The public relies on us to make sure that social service workers are fit to practise.
We ask workers applying for registration to declare certain disciplinary, criminal and health matters to us.
When we are processing applications we can take into account the following information.
- Information declared on the application.
- Information provided by an endorser.
- Information we already hold which was either given to us by a previous employer (if the applicant has been dismissed/resigned before the conclusion of a disciplinary process from a social service role) or from a previous case which we concluded prior to an outcome.
A small proportion of applications are referred to our Fitness to Practise Department for further investigation. When this happens the applicant will receive a letter explaining why.
Our Fitness to Practise Department investigates cases to ensure workers applying for registration are suitable to be on our Register. When an application is referred to our Fitness to Practise Department they will decide whether the information suggests the applicant’s fitness to practise may be impaired.
The information about applicants is screened against the investigation thresholds we use when information is referred about registered workers.
Not all applications referred to the Fitness to Practise Department will result in an investigation. If we decide that the information does not affect the applicant’s fitness to practise, we will take no further action and the application will be processed in the usual way. There may be a slight delay in completing applications in these cases.
If the information may affect the applicant’s fitness to practise, we will open a case and allocate it to a case holder who will begin an investigation.
You can use the flowcharts on page five of our thresholds policy to find out if an application is likely to be referred to the Fitness to Practise Department. Not all applications referred will result in an investigation. List A on page 10 of the policy shows the kind of information we consider would call into question an applicant’s suitability to be on our Register and when we are likely to begin an investigation.
Being under investigation does not automatically mean that an applicant cannot work in the social service sector. They can continue to work while we are processing their application. Registration cannot be completed until the investigation has completed and this means that applications are likely to take longer than 60 working days to process.