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Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016

Condition 1: appropriately qualified

135.Section 84 sets out how applicants can demonstrate that they are appropriately qualified for the purpose of registration. This will depend on whether the applicant is a social worker or a social care worker.

Social workers

136.Paragraph (a)(i) provides that social workers are considered appropriately qualified if they have undergone a course which has been approved by SCW under section 114. Courses will be approved by SCW if it is satisfied that the course will enable persons completing it to attain the required standard of proficiency in social work (a standard that will be specified in rules made by SCW)(see section 114).

137.Paragraph (a)(ii) provides that social workers are also considered appropriately qualified if they satisfy the requirements of section 85. Section 85 deals with the recognition of qualifications in social work gained in other parts of the UK and other parts of the world. This section is therefore relevant for social workers with a qualification from England for example. If SCW considers that a qualification gained from outside Wales is of equivalent standard to a qualification it approves, then an applicant who holds that qualification is considered appropriately qualified. A graduate from a social work degree course in England would therefore satisfy condition 1 if that qualification meets SCW’s standard of proficiency. If SCW is of the view that the training involved in obtaining the professional qualification outside Wales is not of a sufficient standard it can require the applicant to undergo additional training in order to satisfy condition 1 (section 85(2)(b)(ii).

138.For applicants from a country within the European Economic Area (“EEA States”) and Switzerland, SCW can require the applicant to complete an adaptation period or pass an aptitude test (section 85(1)). EEA States include all European Union Member States plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. SCW could therefore require an applicant from Germany or from France to pass an aptitude test to demonstrate their skills and ability to practise social work. For example, applicants may be required to complete an adaptation period or pass an aptitude test if the applicant’s training was significantly shorter than training in Wales or did not cover the range of activities that are covered by courses approved by SCW. Applicants can appeal SCW’s decision to require them to complete an adaptation period or pass an aptitude test to the First-Tier Tribunal (see section 105).

139.If a social worker has not completed an approved course and does not satisfy the requirements of section 85 they can demonstrate that they are appropriately qualified if they satisfy any training requirements set out by SCW in rules (section 84(a)(iii)). For example, this power could be used by SCW to recognise applicants who hold qualifications that are no longer offered by universities or colleges.

Social Care workers

140.Paragraph (b)(i) of section 84 provides that social care workers are considered appropriately qualified if they have undergone a course which has been approved by SCW under section 114. Completion of an approved course will satisfy SCW that a social care worker is appropriately qualified.

141.Section 84(b)(ii) enables social care workers to demonstrate that they are appropriately qualified if they satisfy any training requirements set out by SCW in rules. For example, this could cover social care workers who have been in post prior to SCW obtaining the power to approve courses in relation to social care workers.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Welsh Government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the National Assembly for Wales.

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