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Social workers who qualified overseas find the UK registration process difficult, according to new research publish...
Social workers who qualified overseas find the UK registration process difficult, according to new research published today by the General Social Care Council (GSCC).

The time taken to register UK-qualified social workers is also of concern to some stakeholders.

Findings of the study commissioned by the workforce regulator include:

- the vast majority of UK qualified social workers and students found the form easy to complete (75 per cent of UK qualified social workers and 88 per cent of students);

- more than half described the application form as 'straightforward', while more than a third of UK social workers (37 per cent) and six in ten students described it as 'clear';

- although most registrants said they were satisfied with the time it took to become registered, the time taken to process applications was raised as an issue by external stakeholders who felt the turnaround times were too slow during the first round;

- most internationally qualified social workers (70 per cent) did not know what to do to start the registration process;

- nearly three quarters of this group (73 per cent) found the application form difficult to complete;

- they were significantly more likely to find the form 'over complicated' and 'daunting' than their UK qualified colleagues (61 per cent vs 24 per cent and 56 per cent vs 20 per cent respectively), and were less likely to feel the information requested was 'necessary' (26 per cent vs. 46 per cent); and

- they particularly struggled with writing the personal statement (47 per cent found this the most difficult section to complete).

GSCC Chief Executive Lynne Berry said the views would be used to help improve the registration process.

The research was carried out by Connect Research and Consultancy. It involved a telephone survey of 500 social workers and students on the register, analysis of 1,000 feedback forms returned by registrants, and 25 face-to-face interviews with external stakeholders.

Registration Policies and Processes for Social Workers and Students: Stakeholder Views is available on the GSCC's website at

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