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  • Jibin Vakanil

How to get a work permit as a Social Worker in the UK

Updated: Sep 3


Social work is a regulated profession in the UK. As you know, the United Kingdom is four nations together and in this article we are focusing on England. To be able to practise as a social worker in England, individuals must be registered with Social Work England. Once registered, all social workers are listed on our public register.

The register is a statutory list of individual social workers who practise in England. It provides assurance that the people who practise as social workers in England have the right skills and qualifications and are capable of safe and effective practice.

Below is a screenshot of register which is available to public in social work England website.


Social worker have to pay a registration fee and annual registration fees are usually paid in full (£90) when you renew your registration or by Direct Debit in two instalments, 1 October (£45) and 1 April (£45). However, if you are registering as a social worker qualified abroad then, you need to pay a non-refundable scrutiny fee of £495.

You can pay the fee online, securely through GOV.UK Pay.


Verify your identity

If you are currently living in the UK, you may be able to verify your identity using GOV.UK

IT is still possible to register while abroad but you will need to provide documents that prove your identity and address for example, your passport and a utility bill dated within the last 3 months. These documents would need to be provided after submitting teh application.


Social Work Qualification

You will need to provide the following as evidence of your qualification:

  • your certificate

  • the name and address of your course provider

  • the name and address of the awarding body

  • a full transcript showing all the modules you studied

To support your application, you will need to write a letter explaining how your education, training and experience meet Social work England professional standards. This is an important step and often causes further delays in processing your application. If you are struggling to complete a letter explaining how your skills are transferrable, speak to a social worker or contact us for further information.


Likewise, if you gained your recognised social work qualification more than five years ago and you’ve not been practising as a registered social worker for at least 12 months within the last 5 years, you’ll need to provide evidence to show how you have kept your skills, knowledge and experience up to date.

You can do this by providing evidence that you’ve completed relevant education and/or training. This must cover at least 60 days in the 12 months before you make your application. A day is defined as a minimum of seven hours. The 60 days do not need to be continuous.

You can use one or more of the following three options to update your skills, knowledge and experience:

  • Supervised practice

  • Formal study

  • Private study

Private study can make up no more than half of the required period of updating your skills, knowledge and experience. This means that you can undertake a private study for up to 30 of the required 60 days. This can be a challenge as employers are often hesitant to offer such an opportunity. If you are a social worker from abroad looking for your first job in the UK as a social worker with a visa then please contact us today using the live chat.


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