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New regulator, new challenges

Social Work England logo

The challenge

Social Work England is a non-departmental public body, operating at arm’s length from government. The purpose of this brand-new organisation is to regulate social workers in England so that people receive the best possible support whenever they might need it in life.

Typically, regulatory bodies use several different systems to meet their requirements. They often use software that is off-the-shelf, generic or designed for a different purpose or sector, for example, for a membership organisation. This approach limits their flexibility and their ability to gain insights, improve efficiency and make business processes more effective.

The experienced leadership team at Social Work England took the view that they needed to find a partner to help them build a single purpose-built digital platform to meet all of their requirements across regulation, case management, professional standards, registration, education and training, CPD and fitness to practice.

The solution

Addressing the needs of multiple stakeholders across multiple departments and platforms is the kind of challenge we at CDS love. The solution had to deliver a seamless experience for users and a robust, transparent, regulatory solution, with collaboration at its heart.

CDS worked closely with Social Work England to gain an in-depth understanding of the organisation and their business processes.

Facing tight deadlines, priorities were set on delivering an excellent experience to front end users. CDS resolved the speed-to-value challenge by deploying cutting-edge Appianlow-code technology and Umbraco, an Open Source CMS. Using low-code enabled CDS to build applications 20x faster than when using traditional digital techniques, enabling the connections and integrations that meant a fantastic user experience was available through the Umbraco front end.

The result

There are over 96,000 social workers in England with millions of documents associated with their career and practice. The solution contains all of this information and data in a single, easily accessible version of the truth.

Social Work England's platform now has all the building blocks any regulator needs, providing a single, fully integrated system across both front end and back end.

The online system is built on Azure in the cloud and is resilient, scalable and accessible by design. This cloud approach proved invaluable during the COVID-19 lockdown, allowing SWE to pivot quickly to remote working without the need to change how the system worked, or would be accessed.

At a glance...


  • Public


  • Social Work England needed a single-purpose digital platform.
  • The platform needed to meet all of their requirements across regulation, case management, professional standards, education, and training.
  • It had to provide a seamless user experience with collaboration at its heart to help social workers continue their mission to support people.


  • CDS deployed Appian low-code technology and Umbraco, an open-source CMS.
  • Low-code allowed applications to be built 20x faster, including the connections and integrations to provide a fantastic user experience through the Umbraco front-end.


  • The solution contains the millions of documents used by over 96,000 social workers in England on a single, easily accessible platform.
  • The system is fully integrated across both the back end and front end.
  • It is built on the Azure cloud, providing a secure and scalable design.
Social Work England platform shown on different devices
data entries migrated
registered social workers

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