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The PSA publishes its review of Social Work England’s performance for 2022/23

 We have published our annual performance review of Social Work England. During 2022/23, we conducted Periodic Review of Social Work England’s performance against the Standards of Good Regulation (the Standards).

For this period, Social Work England has met 17 out of the 18 Standards. Social Work England has now met Standard 17 for the first time. We were assured by the explanations that Social Work England gave us for why some cases took a long time from the referral to an interim order being applied for, as well as the context of social work regulation and the challenges Social Work England faces. We audited Social Work England and gained assurance from its approach to risk assessments. Social Work England also showed continuing good performance in the time taken to make interim order decisions, once it has identified that an order might be necessary.

Social Work England did not meet Standard 15 last year, due to continuing challenges in processing fitness to practise cases in a timely manner. Whilst Social Work England is taking steps to address this, it continues to face challenges, including as a result of the cases inherited from the previous regulator and in hearing capacity. Measures for timeliness and the age of caseloads have not improved in this review period, and Standard 15 continues not to be met.

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 periodic review of Social Work England.


Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care


Notes to the Editor

  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. We also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those that meet them.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Our values are – integrity, transparency, respect, fairness and teamwork – and we strive to ensure that they are at the core of our work.
  7. More information about our work and the approach we take is available at