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New Requirements for Social Workers

Amendments were made to the Social Workers Registration Act (passed by Parliament in early 2019). This Act will make it mandatory for anyone calling themselves a Social Worker, and practising in New Zealand, to be registered with the Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB) by 27 February 2021. Making registration mandatory will give everyone greater assurance of Social Workers’ qualifications, skill, and accountability of the standard of work that caregivers will receive. 

A registered Social Worker will be required to:

The Practising Certificate, issued by the SWRB, confirms that they are legally able to practise social work in New Zealand that year.

The SWRB has set out ten core competency standards that identify the minimum standards of practice for social workers that must be demonstrated in all practice contexts – this includes when they work with caregivers. We recommend you read these and have an awareness of these competencies.

We will be featuring a break-down of some of these Core Competencies in the next few Snippets.

If you have a concern or complaint about the standard of social work service you have received, please visit this page on the SWRB website: https://swrb.govt.nz/public-and-employers/. This page has a link to the Social Workers Code of Conduct, some suggestions for resolving the issue, and a form to complete. If you need help and support please call your Regional Coordinator or National Office – 0800 693 323.