There is no doubt we live in a ‘VUCA world’ – volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. The COVID-19 pandemic catapulted us from our ‘normal’ and overnight turned it upside down.
While we’ve quickly adjusted our lives and how we do business, this crisis also holds an open invitation for innovative transformation and reset of workforce regulation.
On 19th March 2020 we closed the doors of the Northern Ireland Social Care Council and moved to remote working – something we never would have thought possible. We are not unique, workforce regulators across the UK responded to the crisis with speed establishing emergency registers, streamlining processes and procedures, using technology in ways never contemplated before, and in many ways realising new and more effective ways to deliver our business.
The pressing question and focus for our organisation was how we would support our registrants entering the most difficult time in their career. We register social workers and social care workers – 47,500 on the frontline working in statutory, voluntary and independent sectors, providing care and support to the most vulnerable people in our community. Our model of regulation has workforce development and improvement at its core. Our modus operandi is working in partnership with our stakeholders. Partnership, collaboration and co-production are at the heart of our values and our relationships allowed us to very quickly identify the support our registrants needed.