CORU, the body charged with regulating health and social care professionals, has advised social workers that they have just three weeks to apply to register with their Regulator.
Registration, which is aimed at protecting the public, is the law and social workers who do not register will face serious consequences.
This deadline of 31 May is particularly critical for those social workers who hold a Certificate of Qualification in Social Work(CQSW) or a National Qualification in Social Work (NQSW) - historical qualifications of the profession. CORU has advised these social workers and their employers that their qualifications will not be accepted after this date. If they do not apply before 31 May they will not be able to register.
Ginny Hanrahan, Chief Executive Officer, said: “I am strongly urging social workers, including those in Offaly, to make sure they do not miss the May 31 deadline by submitting their applications now. They can begin the application process on www.coru.ie and we are on hand to provide advice and guidance”.
After 31 May this year, people who use the title social worker illegally may be prosecuted and if convicted can be fined up to €5,000, imprisoned for up to 6 months or both.
The public will be able to check the Register online (www.coru.ie) to see if an individual social worker has registered.
The application form and further information on the application process are available on www.coru.ie. Social workers should note that the process of registration, which includes Garda Vetting, may take in excess of 16 weeks.