BASW England and SWU

BASW England and SWU Click to enlarge

The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) is the UK’s professional membership organisation for social work. We are the independent voice of social work. We champion social work and help members achieve the highest professional standards

By joining the Association, our members are committing to the values set out within our Code of Ethics  and enjoy an unrivalled range of services and benefits.


Become a BASW member for services that protect, support and develop your social work career, and to help shape the profession and our context.  

Be BASW - download the flyers and posters.

Be protected

Insurance cover

Our membership packages include insurance cover tailored to your social work role and experience level.

General membership subscription includes £5 million professional indemnity insurance in our working categories. Public liability insurance is included in the Independent Plus package designed for self-employed social work professionals. Find out more about membership types.

*students are covered for professional placements only.

Be represented

Employment troubles

Some members can face a range of employment issues, from discrimination and misconduct allegations to accessing training and employment tribunals. We advise over 1,500 members every year and receive at least 50 calls a day.

Get advice from BASW Advice and Representation, a team of qualified social workers, for professional and regularity help.  Our team of qualified social workers understand the issues you face and are able to advise and represent you at regulatory councils.

Social Workers' Union (SWU)  is a trade union dedicated to social work professionals and is run by social workers. 

Only a trade union can guarantee representation in hearings before an employer. SWU are the fastest growing trade union in the UK with 12,000 members. Opting in to SWU means you’ll receive guaranteed protection at employer hearings and representation from SWU Trade Union officials. Plus: -

- Save on professional development courses
- 10% discount on legal fees
- Free financial health check

As a BASW member you can opt in to the Social Workers’ Union from £1.66 per month (83p per month for students) for employment representation at internal hearings (subject to eligibility).  

Full details of the advice and representation and Social Workers Union can be viewed here.

Be progressing

Develop your career

Learn about the latest social work practice developed by and for social workers. 

Supporting your re-register with care council, learn about the latest social work practice through online articles and journals 

Log your CPD from a range of free or discounted training, online resources and events.

Be informed

Professional Social Work (PSW) Magazine  - the UK’s only printed social work magazine - delivered free to your door 10 times a year. Become a member and read all the latest sector news, analysis comment and features. Find additional member–only free access to selected resources online

Be recognised

Show your commitment to professional practice and use MBASW after your name.

Be ethical

BASW’s Code of Ethics along with a full range of guidance and policies, upholds the highest professional standards and practice. 

Be connected

Meet like-minded colleagues, through branches, events and special interest groups to share ideas, discuss practice, policies and develop our professional together. Join our community of social workers online – through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Be independent

Independent membership  is a bespoke and enhanced membership package for self-employed social work professionals.  BASW ‘Independent Plus’ membership package includes Public Liability Insurance.  

Get listed in our specialist directory to attract work

BASW’s Independents Directory is a public resource for clients to find the right self-employed social work professionals. The directory, which is available via the enhanced membership package, allows clients to search different areas of expertise and within specific regions. 

Local events

Independents Local Networks meet regionally. These networks bring together self-employed social work professionals, practice assessors/teachers, or those considering becoming Independent to discuss topical subject matters among like-minded professionals in the local area.

Be heard

Take action

We are campaigning  for improved professional working conditions for social workers and for an end to poverty.

Join the powerful voice of 21,000 members building the strength and influence of social work and calling for urgent action on issues that really matter.  Be active in campaigns.  Join one of our member committees, groups and networks to shape policy.

Be supported

Create your personalised wellbeing programme with our membership online resource.  Apply for financial support grants for education, hardship or international work.

Students can access study resources and career advice.

Be saving

Save on subscriptions

Up to 75% off subscriptions to The British Journal of Social Work and Practice Social Work in Action

30% off books and events - visit the BASW Shop

Offers for you

BASW members can make significant savings from a range of high street retailers , as well as savings on online skills courses  and tailored wellbeing lifestyle plans, articles and videos . Earn rewards to use on travel and hotels, health and fitness.

Members can save on hundreds of brands:

- Cinema tickets (up to 40% off on tickets for cinemas nationwide)
- Restaurants and eating out
- Grocery shopping
- Shopping cards from national chain stores including Sainsbury, B&Q, Argos and Debenhams
- Entertainment
- Motoring
- Fashion and clothing
- Beauty products



50% discount on student membership for first post-qualifying year

Parental leave reductions

33% off your basic fee during parental leave for ‘working’ members (contact us when you’re due to go on leave).

Claim tax back on your membership subscription

If you are a UK tax payer and pay for your BASW membership fee yourself, you can claim tax relief on professional association membership subscriptions. You can claim up to four years’ subscription fees.

Find out more on the HM Revenue & Customs website . If you make a claim  using SRS Ltd’s service , the company will pay £10 to the Social Workers’ Benevolent Trust.

Terms and conditions apply

Find out more about membership types, including fees here.


To find out more about BASW England visit:


“With SWU and BASW I get everything I need as a social worker”


A really positive outcome


“I know BASW England will be with me every step of the way during my career”


“BASW England speaks up for me and my profession”


“BASW gives me the practical and professional backing I need as an independent social worker”