On Monday 2 December 2019 the HCPC’s responsibility for regulating social workers in England will transfer to a new regulator called Social Work England.
This means that Social Work England will become responsible for keeping the register of social workers and for ongoing fitness to practise cases on that date.
The HCPC will begin transferring personal data to Social Work England from Monday 2 December 2019.
What data will be transferred?
The transferred personal data will include:
- the personal data that the HCPC holds about social workers registered with the HCPC; and
- any personal data that the HCPC holds as part of a social work fitness to practise case.
In some cases that data could include data about a person’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, health, sex life, or sexual orientation. Those categories of personal data are commonly called ‘special category data’.
Why is the data going to be transferred?
The HCPC will transfer the personal data so that Social Work England can establish its systems, prepare properly for the transfer of responsibilities, then carry out those responsibilities. This will include Social Work England allocating fitness to practise cases to its case workers, so that those case workers can familiarise themselves with the cases.
Will the HCPC continue using the personal data?
The HCPC will continue using the personal data to carry out its regulatory functions in the same way as it currently does until Monday 2 December 2019. After that date it will keep a back-up copy of the transferred data at least until a successful transfer to Social Work England has completed.
What is the lawful basis for this?
The legal basis for Social Work England’s new regulatory functions is set out in Part 2 of the Children and Social Work Act 2017. The HCPC’s duty to transfer the personal data to Social Work England is set out in The Health and Care Professions Council (Property, Rights and Liabilities) Transfer Scheme 2019.
For the purposes of the General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’) and the Data Protection Act 2018 the lawful basis for the transfer of the personal data is that it is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest. That task is the transfer of regulatory functions from the HCPC to Social Work England. Where the transferred data includes special category data, the additional lawful condition for the transfer is that it is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest on the basis of applicable law.
This lawful basis also applies to the HCPC keeping a back-up copy of the transferred data for the period outlined above.
Who is responsible for Social Work England’s use of the transferred data?
Social Work England will be the data controller responsible for deciding how it uses the transferred data. You can read Social Work England’s privacy statement here.