Eligibility, programme content, registration and other frequently asked questions answered

I have not practised as a social worker for over two years. How do I get back on the register?

In order to return to the register, social workers need to meet the following requirements, depending on how long they have been out of practice:

  • Under two years: no requirements
  • Two to five years: 30 days of updating their skills and knowledge
  • Five years or over: 60 days of updating their skills and knowledge.

These requirements also apply to someone who has never been registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and who has never practised (or who has not practised in the last two years) but who holds an approved qualification which is over five years old. The HCPC has more guidance on returning to practice.

I have been out of practice for over five years. Can I apply?

For this programme we are currently concentrating on applicants who have been out of practice for two to five years. If you would like to leave your details, we will inform you if there will be other programmes that would be appropriate for you in the near future.

I was investigated by the HCPC a few years ago, and was suspended from practice. Will this affect my application?

As we want to ensure that you're fit for practice and you can get back into a working environment as soon as you finish the programme, we can only accept applications from candidates who have registered status with the HCPC. We cannot proceed further with any applications from candidates who have currently got conditions of practice on their registration as this will affect their abilities in the course.

I am still HCPC registered, but have not practised since my last renewal. Can I apply to this programme?

Every time you renew your registration you will be asked to sign to prove that you have continued to practise your profession or met any return to practice requirements that apply to you.

This means that you will need to have practised at some point in the previous two years of your registration cycle. If you have not practised in the last two years since your renewal and therefore cannot sign the declaration, you will need to complete an updating period before you can renew your registration. You can apply to this programme.

I have not worked since I last left social work. Can I still apply?

Yes you can. We recognise that there may be some people who have taken a career break and not worked for all sorts of reasons, and now wish to come back to work. This programme is to help you assess if this is the right step for you and for employers. It will provide you with opportunities to meet the HCPC return to practice requirements.

I have not completed any training since I last practised, can I still apply?

Yes you can, as you will have access to some training and development opportunities as part of this programme. 

Will I have to complete a placement as part of the programme?

The HCPC suggests some supervised practise where available. We aim to include this as part of the programme. We are working with employers across the three regions to secure opportunities to undertake supervised practise. 

What if I can’t attend all the dates in the programme?

In order to re-register with the HCPC you will need to complete the required number of days. If you do not complete them on this programme, you will need to complete them independently. You do not need to complete your period of updating all at once, however you do need to complete them within the 12 months before you apply to the HCPC.  

The dates for the training in each region are available. 

Will I get a job at the end of the programme?

We cannot guarantee a job at the end of the programme, however you will be offered some coaching to help prepare you to apply for work and re-register with the HCPC should you complete the entire programme. 

What does the programme include?

The training programme is being managed by Chinara Enterprises Ltd on behalf of the LGA. The learning and development programme will be facilitated by Making Research Count London, which is run by the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at King’s College London. They engage a number of associates from across the UK. 

The programme will cover an overview of the knowledge and skills sets for children's social work and the Professional Capabilities Framework, as well current social work legislation and policy, social work values and ethics, managing risk and safeguarding. 

Practice educators from the Chinara Enterprises Ltd will be facilitating group action learning sets, where you will work on case scenarios and problem solving. They will also facilitate group reflective supervision. You will have group coaching from professional coaches from the Chinara Enterprises team.
Participants will be asked to complete a critical reflective account and a personal development plan. 

Where is the programme taking place?

The programme is being delivered in three different regions. The regions are: 

Barking and Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley, Brent, Bromley, Camden, City of London, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston upon Thames, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond upon Thames, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth, Westminster.

East of England
Bedford, Cambridgeshire, Central Bedfordshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Luton, Norfolk, Peterborough, Southend, Suffolk, Thurrock.

West Midlands
Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Herefordshire, Sandwell, Shropshire, Solihull, Staffordshire, Stoke on Trent, Telford and Wrekin, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wolverhampton, Worcestershire.

You should apply for the region near to where you live or wish to work.

Will I get any help with travel if the programme is far away from home?

We are not able to help with costs for travel.

Want to know more?

If you have any further questions please email returntosocialwork@local.gov.uk