Updated Social Work England Fitness to Practise Guidance

UNISON has worked with the social worker regulator Social Work England (SWE) to update SWE’s fitness to practise referral guidance for employers and social workers.

The updated guides are in links below.

There is improved synergy and read-across between the two guidance documents. UNISON views these documents as ‘two faces of the same coin’.

There should be the same understanding for the employer as the Social Worker.

Attached as an appendix is a precis of improvements made and the items UNISON has raised and have not been adopted.

We will keep the updated guidance under review as part of our regular meetings with SWE.

We have organised a webinar to brief members on how to respond to a fitness to practise referral made to SWE and when to make a self-referral about their fitness to practise. It will also help members decide what (if anything) to declare when they join to the register for the first time, restore to the register or renew their registration.

UNISON and SWE speakers will take members through fitness to practise procedures and what is expected regarding a social worker’s ability to practise safely and effectively.

The webinar will take place on Thursday 23 September 2021 at 12.30- 1.30pm.

The link for social workers to register for the webinar is:


After registering, applicants will receive an automated confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. For those who can’t attend, a recording of the webinar will be made available online after the event.

Social Workers Fitness to Practice Guidance