Skip to main content

Qualified Social Workers (UK and non-UK qualified)


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.

Applying to register as a Qualified Social Worker

As a Social Worker, you will be required, by law, to be registered with the Northern Ireland Social Care Council in order to practise in Northern Ireland. 

Qualified Social Workers can apply for registration without having a current social work employment but MUST be registered prior to taking up any social work position.

In order to apply for registration as a Social Worker you will need to create an online account, or login to your existing account via the following link and complete the online application form:

In order for your application to be fully processed and approved for registration you must:

Submit a completed online Application Form which has been endorsed by your employing organisation:  if you are employed as a Social Worker, or have been offered a position with a social work employer, this is a task that your endorser from your employing organisation completes & submits on your behalf via their own online account.

Internationally Qualified Social Worker (IQSW)

Internationally Qualified Social Workers applying for first time registration with the Social Care Council are unable to use the Online Portal for an application and should continue to use the paper application form. The Online Portal will become available to them once their registration is approved. 

Guidance on Social Care Council registration, working and living in Northern Ireland  is available here.

Social Workers Qualified in other parts of the UK

There is a Memorandum of Understanding between the four countries of the UK to allow movement of social workers between the different parts of the UK. This applies to social work degree holders from all generic social work programmes.

Specialist Social Work Programmes

Are you undertaking or did you qualify as a social worker on a specialist social work programme in England e.g. Frontline, Step Up or Think Ahead?

Are you considering applying to join the Social Care Council register for social work?

In Northern Ireland if you wish to join the social work part of the register you must apply via the online applicator form:

Your application will be assessed and you may be requested to provide some additional information.

The Social Care Council has endorsed a recommendation that applicants can be registered with restrictions on their practice to their initial specialist area of training. A compensation measure, as directed by the Council should be undertaken and completed within the first three years on the Council’s register. The measure will depend on the social work programme completed and the outcome of the assessment.

You can contact the Council’s Workforce Learning and Development Team to speak to a Professional Advisor if you require more information or guidance.

The registration process

We manage each application according to the guidelines set out in the Registration Rules. This is to confirm your suitability to work safely in social care or social work. If you need advice about registering; if you are unable to use the online service because of your disability, or if you do not have access to a computer please contact our Registration Team for support and assistance. The team can be contacted by email at:


An application to register will be processed within  6-8 weeks from submission, although this is dependent on timely completion of endorsement and the process may take longer if there are issues which require additional assessment, such as a criminal record, disciplinary record, or mental/physical ill health.

Your registration data

The Social Care Council is registered with the Information Commissioner and data supplied by you will be processed in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998. We electronically store the information you provide which will be retained according to our data retention and deletion policy.

Please note your data will be archived when we close your application or when you leave the Register. By submitting your application you consent to the processing of your personal data as described in the Social Care Council Data Protection Statement.

If you require any further assistance please contact us.