Practising Certificates becoming digital

We are shifting to a digital format for Practising Certificates which means you will be able to instantly access, download, and print your certificate (if you want a hard copy to carry or post on your wall). The cards will be available in two formats (wallet size or A4 certificate).

You will also be able to show your employer or a member of the public that you have a valid Practising Certificate as that information will now appear on the SWRB Public Register.

We’re taking this step to modernise and end the use of the plastic card because we know each year there have been delays in people receiving their Practising Certificates and card via the mail. These delays were made worse last year with the lockdowns in response to Covid-19. We’re aware that created difficulties for social workers because employers wanted to see valid Practising Certificates.

We surveyed social workers in September last year and asked whether it would be useful to have the Practising Certificate online to show clients you are registered and able to practise, and more than 70 per cent of those surveyed agreed and supported the move to digital Practising Certificates.  Close to 80 percent said it would be useful to be able to show their employer online they hold a current Practising Certificate, and nearly 90 percent of social workers surveyed said they have a mobile device to be able to access the information online.

In an effort to improve our systems and make it easier for social workers to instantly access their Practising Certificates, we’ve made the move from a paper-based process and plastic card to a digital format, using MySWRB

We’ll provide further information about how to renew your Practising Certificate closer to the time it’s due (the Practising Certificate round opens in May and it must be renewed by the end of June).

The shift to a digital format has already been undertaken by other regulators, including the Nursing and Teaching Councils.