General Social Care Council GSCC

  • General Social Care Council GSCC is the regulator of the social work profession and education in England. We protect the public by requiring high standards of education, conduct and practice of social workers by ensuring that only those who are properly trained and committed to high standards practise social work. (About).
  • GSCC on en.wikipedia.

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What we do:
The General Social Care Council (GSCC) is the regulator of the social work profession and social work education in England. We protect the public by requiring high standards of education, conduct and practice of all social workers. Social workers work with some of the most vulnerable people in society, so it is vital that we ensure that only those who are properly trained and committed to high standards practise social work.

We do this by maintaining a compulsory register of social workers and issuing and enforcing the codes of practice for the profession. The codes of practice set out the standards of professional conduct and practice required by social workers as they go about their daily work. They are intended to ensure that employers, colleagues, service users, carers and members of the public know what standards they can expect from registered social workers.

On receipt of a referral about a social worker from a member of the public, an employer, or other, we will undertake sufficient enquiries to determine whether there is a specific allegation of misconduct against a registered social worker. If this is established, we will gather information about the referral and look to see if there is evidence of misconduct that calls into question their suitability to be on the Social Care Register.

Cases are risk-assessed throughout the investigation process both to ensure that the registrant does not present an immediate risk to the public, and to determine the likelihood of misconduct being found by a conduct panel. If we believe that the social worker should be prevented from practising while the investigation is still in progress, we will apply to a conduct panel for an Interim Suspension Order. If the investigation concludes that there is a real prospect of finding misconduct, the matter is referred to a Conduct Panel hearing.

Our conduct panels hear evidence against social workers alleged to have committed misconduct, and if someone is found to have breached the codes of practice, we can take action, the strongest penalty being removal from the register. Social workers who have been removed from the register are no longer able to practise social work legally in England. Panel members adjudicate independently of the GSCC and focus on the need for public protection, whilst preserving the social worker’s right to a fair hearing. We aim to achieve the confidence of the public through our openness and fair, evidence-based judgments made in the interests of public protection.

We work with social work employers and educators on the development of the standards which they must meet. We promote high standards in social work education and training by inspecting and approving the quality of social work courses and qualifications. More than 80 universities and colleges in England offer the social work degree. All of these institutions have undergone rigorous checks by the GSCC to make sure that they meet the required standards, and we can refuse to approve courses which do not. In addition to the social work degree, social workers must maintain and extend their knowledge and skills in order to remain on the register.

The GSCC is an arms-length government body funded partly by the Department of Health, and partly by registration fees, which we had hoped to use to achieve full financial independence over time. We also work closely with the Department for Education and our sister organisations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. We have supportive relationships with fellow regulators to exchange best practice.

It is our ambition to be a high performing regulator that protects the public through the effective, proportionate regulation of social workers and their training. We strive to provide users of social work services and the public with confidence in our work and in the social work profession. We are doing this by working towards higher quality educational standards for social workers and excellent registration and conduct arrangements that ensure that only suitable people join and remain in the profession. We endeavour to promote a good understanding of our role and the benefits of professionalism amongst social workers.

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