where a professional’s fitness to practise may be impaired.
  4. We also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those that meet them.
  5. We share good practice and knowledge, conduct research and introduce new ideas to our sector. We monitor policy developments in the UK and internationally and provide advice on issues relating to professional standards in health and social care.
  6. We do this to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of users of health and social care services and the public. We are an independent body, accountable to the UK Parliament
  7. Our values are – integrity, transparency, respect, fairness and teamwork – and we strive to ensure that they are at the core of our work.
  8. Social Work England regulates social workers in England. It sets and maintains standards of conduct and practice for social workers in England; sets standards for the education and training of practitioners and assures the quality of education and training provided; maintains a register of practitioners (‘registrants’) who meet its standards; requires registrants to undertake continuing professional development to ensure they maintain their ability to practise safely and effectively; and acts to restrict or remove from practice individual registrants who are considered not fit to practise. As at 30 November 2021, there were 99,191 registrants on its register. Its registration fee is £90.
  9. More information about our work and the approach we take is available at