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Who must register and why?

Find out more about registration, why we register, who can register and the benefits of having a registered social care workforce.

What is registration?

The main purpose of registration is to protect the public as it ensures only those who are competent and qualified can deliver care and support in roles where registration is required.

Being registered with us means you are part of a professional workforce and can show that you have skills and knowledge which are vital to providing good care and support to the people of Wales.

Here is a quick video guide to registering with us.

Who needs to register

The Register is open to the following groups of workers:

  • social workers
  • social work students.

Social care managers

  • adoption service managers
  • adult care home managers
  • adult placement managers
  • advocacy managers (services for children and young people)
  • domiciliary care managers
  • fostering service managers
  • residential child care managers
  • residential family centre managers
  • secure accommodation service managers
  • special school residential managers (can apply for registration from 1 April 2024. Registration will be mandatory from 1 April 2025).

All social workers and social care managers must register once they have completed their qualification or they start in their post.

Social care workers

  • adult care home workers
  • domiciliary care workers
  • residential child care workers
  • residential family centre workers
  • secure accommodation service workers.

All social care workers have six months from the start date of their role to register with us.

It is a legal requirement for workers in these roles to register with us.

If you work in more than one of the groups listed above, or you change the group you work in, you’ll need to change your registration. You can change your registration by logging into your SCWonline account.

If you’re not sure if you need to register with us or when you should register by, get in touch with our team for help by emailing registration@socialcare.wales.

The benefits of a registered workforce

There are benefits to having a register of people who work in social care. They include:

Building trust and confidence:

  • people can rely on registered social care workers
  • people have confidence knowing you follow the Code.

Valuing social care workers:

  • you can show you have the skills and knowledge to be a social care worker
  • you can show you're trained and take responsibility for developing knowledge and skills
  • employers can provide the support and development you need
  • knowing more about you will help us plan ways to support you.

Making sure people are safe:

  • protecting people’s rights and making sure they're listened to
  • supporting people to be independent and protect themselves
  • if a worker is not fit to practise they can be removed from the Register. If they're removed, they will be unable to practice in Wales.

Other benefits:

  • being able to legally use the title of your profession
  • you can get support and information from our practice guidance documents and other publications.

Find out more about how we support you as a registered person.

Why we register

We keep a register of people who have shown they are suitable to work in social care. Everyone on the Register must show they:

We use the Social Care Wales (Registration) Rules 2024 to maintain the Register. These rules are approved by Welsh Government and are the framework for registering the social care workforce.

Registration data and reports

As of June 2024, the number of registered persons are:

  • 6,749 – social workers
  • 4 – adoption service manager
  • 1,311 – adult care home managers
  • 25,892 – adult care home workers
  • 17 – adult placement managers
  • 5 – children and young people advocacy manager
  • 1,038 – domiciliary care managers
  • 21,965 – domiciliary care workers
  • 22 – fostering service managers
  • 398 – residential child care managers
  • 4,470 – residential child care workers
  • 5 – residential family centre manager
  • 68 – residential family centre worker
  • 778 – social work students.

Each year we publish data reports on the information given to us by applicants and registered persons.

See all registration data reports.

Contact us

If you have a question or if you can't find what you are looking for get in touch with us.

First published: 11 January 2017
Last updated: 8 July 2024
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