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English Language Test For Social Workers

Guidance on mandatory English Language tests which are required for non native health and social care workers

Guidance on what English Language tests are required and why it’s so important for non-native health and social care workers wanting to move to the UK.



To be a Social Worker in the UK, you essentially need two key things: relevant qualifications and experience, and good English language skills.

Before you contact us, you’ll need to already speak decent English – and we’ll assess this on our first call. But before you can become a Social Worker in the UK, you’ll need to pass the IELTS with an overall score of at least 7.0, and a minimum of 6.5 for each section. That’s why your English skills are so important, and why you should be working on them right away.

List of countries exempt from taking the IELTS

What is the IELTS?

The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS, is an international test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. IELTS is the only English Language Test approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for visa customers applying from both outside and inside the UK.

Importantly, you must complete the ‘general version’ and ‘academic version’ of the IELTS, according to the HCPC’s requirements.

Why is the IELTS so important?

It’s very simple: to be a Social Worker in the UK, you must complete the IELTS first. Your career in the UK depends on it.

But more than that, it represents a level of English skill that will make your life in the UK much more fulfilling. You’ll be better at your job, you’ll settle more comfortably into British life, and you’ll find it much easier to get things done. Furthermore, it’s also a requirement for immigration to Australia and New Zealand, and to get into the UK’s world-renowned universities.

Best of all, your CV will look so much stronger with an IELTS score of 7.0 or more. Improving your English will improve your career prospects immediately.

What IELTS score is needed to become a social worker in the UK?

You must complete the academic version of the IELTS test and achieve:

  • At least 6.5 in the listening and reading sections
  • At least 6.5 in the writing and speaking sections
  • At least 7.0 (out of a possible 9) overall

The HCPC will not accept applicants who score lower than this standard and the IELTS scores are valid for two years.

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Moving to the UK?

We also provide full assistance to job seekers seeking to relocate to the UK. Click on each of the images below to find our more about the topics discussed

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Relocation Support
What you need to be compliant
Life in the UK - where to work and living costs
English Language test and Immigration Skills Charge