Community Care reported that Social Work England’s (SWE) new standards say providers must offer counselling services to students, and reintroduce placement days.

SWE’s new education and training standards, which came into force on 1 September, also include additional requirements for admissions and higher standards on involving people with lived experience in courses.

Social Work England consulted on many of the new standards before it went live as the regulator in 2019 but did not include them in its initial education standards, which were adapted from those used by predecessor the Health and Care Professions Council and involved less stringent requirements.

Under the new requirements, educators must ensure:

  • students have access to confidential counselling services, careers advice and support and occupational health services.
  • students spend at least 200 days, including up to 30 skills days, on placement in at least two different practice settings that provide contrasting experiences.

Social Work England has also strengthened the requirements that prospective social workers should meet to be admitted to courses.  Applicants must “have the potential to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the professional standards”.




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