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Developing capacity

Social work qualifications and regulation in the EEA


The current evidence base shows a clear increase in the number of applications from social workers trained in the European Economic Area (EEA) to register to practise social work in England. This trend is predicted to increase with the current proposed immigration cap on non-EU migrants. Research also indicates that recognition of social work qualifications from certain European States, particularly the A8 and A2 countries, can be a challenging process for the regulator. The aim of this project is to establish the evidence base for the qualifications and regulatory process of the profession of social work in the EEA.


Shereen Hussein


Skills for Care and Development and the General Social Care Council


The research collected first hand and standardised information from 24 EEA countries through direct contact with social work contact points in all 30 EEA countries. Regulatory and education bodies completed a web-based survey gathering information on the regulatory status and processes of the social work profession, duties of social workers, qualifications and accreditation proofs, conduct and fitness to practise, and means of information exchanges, including the use of Internal Marketing Information system (IMI). The survey was followed by further electronic and personal communications. The data collected were analysed and complemented by documentary analysis related to applications from EEA qualified social workers to practice in the UK.


Dec 2010–May 2011



Hussein, S. (2011) 'Social Work Qualifications and Regulation in European Economic Area (EEA)' [pdf, 1.69 MB], London: General Social Care Council; Leeds: Skills for Care & Development.


Hussein, S. (2012) 'Heterogeneity of social work education and regulation in the European Union in the context of free labour mobility' [pdf, 312 KB], JSWEC Conference, Manchester, 2 July.

Hussein, S. (2012) 'Social work qualifications and regulation in the European Economic Area' [ppt, 878 KB], International Federation of Social Work Annual European Meeting, Yerevan, Armenia, 27 April.

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