Registration & Standards

Registration on the NISCC Social Care Register recognises an individual's commitment to providing quality social care services. Being registered means that staff are required to meet the NISCC Standards for their Conduct and Practice. It shows that they are suitably trained, professional in their practice and accountable for the standard of the care they provide.

There are 35,000 people working in social care across NI. This workforce includes social care workers, social care managers, social workers, probation officers, education welfare officers and social work students. They work across a range of care services, in residential and day centres, community facilities and in people’s homes. Registration is being introduced in phases according to job role.

Legal Protection for the Title of Social Worker - It is an offence for an individual to call themselves a 'social worker' or to carry out a social work job role if they are not registered as a social worker with the NISCC. Social work students on the Honours Degree in Social Work courses in NI must register with NISCC when they enrol on their course.

Compulsory Registration for Social Care Workers - Under the Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland 2013 No 225 it is an offence to employ a person in any of the social care job roles listed below if they are not registered with NISCC. If an employee has just started work in social care, they must apply for registration as soon as is practicable. 

The following groups of workers in social care roles must be registered:

  • Social Care Workers: Adult Residential Homes, Nursing Homes & Children’s Homes
  • Managers: Residential Care Homes, Day Care Settings or Domiciliary Care Settings
  • Social Workers
  • Social Work Students

We are now extending registration to the remaining groups of workers. This will be completed by March 2017 and includes:

  • Day Care Workers
  • Supported Living Workers
  • Domiciliary Care Workers

Checking a worker’s registration

There are about 24,000 people registered on the NISCC Social Care Register. You can search the NISCC Public Register online for an individual’s registration using. This will tell you whether the person is registered, the type of registration they hold (social work, social care or student) and the town where they are employed. Nominated managers within social care organisations can access registration information for their employees through their secure access on the NISCC Online Portal . Contact Us if you cannot find a worker on the Public Register, or if you have a query about a registered worker.