Social Work England: changes to the regulatory framework

Closed 11 May 2022

Opened 23 Mar 2022

Feedback updated 11 Oct 2022

We asked

We asked for views on our proposals to make changes to the Social Workers Regulations 2018 which will support Social Work England to improve its existing flexible model of professional regulation to secure public protection, foster professionalism, and ensure standards of practise.

You said

We received 48 responses to the consultation from a wide variety of interested stakeholders including: social workers, unions, local authorities, regulatory bodies and service users.

The responses were broadly supportive of the proposed changes with approval ranging from 68% to 94%. Both the Department and Social Work England are pleased by the positive support for the proposed changes to the Social Worker Regulations 2018 and want to thank all those who took the time and effort to respond to the consultation and for the contributions received.

We did

Following careful consideration of responses to this consultation, the department will proceed with legislation to introduce all the proposed changes to Social Work England's regulatory framework. The social workers (Amendment and Transitional Provision) Regulations 2022 will be taken forward as soon as parliamentary time allows. Some respondents who commented on the [proposed regulatory changes also provided wider comments on the way in which Social Work England operate as a regulator. 

While these comments fell outside the scope of this consultation, we will continue to work with Social Work England to explore these and specifically where there are opportunities for further improvement.


We are seeking views from all those interested in the regulation of social workers on proposed technical amendments to the Social Workers Regulations 2018.

Why your views matter

The Children and Social Work Act 2017 sets out the broad legal framework for Social Work England, but much of the detail of the legal framework is set out in the Social Workers Regulations 2018.

This consultation seeks views on proposed technical changes to the Social Workers Regulations 2018. The consultation can be read in parallel with the draft amendments, which set out how the proposals in this consultation document are likely to appear in legislation. The final amendments may change as a result of this consultation.

What happens next

The results of this consultation and the Government's response will be published on GOV.UK in due course, alongside the final draft regulations.


  • Local authorities
  • Unions and representative organisations
  • Social workers
  • Principle social workers
  • Directors of children's services


  • Social workers' standards