Update on Education and Training Standards for Registration

The Social Care Workers Registration Board was established in 2015 and are currently undertaking the necessary preparatory work to open its register. For an update on the work of the Board click here.

Education and Training Standards for Registration

One of the statutory functions of the Social Care Workers Registration Board is to approve the education and training required for entry to the social care workers register. Regulatory approval of education and training programmes is a process to assess whether a programme consistently and effectively prepares graduates for entry to the register of that profession. To receive approval, a programme must demonstrate that it meets specific quality assurance requirements as set by the Board. It is crucial that these standards and criteria are met, as they are fundamental in ensuring the protection of the public. These requirements were launched in May 2017 and are known as the Criteria for Education and Training Programmes and Standards of Proficiency for Social Care Workers.

It is standard practice to issue a Board's requirements in advance of undertaking programme approval to allow education providers to align or make any changes necessary. The Social Care Workers Registration Board signalled a twenty four month lead in period in May 2017, and will be opening application for education providers seeking programme approval beginning January 2019. Over the last 12 months, CORU have engaged extensively with social care work education providers. This has involved;

  • Individual meetings with 18 education providers,
  • Meetings with senior managers/ registrars and, 
  • Facilitating training to over 100 social care work educators on CORU’s programme approval process.

Further to this, the Social Care Workers Registration Board have approved and issued a number of guidance documents for education providers. These guidance documents can be found here.

The Programme Approval Process

Once an initial application is received for programme approval the process can take 12 to 18 months to complete and graduates from the programme can apply for registration (once register opens). The first step, is for an education provider to indicate intention to apply for programme approval. A pre-visit with members of CORU executive is arranged and a date agreed for submission of documentary evidence by an education provider demonstrating how they meet the criteria and standards of proficiency. A review team then reviews this information and a site visit is arranged. The review team must then supply a written opinion to the Board indicating if evidence presented was sufficient that demonstrates that all criteria and standards are met. Once a check for factual accuracy with the education provider is complete the Board are then tasked with making a statutory decision to either approve or not approve a programme. After the programme approval process is complete, the Board will then make an approved qualification bye-law, which is a legal process that takes approximately 6 months.

The Social Care Workers Registration Board recognised that this is a significant task given the number of social care work programmes anticipated may apply for programme approval (40 programmes delivered by 18 education providers). To put this in context, the Social Workers Registration Board currently approve 9 educational programmes.

Please note that the Social Care Workers Register is not yet open.