We have published our annual performance review of Social Work England. During 2021/22, we monitored Social Work England’s performance against the Standards of Good Regulation (the Standards).
For this period, Social Work England has met 16 out of the 18 Standards. Our report explains how we made our decision.
Social Work England met our Standard for equality, diversity and inclusion for the first time, after it obtained diversity data from most of its registrants by asking for it as part of the renewals process.
The Standards Social Work England did not meet were both in relation to its fitness to practice function. These were Standard 15, because the time taken to conclude fitness to practise cases has increased; and Standard 17 because Social Work England was taking too long to make decisions about interim orders.
This was the third year in a row that Standard 17 was not met. This triggered our escalation process. However, in this case we decided not to escalate our concerns. This was because there have been different reasons why this Standard has not been met over the last three years, and we anticipate some improvement in the next performance review. We will be reviewing this Standard in detail next year as part of our periodic review.
The performance review is our check on how well the regulators have been protecting the public and promoting confidence in the health and care professions. We do this by assessing their performance against our 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 we are satisfied that a regulator is performing well in that area.
In January 2022, we implemented a new performance review approach, starting with the 2021/22 round of reviews. In the new process, we undertake a ‘periodic review’ of each regulator every three years. This is our opportunity to look closely at all aspects of the regulator’s work. Between these reviews, we monitor their performance, focusing on areas of risk. This year, we undertook a monitoring review of Social Work England.
Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care
Notes to the Editor
- The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care oversees 10 statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK.
- 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.
- We also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those that meet them.
- 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.
- 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.
- Our values are – integrity, transparency, respect, fairness and teamwork – and we strive to ensure that they are at the core of our work.
- More information about our work and the approach we take is available at www.professionalstandards.org.uk