Legal Adviser

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Social Work England
£525 per day; A minimum commitment of 25-30 days per year
Closing date:
12pm midday on Friday 28 January 2022
Job Ref:

Recruitment timetable

Closing Date
12pm midday on Friday 28 January 2022
Longlist Meeting
w/c Monday 7 March 2022
w/c Monday 14, w/c Monday 21 and w/c Monday 28 March 2022

Associated documents


Social Work England is a specialist body 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.

Can you lend us your expertise and help make a difference?

We’re looking for partners who can offer their skills and knowledge for several days throughout the year to support our fitness to practise function.

As legal adviser, you will be a practising solicitor or barrister with 10 years’ post qualification experience. You will provide timely and appropriate legal advice to ensure a transparent and lawful fitness to practise hearing. You will also be responsible for drafting the adjudicators written decision with reasons, ensuring it is comprehensive and robust.

No two days will be the same as you’ll strive to ensure that that cases are dealt with efficiently, objectively and fairly.

We’re looking for candidates from diverse backgrounds who are representative of the UK population and our registrants. Our offices are based in Sheffield, but we are keen to receive applications from candidates throughout the UK.

If you are ready to join our journey to re-shape social work standards so that people receive the best possible support whenever they might need it in life take a look at our recruitment campaign site

We are committed to embracing equality, diversity and inclusion by promoting and sustaining an open and supportive environment.  We want everyone to feel they are able to bring their whole selves to work.   We expect everyone to have commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, both in their role and in how we regulate.

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How to apply

Applications must be submitted via by 12pm midday on Friday 28 January 2022.

Registering and creating an account

If you are not already registered, you will need to create an account by clicking the red ‘create my account’ button on the right. Choose a username and password. Keep these safe as you will need your account details to access your application and receive messages from us securely.

Once you have set up an account, you can log in at any time using the username and password you have created.

We will communicate with you throughout the process via notification messages in your account. We will send you emails to alert you to a new message, but you will need to login to your account to access it. This is to protect your privacy.

When you are satisfied that you meet the role criteria and eligibility requirements, click on the red ‘apply now’ button.

Please take care to apply for the right role as this cannot be changed once your application has been submitted.

Eligibility questions

You will be asked a series of eligibility questions, all of which require ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers. If you do not meet the required eligibility, you will not be able to proceed with your application.

Behavioural and values based questions

You be asked to complete an application form. You should download this, complete it offline and then submit it through the website.

The application form will ask you to complete 5 questions which are designed to assess your experience against the 5 key criteria for the role, which are:

      1. Focusing on people, including those with lived experience of social

          work and registered social workers

      2. Leading the way

      3. Working as a team

      4. Respecting each other

      5. Embracing change

When answering these questions, you should take the role into consideration and ensure that your examples demonstrate relevance and transferability to this position.

Each question asks for a specific example in line with the specified criteria.

Please write no more than 300 words per answer, using font size 12. If you exceed the word count, only the first 300 words will be assessed as part of your application. 

Suitability for the role

You will be asked to provide a career summary, making reference to your professional experience. This should not be a copy of your CV and please write no more than 500 words. Please note, this summary is required for context only and will not be scored. Your application will be assessed only on the responses to the 5 behavioural and values questions.  

References will be taken if your application progresses to interview, but only with your prior consent, so please ensure referees are aware that they will be contacted. Details of other professional commitments and conflicts of interests must be declared on your application form.

Once complete, you will be asked to make a final submission of your application. Once submitted, you cannot retrieve your application to make any further amends so ensure you are happy that it is fully complete. Please also allow yourself sufficient time to complete the process, particularly if you are unfamiliar with online recruitment processes. We would also strongly recommend that you submit your application well in advance of the deadline, to allow sufficient time to deal with any issues you may encounter which require support from the GatenbySanderson team. If you do experience any difficulties with the online process please contact GatenbySanderson at before the deadline for the process. If you contact us after the deadline, we will be unable to accept your application. 

You will also be required to complete an equal opportunities form at this stage.

Your online application must be made by no later than 12pm midday on Friday 28 January 2022.

We regret that late applications will not be accepted.  

How we will assess your application

Once you have applied you will also be required to complete an online behavioural strengths test. Once the campaign has closed, you will receive an email from GatenbySanderson, providing you with a unique link to the test.

