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Codes of Professional Practice and guidance

Information about the codes for workers, codes for employers, practice guidance for registered workers and what people using care and support should expect from social care workers.

What is the Code of Professional Practice

To make sure workers in Wales provide you with good care and support, we have a Code of Professional Practice for Social Care (the Code) and we register groups of workers to make sure they are suitable to work.

The Code is a set of rules, or standards, care professionals must work to, to help keep you safe and well.

What the Code of Professional Practice says

To provide you with the best care and support, social care workers must:

  • help you say and achieve what is important to you
  • respect your dignity, privacy, preferences, culture, language, rights, beliefs, views and wishes
  • support you to stay safe
  • be honest, trustworthy and reliable
  • be qualified to do their job properly.

Who must keep to the Code of Professional Practice?

All social care workers should follow the Code of Professional Practice even if they are not currently expected to register.

Social care workers who are registered with us must follow the Code of Professional Practice to carry on working in social care. They include:

  • adult care home managers
  • domiciliary care managers and domiciliary care workers
  • residential childcare managers and residential childcare workers
  • residential family centre managers
  • social workers and social work students
  • adoption service managers
  • adult care home workers
  • adult placement managers
  • advocacy managers working with children
  • fostering service managers
  • residential family centre workers.

From time to time, other groups will be asked to Register with us.

Search other job roles to find out who needs to register.

Our Register makes sure workers:

  • are suitable and fit for work
  • are of good character
  • have the qualifications they need
  • agree to keep to the Code of Professional Practice.

Check to see if a worker is registered.

The Code of Professional Practice for workers and employers

There is a Code of Professional Practice for social care workers and a Code of Professional Practice for employers of social care workers.

The Code of Professional Practice for workers

Social care workers are responsible for making sure that they work to the standards set out in the Code. They must ensure that their conduct and practice do not fall below these standards, and that no action or omission on their part harms the well-being of individuals. Workers are encouraged to use the Code to examine their own conduct and practice and to look for areas in which they can improve.

The Code of Professional Practice for employers

Employers of social care workers are expected to promote the use of the Code and take account of it in making any decisions about the conduct and practice of their staff. The Code for employers describes the standards expected of employers to ensure a safe, skilled and appropriately supported workforce.

Guidance for registered workers

Practice guidance describe what is expected of workers in their role and should be used to support meeting the standards in the Code.

Registered workers and their employers should make sure they’re familiar with the guidance relevant to their area of work. Serious or persistent failure to follow practice guidance can put a worker's registration at risk.

  • The domiciliary care worker
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Explanatory guidance provides more detail on some of the principles in the practice guidance. There is information available on multi-agency statutory guidance on female genital mutilation.

What can you do if a social care worker isn’t working to the Code of Professional Practice?

The Code will help individuals receiving care and members of the public to understand how a social care worker should behave and how employers should help them to do their jobs well.

If you have a concern about

  1. Read the Code to check the standards
  2. Share your concerns with your care worker’s employer and ask what they will do
  3. If the employer doesn’t address your concerns, you can ask for a copy of their complaints procedure to help you know what to do next
  4. If the worker is registered with us and talking to the employer hasn’t helped, Raise your concern with us and will reply to you by phone or by email depending on your preference.

If you are concerned about the standard of care provided by a company or organisation, you can contact Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) on 0300 7900 126 or by e-mail on

What to expect from your social care worker

Social care workers help you live your life in the way that you want. Social care workers should always consider your personal well-being and what matters to you. They will be trained and supervised so that they can provide you with high quality care and support to help you live the life that matters to you.

We have translated information about what to expect from your social care worker into leaflets in other languages.

This short video is aimed at informing people who use care and support, their carers and family members about the Code and the values that underpin social care and support in Wales.

This British Sign Language video about the Code of Professional Practice will help you get an understanding of what you can expect from your care worker.


What to do if you think someone is being abused or if someone is abusing you

If you think someone is being abused or if someone is abusing you, don’t assume that someone else is doing something about it. The abuse does not have to be by a social care worker specifically, this can be anyone. Make your safeguarding concerns known to a person in authority that you feel comfortable speaking to, for example:

  • If someone is in immediate danger dial 999
  • Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) or call 0300 7900 126
  • If you believe a crime has been committed, contact your local police on 101
  • Regional Safeguarding Board websites
  • For further information about the help available see Dewis.Wales' website
  • Your Local Authority Social Services (or out of hours telephone number).

Contact us

If you have a question or if you can't find what you are looking for get in touch with us.

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First published: 8 November 2018
Last updated: 20 July 2023
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