If you qualified outside the UK

Advice for social workers with qualifications gained abroad who are applying for registration as a social worker in Wales.

The rules around applications from people who qualified outside the UK

If you qualified in the EU, EEA or Switzerland and want to work in Wales on a temporary or occasional basis, see the guidance below.

The rules around applications from people who qualified outside the UK are based around a Directive that's been put into UK law through:

The European Union (recognition of professional qualifications) regulations 2015 were developed to assist with the implementation of EU directives. The European Qualifications (Health and Social Care Professions) Regulations 2007 were developed to assist with the implementation of EU directives. The recognition of professional qualifications is laid down in Directive 2005/36/EC this enables the free movement of professionals within the EU.

Social care managers qualified outside the UK

If you are qualified outside the UK as a social care manager please contact us: registration@socialcare.wales

Social workers qualified outside the UK

You must contact us before you apply. Please email: internationallyqualified@socialcare.wales

To apply to register as a social workers qualified outside the UK you must:

  • already hold the certificate for your qualification in Social Work
  • have evidence of at least 130 days of supervised and assessed social work practice or post qualifying social work experience.

If you’ve not been registered in the UK before you’ll need to complete the qualification equivalency form. Your qualification and social work experience will be assessed for equivalency against the UK social work degree.

If you’ve been registered with another UK social care council please let us know. You won’t need to have your qualification assessed for a second time.

Once you’ve contacted us, we’ll confirm you should apply to register on SCWonline. You will need to:

  • upload the required verified photocopies of the documents to support your application
  • provide evidence of your most recent criminal records check
  • recognise that social work practice is different from a social care role. Social workers work with families and individuals and may complete interventions, risk assessments, safeguarding, attend court and apply legislation.

If you’re returning to practice you’ll need to show:

  • your knowledge and understanding of contemporary social work practice

This is in addition to all other requirements to apply for registration.

Other UK regulatory bodies

If you decide to work outside of Wales, you will need to contact the regulatory body for that country. 

In the UK these are:

Completing the internationally qualified application

You will need to:

  • provide a personal email address for us to contact you.
  • Once you have received confirmation you should apply from us you should complete the application form in SCWonline. If you are not sure if you should apply email us at internationallyqualified@socialcare.wales
  • Complete the Qualification Equivalency Assessment form, in the form make sure the institute or organisation confirm any:
    • supervised and assessed practice placements
    • post qualifying social work employments.

This can be done by having an official letter with the institute or organisations stamp on it. Confirmation can also be made by email from an official work email address.

  • make sure your identification documents are verified. Copies must be signed by a recognised individual who’s seen the original versions.
  • Provide confirmation that you intend to practise in Wales
  • provide evidence of your most recent criminal records check
  • Pay the fee
  • You can upload or email copies of your:
    • verified ID documents,
    • verified qualification certificate
    • course transcript
    • supporting evidence.
  • Make sure your application is endorsed

If you’re already working in Wales the online application asks you to select the person who will verify your identity documents and endorse your application. This is from a list of approved individuals. 

If you’re not already working in Wales you’ll need to enter the details manually. You’ll need to print the form and take it to your endorser to check, sign and date. Then scan and upload this signed version into your SCWonline account. 

Fees to apply as a social worker qualified outside the UK

To find out what your fee should be please see: Fees

Fees must be paid when making the application.

If you have a UK bank account the safest and easiest way to pay your fees is by Direct Debit. For more information on fees including information for individuals without a UK bank account please see: Fees

Contact us

If you have a question you can Contact us.

Last updated: 28 March 2019