Registration & Standards

Registration on the Northern Ireland Social Care Council (Social Care Council) Register recognises an individual's commitment to providing quality social care services. Being registered means that staff are required to meet the Social Care Council Standards for their Conduct and Practice. It shows that they are suitably trained, professional in their practice and accountable for the standard of the care they provide. Recently we have created a new FAQ document to answer your questions around the Covid-19 outbreak. You can download your copy below.


There are 35,000 people working in social care across NI. This workforce includes social care workers, social care managers, social workers, probation officers, education welfare officers and social work students. They work across a range of care services, in residential and day centres, community facilities and in people’s homes. Registration is being introduced in phases according to job role.

Legal Protection for the Title of Social Worker - It is an offence for an individual to call themselves a 'social worker' or to carry out a social work job role if they are not registered as a social worker with the Social Care Council. Social work students on the Honours Degree in Social Work courses in NI must register with the Social Care Council when they enrol on their course.

Compulsory Registration for Social Care Workers - Under the Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland 2013 No 225 it is an offence to employ a person in any of the social care job roles listed below if they are not registered with the Social Care Council. If an employee has just started work in social care, they must apply for registration as soon as is practicable. 

  • Social Care Workers: Adult Residential Homes, Nursing Homes & Children’s Homes
  • Managers: Residential Care Homes, Day Care Settings or Domiciliary Care Settings
  • Social Workers
  • Social Work Students

New workers should applty for registration as part of  induction to their new post.  Regulations to enforce compulsory registration for these workers is being introduced by the Department of Health NI.  

You can search for an individual’s registration online through the NISCC Public Register . This will tell you whether the person is registered, the type of registration they hold (social work, social care or student) and the town where they are employed.

Nominated managers within social care organisations can access registration information for their employees through their secure access on the Social Care Council Online Portal.

Contact Us if you cannot find a worker on the Public Register, or if you have a query about a registered worker.