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Details

Fitness to Practise Lawyer

Job Type
Permanent
Working Pattern
Full-time
Location
Sheffield/Hybrid working
Salary
45,462 per year, rising to 47,682
Closing Date
18/07/2024
Documents

The Role

Social Work England are the specialist regulator for social work in England, focused on enabling positive change in social work. Every day, social workers support millions of people to improve their chances in life. We are taking a new approach to regulating social workers in their vital roles. We believe in the power of collaboration and share a common goal with those we regulate – to protect the public, enable positive change and ultimately improve people’s lives.

We are a young regulator with modern legal powers which enhance our ability to manage fitness to practise casework responsively and proportionately. You will assist the Senior Fitness to Practise lawyer as part of an overarching objective to improve the quality and efficiency of the fitness to practise process. This will involve a particular focus on improving the quality and robustness of investigations prior to case examiner consideration by assisting with advising and supporting in relation to evidence gathering and witness engagement and early legal input on complex cases. You will be joining the organisation at an exciting time when we are looking to bring in more investigative work in house and developing an in house advocacy service.

You will work collaboratively across all stages of the fitness to practise process, but with a predominant focus on the triage and investigations team. You will provide specialist legal advice to triage officers, investigators and leads and assist the Senior Fitness to Practise lawyer in providing strategic advice and leadership to operational management teams to ensure a streamlined, efficient and high-quality fitness to practise process.

What you will do

 

  • Provide specialist legal advice to the fitness to practise team, including the application of the triage test, investigation planning, management of complex/high risk investigations, interim order applications, disclosure matters, drafting of regulatory concerns and voluntary removal application recommendations.
  • Attend and provide legal and case management advice at the triage and investigations drop in and the voluntary removal application drop in and attend and provide advice in complex case meetings.
  • Lead on high profile and complex cases and provide support and direction on case preparation strategy and approach including providing support to the triage and investigations team in obtaining relevant documents and evidence, including assisting in taking witness statements.
  • Ensure the Regulations, Rules, guidance and relevant case law are applied appropriately and assist the Senior Fitness to Practise Lawyer in providing operational and strategic advice to the senior leadership team assisting with the continuous improvement of the fitness to practise process.
  • Provide support to operational managers and Head of Fitness to Practise (Investigations) in the assessment of case plans, statements of case, sanction bids prepared by our external legal provider.
  • Provide instructions to the external legal provider in relation to any fitness to practise hearings and meetings.
  • Assist the Senior Fitness to Practise Lawyer to identify training needs and design and deliver training on our Regulations, Rules, case law and other relevant legal matters to the fitness to practise team.
  • Assist in the design and delivery of regular case law updates to the fitness to practise team and wider teams.
  • Review internal fitness to practise policies, procedures and processes to ensure legal compliance
  • Review case outcomes as part of quality assurance processes including but not limited to the Decision Review Group. Work alongside colleagues to identify learning outcomes and assist in implementing those learning outcomes through training or development of new processes or policies.
  • Assist in ensuring that the fitness to practise processes are legally robust by identifying legal risks early and working with other teams to ensure that those risks are managed appropriately.
  • Develop strong relationships throughout the organisation, in particular collaborating with the in house legal team and using your legal expertise and knowledge to provide solutions-focused support.
  • Participate in project teams and working groups as necessary to further the work of the fitness to practise team and our objectives.
  • Assist the Senior Fitness to Practise Lawyer in conducting targeted, thematic reviews of fitness to practise cases as part of our internal quality assurance framework.
  • Prepare position statements, bundles and notice of hearings for fitness to practise interim order applications, statutory reviews and high court interim order extension applications or provide quality assurance of the preparation of these documents by others.
  • Act as an advocate by representing Social Work England at fitness to practise hearings, such as interim order applications, interim order reviews, substantive order reviews, restoration and registration appeal hearings, with the appropriate support and training being provided. This could include presenting evidence in chief and cross examination of social worker and witnesses.

Your skills, knowledge and experience

  • Qualified lawyer, registered with Bar Council/SRA/CILEX
  • Experience in a public sector or regulatory context and ideally in fitness to practise with familiarity of data protection law, High Court appeals and judicial reviews.
  • Strong legal analytical skills, with the ability to draft clear and comprehensive written legal advice and to present information on complex issues clearly and succinctly for a range of different audiences, including Senior Leadership.
  • Knowledge of investigative methods; rules of evidence, human rights, tribunal, regulatory caselaw and procedure and experience in taking witness statements.
  • Able to assimilate, understand, interpret and explain complex legislation.
  • Evidence of having worked successfully as a team member, with the ability to provide positive support and encouragement to colleagues.
  • Demonstrable evidence of an ability to analyse, manage and problem solve complex and sensitive issues.
  • Maintain up to date knowledge of fitness to practise, regulatory case law and best practice, including any guidance issued by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) and briefing colleagues accordingly.
  • The ability to work cross-organisationally, working well with others and responding positively, creatively and supportively to a variety of colleagues while maintaining high and consistent standards.
  • The ability to work to tight deadlines, be calm under pressure and flexibly manage competing priorities.

Details

  • Job type: Permanent, full time.
  • Working pattern: Full time. We offer flexible working subject to business need.
  • Salary: £45,462 per year, rising to £47,682.
  • Location: Sheffield/hybrid remote.
  • Benefits: flexible working, contributory pension, life insurance and benefits portal.
  • Friday 19 July

Application

During the application process, you'll be asked to provide answers to three questions from the job description. These answers will be what your application is scored on, please answer in as much detail as possible using examples where necessary.

 

 

About us

Join us - Social Work England

Our behaviours and values - Social Work England

What our people say - Social Work England

Contact

If you have any queries about the appointment process, please contact recruitment@socialworkengland.org.uk.

How to apply

To apply, complete the application form by the closing date. 

Interview

At interview we will seek to further understand your skills, knowledge, experience and motivation and test the key competencies of the role. If you are successful, we will undertake routine security checks.

Find out more about our application and interview process.

Want to know more about the role?

If you would like to discuss the role or have any other questions, please contact our recruitment team:

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