Social workers with non-uk qualifications
Social work is a regulated profession in the UK. To practise as a social worker, you must be registered with the appropriate regulatory body. Each UK country maintains its own register. These are:
Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC)
In Northern Ireland:
Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC)
Care Council for Wales (CCfW)
Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
You should apply to the regulatory body in the country where you plan to work. If you plan to work in more than one country, you should contact us for advice by telephoning +44 (0)1382 207101 or email registration.
To practise as a social worker in Scotland, you must be registered with the SSSC. To register, one of the criteria you must meet is our qualification assessment criteria. You can apply to register with a non-UK qualification and we will assess it against our criteria. You must pay an application fee of £320 plus possible additional costs and provide detailed information in English about your qualification as it was when you studied to enable us to assess it.
For more information, please see the frequently asked questions below.
Applying for registration using a non-UK qualification can take a lot of time and money, so it is important that you understand what we mean by a social work qualification in Scotland before you apply. Please refer to the Standards in Social Work Education (SiSWE). The SiSWE set out what student social workers must achieve to gain the Scottish social work honours degree and become professionally qualified. Assessing your qualification against the SiSWE is a fundamental part of every assessment we carry out. Does it look as though your qualification will align to these standards?
Please note also our requirement that your qualification contain at least 130 days or 780 hours of appropriately supervised and assessed practice. Will your qualification meet this requirement?
We will assess your qualification against our qualification criteria. To do this we need detailed information about the curriculum you followed, how it was assessed and the ethics/values that underpinned it. If we find substantial differences or we do not have enough detailed information, we will consider the extent to which additional learning since you completed your qualification (post-qualifying learning) makes up for this. The outcome of any assessment is to accept, refuse or require you to complete a compensatory measure (further training, assessed practice or testing).
The criteria consist of:
- the standards which we use to assess
- the number of days of appropriately supervised and assessed practice completed
- the academic level of your qualification
- the duration of your studies
- the SSSC key criteria and principles when considering qualifications for registration.
Yes, in addition to your social work qualification, as part of every assessment we will also take into account relevant learning completed since you gained your qualification (post-qualifying learning).
There are two types of compensatory measure. One is an adaptation period. This can be either a period of further training or a supervised and assessed practice placement. The other is an aptitude test.
If your qualification and any post-qualifying learning do not fully meet the criteria for registration, we may ask you to complete a compensatory measure in Scotland before we proceed any further with your application.
You would choose which type of compensatory measure to take. If you chose an adaptation period, you would have to organise this yourself and cover any costs involved. If you chose an aptitude test, you would pay a test fee of £790. If you did not pass and chose a second test you would pay a second test fee.
Please apply online. If you are unable to apply online please contact us at: email@example.com or telephone +44 (0)1382 207101 (outwith the UK) and 01382 207101 (inside the UK).
To carry out an informed assessment of your qualification, we must have a good understanding of the curriculum that you followed, how it was assessed and the ethics/values that underpinned it. You should not assume that we know all about your qualification.
If we don’t have evidence that you meet any particular part of the standards we assess against, we must work on the basis that you don’t meet that part of the standards, so it is in your interest to provide as much information as possible.
Please find below a checklist of the information we need you to provide.
- Application to register.
- £320 application fee.
- Copy of the identity page of your current passport.
- Copy of your final qualification award certificate.
- Transcript from your university or college listing the units you studied and passed in each term or semester of your course.
- Information from your university or college about the content of each of the units listed on your transcript. Ideally we are looking for learning outcomes (ie what you had to know, understand and be able to do to successfully complete each unit). You may need to contact your university or college to obtain this. We cannot assess your qualification without this.
- Information from your university or college about the practice placements you completed as part of your course. You may need to contact your university or college to obtain this. We cannot assess your qualification without it. Information should cover:
- the settings in which you undertook your placements
- the service user groups you worked with
- your roles and responsibilities
- how placements were supervised and assessed
- the standards your placements were assessed against
- how risk assessment and the protection of vulnerable groups was covered in your placements
- whether you undertook statutory tasks
- the number of days or hours you completed on each placement (we count on the basis that six hours equals one day).
You can also provide the following information if you wish.
- Any assessed pieces of work that you completed during your course.
- Accounts relating to learning since you gained your qualification (post-qualifying learning). If you would like to tell us about this, we ask that you provide accounts in which you tell us about a piece or pieces of learning, formal or informal, and write in a reflective style about how this has helped you become more knowledgeable in your practice, how you have used this learning in your working practice and how you will use this learning in your future practice. We must assess the extent to which this meets the requirements of the Standards in Social Work Education (SiSWE). You might wish to indicate which part of the standards any example you give is telling us about. Please click here to see further guidance on this.
Application fee and non-UK qualification assessment fee
All applicants are required to become a member of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme unless they are already employed in Scotland by an employer who can provide Disclosure Scotland or a Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme record check.
Please note further additional costs that you may incur.
- The outcome of our assessment will be to accept, to refuse, or to require you to complete a compensatory measure. There would be no additional cost if the outcome were to accept or refuse. There would be additional costs if you had to complete a compensatory measure. There are two types of compensatory measure. One is an aptitude test. We charge £790 for each test. The other is an adaptation period, which is further training or assessed practice. You would have to organise this yourself and cover any costs involved.
- If the information you send us is not in English, you should also send us an English translation. It may cost you money to have information translated.
Please click here for further information about our registration fees and length of registration.
Providing you send us all the information we request and it is clear, we will try to advise you of the outcome of your application within four months of receipt. Additional time may be required if we have to ask for further information or seek clarification.
No. You may not practise as a social worker in Scotland until you are registered as such with the SSSC. The title ‘social worker’ is protected. It is an offence for a person in Scotland, with intent to deceive another, to:
- take or use the title ‘social worker’
- take or use any title that implies s/he is a registered social worker
- take or use any description that implies s/he is a registered social worker
- in any way hold her/himself out as a registered social worker unless s/he is registered as a social worker by one of the four United Kingdom regulatory bodies.