Application Instructions for Registration as a Registered Social Worker



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Application Instructions for

Registration as a Registered Social Worker


This application should be completed by applicants who have completed or are in the last semester of a social work education program from an accredited or approved social work program. If you are unsure whether your program meets these requirements, please contact the ACSW office at (780)421-1167 in Edmonton, or phone toll-free from anywhere in Alberta at 1-800-661-3089. You may prefer to e-mail the ACSW at acsw@acsw.ab.ca.

These instructions will help you to identify and complete the forms you require for your registration. To ensure prompt registration, please read the instructions and ensure that you submit all the required documentation. ACSW will process your application as quickly as possible once all materials have been received.


Step 1: All applicants for registration must complete and sign the Application for Registration as a Registered Social Worker. Print all information clearly and legibly.


Your responses to the questions in Section 1 of the Application Form will determine which of the following appendices you will need to complete.

  • Appendix A – Instructions and application (New/recent graduate) – Yellow

  • Appendix B – Instructions and application (Regulated in another jurisdiction) – Blue

  • Appendix C – Instructions and application (Reinstatement with ACSW) – Green

  • Appendix D – Instructions and application (Experienced and never registered) – Orange

  • Appendix E – Instructions and application (Member of another profession) – Buff

Section 1: Personal Information

Under the Health Professions Act (HPA), the Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) is required to have this personal information on file. It is important to note that your name, as it appears on the application form, will appear in the Register and on your certificate/practice permit. This should be the same name that you are using in practice. If any of your personal information changes after you get registered you must notify the ACSW.



Section 2: Practice history

This section also asks several questions about your practice and registration history. Please answer ALL questions in this section.

If you respond “yes” to Question 1 (new/recent graduate) you need to:


  • complete Appendix A

  • provide official transcripts supporting your diploma/degree

  • arrange for people to provide one Character Reference and one Supervisor Reference and give them the appropriate forms to submit directly to ACSW. NOTE: these need to be two separate individuals.

  • After you get registered, you will need to practice under the supervision of a Registered Social Worker until you have completed 1500 total practice hours, including those in an approved practicum during your social work education.

If you responded “yes” to Question 2 (Registered/Licensed Social Worker in another jurisdiction) you need to:

  • complete the top of Appendix B for each jurisdiction where you have ever practiced social work

Registration will not be complete until verification of your status in the other jurisdiction(s) is received. Refer to the instructions on Appendix B for specific details.

If you responded “yes” to Question 3 (reinstating with ACSW) you need to:



  • complete Appendix C

  • arrange for people to provide one Character Reference and one Supervisor Reference and give them the appropriate forms to submit directly to ACSW. NOTE: these need to be two separate individuals.

  • meet other requirements based on circumstances

  • in additional to the annual dues, submit the reinstatement fee of $125.00

Refer to the instructions on Appendix C for specific details.

If you responded “yes” to Question 4, (experienced and not registered or in school in the past 3 years) you need to:



  • complete Appendix D

  • arrange for people to provide one Character Reference and one Supervisor Reference and give them the appropriate forms to submit directly to ACSW. NOTE: these need to be two separate individuals.

  • pass the social work examination appropriate to your highest level of social work education

  • After you get registered, you will need to practice under the supervision of a Registered Social Worker until you have completed 1500 total practice hours.

If you responded “yes” to Question 5 (registered in another profession) you need to complete Appendix E. See Appendix E for specific details.

If you responded “yes” to Question 6 (Restricted Activities) complete the Application for Authorization to Perform Restricted Activities, found on the ACSW web site. Please note: Only social workers with a BSW or higher degree and who have appropriate education/training and supervised experience are normally authorized to perform psychosocial interventions without supervision. The application for Restricted Activities and Frequently Asked Questions are available at the ACSW office or on-line at www.acsw.ab.ca.


Section 2: Education Information


To qualify for registration as a Registered Social Worker with the Alberta College of Social Workers, you must have a degree or diploma from a recognized social work program. ACSW requires transcripts supporting your highest level of social work education from an approved social work program. Applicants must arrange to have official transcripts submitted directly to the ACSW office by the educational institution. Transcripts provided by the applicant will not be accepted for purposes of registration. The transcripts must indicate that the applicant has completed the social work program.

