New social-work regulator looks to build 'end-to-end digital service’

Written by Sam Trendall on 9 July 2018 in News

Social Work England kicks off project to transfer data from outgoing regulator and build a new set of services

The UK’s new social-work regulator is looking for a supplier to build an “end-to-end digital service”.

Over the coming months, the regulatory duties of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) will be transferred to the newly created body of Social Work England (SWE). To support its work, SWE is looking to build an online home that includes a front end for delivering end-user services, and a back-end CRM system offering its staff a platform for managing cases. 

The discovery phase of the project – including analysis of different users’ needs – has already been completed, and spending has also been approved by the Cabinet Office to complete alpha and private beta phases. The new regulator is looking to engage with a supplier for a two-year contract beginning in early September, with the goal of reaching a private beta site and CRM platform ready for “full testing” by the start of April 2019.

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The commencement of the public beta phase – and the full handover of digital services from HCPC – is scheduled for August 2019.

“SWE will become the new, independent regulator of social workers. It will be a public-protection body, setting quality criteria for development of social-work standards,” the contract notice said. “Its services will include: information provision; accessible social workers register; registration and renewal payment of social workers; report and manage concern; enabling professional excellence through education, training and CPD and a directory of approved social work courses.”

Digital services must compliant with GDS standards, the notice added, while data must be securely transferred from the incumbent regulator to the new CRM system.

Although SWE will be based in Sheffield, the regulator advised suppliers that “this work does not need to take place” in the city. 

Bids for the project are open via the government's Digital Marketplace platform until 20 July, after which up to five suppliers will be fully evaluated. No budget has yet been attached to the work.

SWE set up a stopgap website in May 2018 to provide “transitional information and to support recruitment”.

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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