Registering with SWE? Here’s everything you need to know  

Congratulations! You have received confirmation of your University results and your Social Work course is now successfully completed. The next step is to apply for registration with Social Work England. This process can seem daunting and confusing if you have never done it before. Here is everything you need to know in one place, including some helpful tips on how to complete the process as thoroughly and quickly as possible, just keep reading.


Before you apply:

  • Make sure your course provider has sent their pass list to SWE

Social Work England needs the pass list to verify your qualification. Without this confirmation from your university, your application will not progress. Course providers usually send over pass lists 5 working days after results have been confirmed. SWE will also ask course providers to let you know once they have sent the list, so if you have not heard for a week since receiving your results, it may be worth checking in with your university.

  • Make sure you have the funds ready to pay the registration fee

Once your application has been accepted, you will have 10 working days to pay the fee, and failure to do this will result in you having to do your application all over again. Avoid this by making sure you have the money ready

  • Contact any regulators or employers you are mentioning in your application

Another good tip would be to contact any regulators or employers and let them know that they have 14 days to respond to any reference checks or correspondence from SWE, if they are late, you will have to start the application again.

  • Research what documents you need to provide, and have them handy before you apply

It is your responsibility to provide correct versions of any relevant documents, getting this done before applying can speed up the process for you. You can check why types of documents you will need further down in this blog.

  • Make sure you have enough time for the application process to go through before your employment start date

SWE will not prioritise applications based on the start date of a job, so it is your responsibility to plan in advance and get everything sorted as early as possible.

  • Did you qualify outside the UK? Things are a little different:

 Make sure you have everything prepared before applying for SWE registration if you have qualified overseas. Having the below ready will help you progress through the application as smoothly as possible and will help you feel as knowledgeable as possible about what you need.

  1. Fees: You will need to pay both a scrutiny fee and a registration fee to have a successful registration with SWE. Make sure you have budgeted for these costs in advance
  2. Have the relevant documents at hand to verify your identity, such as utility bill and passport
  3. Have evidence of knowledge of English at hand. The types of documents you may need are here:
  4. Translate any documents not written in English beforehand via a certified translation company


Getting started: create an online SWE account:

This account will allow you to upload all the required documents and records, including payment of your registration fee. This account will allow you to renew your application each year, as well as continually record new CPD.

You can also use a paper form, where you can send any required documents to either the SWE email or by post. You can find out more about the paper form here:


The application process, what does it look like:

 The application process can take 30-45 mins, but you are able to save your application and return at any time. As you start the application process, you will be asked to provide the following information:

  1. Verification of your identity, you may be able to use the government website to do this, or alternatively, you can provide copies of your ID and proof of address
  2. Proof of your Social Work qualification
  3. Declare any criminal convictions or cautions that are not protected
  4. Declare any health conditions that may affect your ability to practice
  5. Any fitness to practise determinations that have been issued by a regulatory body


Before sending off your SWE application, you will be asked to declare that you have understood things like the professional standards, the privacy notice, how they may use your information, and how they may contact references and employers about the information you have provided. You will also have to agree to pay any fees for your registration and declare that all the information you have provided is correct.

Being honest during your application is really important. You can inform SWE via your online account if there are any changes to your details, and you must do this as soon as possible, which will help with any potential delays in the process. You can read more about the rules of registration here:

Decisions on your application:

 So, your application is all submitted. What is next? SWE will assign you a case officer who will review all the information you have provided, they will contact you via your online account if they need any more information or documents, and they will give you around 2 weeks to do so. It is important to know that they will not be able to provide any information on the assessment of your application.

SWE have a 10-working day processing time, and any delays in this will be explained to you. Make sure to remind your previous employers or regulators of the 14-day response time from SWE to avoid any delays.

Acceptance: what’s next?

SWE will let you know of your application acceptance on your online account. You will now need to pay your registration fee within 10 working days of the request. Once this has gone through, you will receive confirmation that you have official SWE registration, and that’s it! You will now be able to begin work as a Social Worker! Exciting!

Other types of acceptance/rejection:

You may have been accepted with conditions, which you can read more about here:

If you haven’t had your registration accepted, you can appeal the decision here:


Remember, our knowledgeable consultants are also always on hand to help you with any questions about registering for the first time. If you would like to register with a supportive recruitment agency that puts your career goals first, get in touch via [email protected] and let us help you find the first Social Work role that’s right for you.

1 Comment

  • Ayi 6 months ago

    I so much appreciate this information as regards to social work registration from overseas to England. Thank you.

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