Applicants with an off-shore social work degree may qualify for registration; however, your transcripts need to be assessed. The assessment must indicate that the credentials are equal to or greater than an approved Canadian program. If you are applying for an assessment by the International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS), you must complete the Description of Course Work application. Please ask IQAS to send a copy of the assessment directly to ACSW.

Assessment services are provided by:

International Qualifications Assessment Service

Ministry of Learning, Government of Alberta

9th Floor-9942 108 Street NW

Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2J5

Telephone: (780)427-2655 Fax: (780)422-9734

Website: www.learning.gov.ab.ca/iqas



Canadian Association of Social Workers

402-383 Parkdale Avenue

Ottawa, Ontario K1Y 4R4

Telephone: (613)729-6668 Fax: (613)729-9608

E-Mail: casw@casw-acts.ca

Section 3: Employment Information


The HPA requires the ACSW to maintain current information on the employment of each Registered Social Worker. Please complete this section if you are currently practicing within the scope of social work (paid employment or volunteer/unpaid work). If you have more than one employer, please include a separate sheet with the additional employer’s information. Please choose the single best option for both “Type of Employer” and “Primary Field of Practice” for each social work position.

If you work within the scope of social work practice, you must include evidence of having professional liability insurance coverage. Insurance provided through your employer is acceptable. Please note that any person doing private practice or contract work in addition to paid employment must provide proof of personal coverage.



Section 4: Professional Declaration

Answer each of the questions. If you answer “yes” to any question, attach a separate sheet with an explanation for the “yes” response.



Sign and date the application. An unsigned application will not be processed.

STEP 2: Complete the appendix(es) that applies to your specific circumstances.

Each Appendix has specific instructions. Please read these instructions carefully and respond accordingly.



STEP 3: Arrange for your supporting documentation to be forwarded to the Alberta College of Social Workers.

Note: Registration is not processed until all supporting documentation and fees are received and all requirements are met. It is the responsibility of the Applicant to ensure that all supporting documentation is received by the Registrar. The ACSW will notify you once only of any missing documents, normally within 30 days of receiving the completed application form and fees. If your application is not complete within six months from the date of the letter, your application will be considered abandoned and will be destroyed.

All applicants must submit the following documents:



  • A detailed current résumé. This should include dates and location of any social work related employment, academic credentials, continuing education activities, etc.

  • A current (within 3 months) Criminal Record Check. See below for details.

  • Proof of professional liability insurance if you are working. Insurance coverage may be through your employer, however, all social workers doing private practice or contracted services must carry personal liability insurance. If you are not yet employed, proof of insurance must be submitted when you begin working.

  • Transcripts supporting your highest social work education program.

Criminal Record Check Information


The submission of a current Criminal Record Check (CRC) is one of the requirements for registration as a Registered Social Worker. Call your local law enforcement detachment and find out when the CRCs are performed, where you have to go, what the fee will be, and what identification is required. You will be required to produce the appropriate identification which may include: driver’s license, passport, social insurance card, birth certificate, Canadian citizenship card. (Identification with your photograph, date of birth and signature may be required.) Be prepared for fingerprint verification, if requested. You will be responsible for paying the fee for this check. A criminal record check must be current, not more than three months from the date of application.

Fee Schedule

Fees are set in three categories. If you are receiving pay for work that falls within the scope of social work practice, the fee is $350. If you are not receiving pay for work that falls within the scope of social work practice, the fee is $175. If you are a student member (only) and not registered, the fee is $75. (The Student Membership Application has further information.)

The ACSW year is divided into four quarters. If your registration is issued between January 1 and March 31, your expiry date will be December 31. If your registration is issued between April 1 and June 30, your expiry date will be March 31. If your registration is issued between July 1 and September 30, your expiry date will be June 30. If your registration is issued between October 1 and December 31, your expiry date will be September 30. (This does not apply to student members. A student member’s renewal date is established when they join the ACSW. Contact the ACSW office if you are making application for registration and are a student member with the ACSW.) Renewals are due one month before your registration expires.

Registration Fees (Only Active RSWs will receive a practice permit.)

Working within the scope of social work practice

- Employed/Receiving Income for social work $350.00

- Working as a volunteer or in an unpaid position $175.00


Not working within the scope of social work practice

- Inactive Registered Member/Retired Registered Member $175.00
Registered Student Member

- Employed/Receiving Income for social work $350.00

- Receiving no pay for social work $175.00




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