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Home > Apply > Social workers in England > Standards


FAQWhat standards will social workers in England have to meet?
Previously social workers in England were required to meet the GSCC's codes of practice and meet their requirements for PRTL.

HCPC regulates professionals and education providers by setting standards.

Standards of proficiency

The standards of proficiency are the threshold standards for safe and effective practice in each of the professions we regulate. They play a crucial role in how someone becomes and remains registered. The standards outline what an individual must know, understand and be able to do when they enter the Register and begin practising their profession. You can find more information about standards of proficiency on our website here.

We drafted the standards of proficiency for social workers and consulted on them between mid-July and mid-November 2011. We set up a working group to draft these standards, which included members of our Council and representatives from key stakeholders in the field of social work in England. There is more information about this on our website here.

The Council approved the standards of proficiency for social workers on 29 March 2012.

- You can download a copy here

Standards of conduct, performance and ethics

The standards of conduct, performance and ethics play an important role in helping us make decisions about the character of the people who apply to our Register, and also in cases where we decide whether someone is fit to practise. They describe the behaviours that we expect registrants and prospective registrants (including students) to adhere to.

- You can download a copy here

We have produced guidance on conduct and ethics for students, when someone joins the Register for the first time we will ask them to confirm that they have read and will adhere to these standards.

- You can download a copy here

Standards for continuing professional development (CPD)

These are the standards which registrants have to meet linked to their ongoing learning and development. We have not set a minimum number of hours of CPD but require that registrants focus on the outcomes (benefits) to them and their service users. We randomly audit 2.5% of each profession every two years. The first audit of social workers in England will begin in September 2014.

- You can download a copy here

Standards for education and training

These are the standards against which we assess education and training programmes. A programme which meets the SETs allows a student who successfully completes that programme to meet the standards of proficiency.

- You can download a copy here

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