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Devon County Council (DCC) is committed to supporting social workers looking to return to practice after a career break.

Return to Social Work Practice programme

Two social workers sitting together on table outside, discussing work. One is looking at the laptop as she is talking.

The Return to Social Work Practice (RSWP) programme supports social workers wishing to return to practice after a career break. The programme aims to help returnees to complete the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) required to re-register with Social Work England (SWE). Allowing applicants to update their skills and knowledge, ensuring they become confident and capable practitioners.

There are 3 different types of CPD that can be used to meet the SWE’s re-registration requirements. These include:

    • Supervised practice – Must be completed under the supervision of a registered professional.
    • Formal study – such as a postgraduate course.
    • Private study -including reading journals and attending training.

The RSWP programme aims to help you fulfil the supervised practice part of your CPD with us at Devon County Council in a supported environment. Supervised practice takes the form of shadowing social workers and other professionals and may include any of the following:

    • providing information, support and guidance to service users and their families
    • assessments
    • care planning
    • applying legislation
    • signposting and liaising with other agencies
    • attending team and multi-disciplinary meetings and case recordings
    • training sessions
    • any other activities relevant to the setting.

During the programme, you will not be expected to carry your own caseload.

You can also use private and formal studies to contribute to your evidence portfolio. However, only half of your CPD can come from private study.

How much CPD do I need to re-register?

The amount of CPD required to re-register depends on how long ago you left practice. For example, if you left the register:

  • Between 2-5 years ago, you’d need to show that you have spent at least thirty days updating your skills, knowledge, and experience.
  • More than 5 years ago, you must show that you have spent at least sixty days updating your skills, knowledge, and experience.

*A day is counted as seven hours by the SWE guidelines.

Please visit the SWE website for more detailed guidance on restoration.

What would affect my eligibility?

You MUST have previously been a social worker registered with either the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) or Social Work England (SWE).

You MUST NOT have been

Removed from the register automatically because of a listed offence.

Subject to a removal order within the last 5 years. Or if more than 5 years have passed since your removal order, you have not made an unsuccessful application to restore your registration within the last twelve months.

Convicted of a listed offence


The image shows hands typing on a laptop with the words- to apply for the Return to Social Work Practice Programme, applications open on the 23rd of January. Applications are now open!

For more information about the process

and how to apply

Find out more



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