From today, we are temporarily extending the period of registration for social care workers in Wales from three years to four years. We are also making temporary changes to the continuing professional development (CPD) requirement for workers.
The temporary changes mean that:
- the period of registration for all social care workers who were registered with us as of 31 March 2021 (except social work students) is being extended from three to four years
- the amount of CPD workers have to complete during their registration period (90 hours) is not increasing and will stay the same for the four-year period
- any worker who worked through the pandemic will automatically achieve 50 per cent of their CPD requirement for re-registration – these workers will only have to complete an additional 45 hours of CPD to reach the 90 hours required.
These changes reflect the challenges faced by social care workers during the pandemic. They also respond to the very difficult circumstances currently facing the social care sector and in particular, the challenges posed by staff recruitment and retention.
We want to make sure social care workers, managers and social workers can focus on the work they do, without worrying about their registration at this time. We also want to make sure everyone who is registered with us has the time they need to complete their qualifications or CPD.
David Pritchard, our Direction of Regulation, said: “Today, I am announcing two important, temporary changes to support the social care sector.
“The past 18 months have been the most difficult period for the sector in living memory. Understandably, and commendably, those working in social care have focused their energies on providing the finest care possible during the pandemic, and formal training and reflection have been secondary to the need to support those using care and support.
“This does not mean workers haven’t been developing their skills and understanding during this time. Rather, I strongly believe the opposite is true, and working through this crisis has made our workforce stronger and better equipped to provide the very best care and support.
“I am also aware of the difficult circumstances facing the sector in relation to recruitment and retention. To support the sector, we have looked at what we can do to change our regulatory requirements to help providers and employers bring in and retain staff, without undermining our public protection duties.
“The changes I am announcing today are intended to reflect the limited opportunities workers have had to take forward formal training and development over the past 18 months. I hope they will also contribute in a small way to improving recruitment and retention.”