The behavioural strengths assessment examines your strengths in relation to those required for these roles. Elements covered include evaluating problems, investigating issues, building relationships and communication. This test should take no more than 30 minutes to complete.

You will be required to complete this by 1pm on Friday 4 February 2022. Please allow time to complete this as part of your application, candidates who do not complete the test by the given deadline cannot be progressed, no exceptions can be made.

Your email to access the behavioural strengths assessment will be sent to you on the afternoon of Friday 28 January, after applications close. If you do not receive this by the end of that day then please contact GatenbySanderson at as soon as possible. Also, please check your spam/junk folders.   


The final stage of the process is a competency-based interview with Social Work England.  This 45 minute interview will be done online. Interviews will take place on the dates in the timetable below.  

Summary timetable

Closing date

12pm midday Friday 28 January 2022

Completion of Behavioural Strengths assessment – completion deadline

1pm Friday 4 February 2022


w/c 14, 21 & 28 March 2022

Appointments confirmed

April 2022

How we will handle your application

We will deal with your application as quickly as possible (timings above are indicative).

Once you have submitted your application through the website, its receipt will be acknowledged. Once your application has been submitted, you will receive an automatic acknowledgement. If you do not receive this, after checking your spam, please contact please contact GatenbySanderson at before the deadline for applications. If you contact us after the deadline, we may be unable to accept your application.  

Once all applications are complete, we will start the assessment process. We will begin by scoring the behavioural strengths assessment and progressing only the highest scoring applicants to the assessment of the 5 criteria questions. This will mean that candidates who do not pass the test assessment will not have their 5 criteria responses graded. Due to the anticipated volume of applications we regret that we are unable to offer individual feedback.

The assessment of the 5 criteria responses in your application will be evidence led. Your application will be assessed and scored only on the basis of the responses given against the criteria for the appointment. It is important that you respond to the questions in as much detail as possible within the word limit constraints. Your response to each section should provide specific and detailed examples to demonstrate how you meet each criterion (including what you did to achieve a specific result). Each criterion will be marked out of 5, leading to an overall maximum score of 25.

In selecting the best people for interview, the panel will ensure that all the applicants demonstrate any essential requirements in the behaviours and values for the post. You will be advised of the outcome of your application by email.

Social Work England will conduct interviews on the dates outlined above, subject to process; you will be contacted directly by a member of the GatenbySanderson team to arrange this interview. The interview will assess your fit against the required criteria – behaviour and values. The interviews will take virtually online.

Reasonable adjustments will be made for candidates with disabilities.  If you have any specific queries and requests, please let GatenbySanderson know.

References for candidates invited to interview will be taken during the interview period. Please ensure that your referees are aware that they will be contacted during this time.

Social Work England will have a final meeting to approve all appointments and GatenbySanderson will notify you directly, via email, as soon as the outcome is confirmed. Candidates who have been interviewed by Social Work England and who are unsuccessful will be provided with written feedback on request.

Monitoring information

We are fully committed to making the appointment process accessible at all stages for any applicants with a disability and are using the Disability Confident scheme for this process, which guarantees an interview to candidates who meet the minimum criteria for the role.  Please highlight on the form if you wish your application to be considered under this scheme.   Additionally, should you need any reasonable adjustments to enable you to participate in this process, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your individual requirements.

To ensure we are treating candidates fairly, we monitor diversity at all stages of the appointments process. The application process includes an online equal opportunities monitoring form. Providing this information is optional and each question may be answered on an individual basis, but we would be grateful for your cooperation.

Information provided will be treated as strictly confidential and held securely in line with data protection and other relevant legislation and will be used for monitoring purposes only. It will not be seen by anyone directly involved in the selection process and will not be treated as part of your application. No information will be published or used in any way which allows any individuals to be identified.

Dealing with your concerns

Social Work England is committed to processes and procedures that are fair, transparent and free from discrimination. Complaints about any aspect of the appointments process will be monitored, recorded and promptly handled. If you have a complaint, please contact Katrina Paget, GatenbySanderson, at

Written complaints will be acknowledged within 5 days and will state the time frame within which a response can be expected. Complaints should be made within 3 months of the closing date for applications.

For reference, GatenbySanderson’s complaints policy is available via the website  

If you wish to refer your complaint directly to Social Work England, please contact We will acknowledge your complaint and answer any concerns as quickly as we can, and within 20 working days, wherever possible. We will let you know if it will take longer.

If you have any questions please email your query to and they will respond within 24 hours.

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