The two major social work training providers have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a single UK-wide College of Social Work.
The British Association of Social Workers' College of Social Work (BASW/CoSW) and The College of Social Work (TCSW) have agreed to create a new entity, The College of Social Work, by January 2012.
Commenting after the agreement was signed, BASW/CoSW Chair Fran Fuller said: "This is a very significant development in ensuring social work can become the proud, confident and respected profession that we know it deserves to be. We are delighted that the expertise and experience that BASW/CoSW has accumulated over 41 years, as well as the unique array of member benefits we offer, will be part of a new and potentially very powerful College. There are still important issues to resolve, of course, but we now have a solid mechanism to work through them together in the best interests of the profession."
The College of Social Work's Interim Co-Chair Maurice Bates said: "We are very pleased to have made significant progress in our discussions with BASW. We can now focus on building a new College, providing the profession with a strong and powerful body, led by its members, accountable to its members; ensuring that the profession is properly understood by the public and properly represented to policy makers, to employers and the media."