About us

The Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB) is the regulatory authority responsible for the registration of social workers. The Social Workers Registration Act 2003 (the Act) which establishes the SWRB can be found online at www.legistration.govt.nz

The SWRB’s primary function is to protect the safety of members of the public by prescribing or providing mechanisms to ensure that social workers competent and fit to practice and accountable for the way in which they practise. A further purpose is to enhance the professionalism of social workers.

The Board duties and functions (as outlined in section 99 of the Act) are:

  • to receive and consider applications for registration
  • to authorise the registration of social worker
  • to maintain the Register
  • if it thinks fit, to adopt conditions subject to which all practising certificates, or the practising certificates of all registered social workers of a particular description, must be issued
  • to consider applications for practising certificates referred to it by the Registrar
  • to recognise New Zealand educational qualifications for the purposes of this Act
  • to review the competence of social workers
  • to establish and maintain a code of conduct for registered social workers
  • in consultation with providers of social work education and training in New Zealand and bodies that set standards for social work education and training in New Zealand, to promote and set standards for such education and training for the purposes of this Act
  • to promote the benefits of registration –
    • to departments of State, other instruments of the Crown, other bodies and organisations that employ social workers, and the public; and
    • among people practising as social workers
  • to promote the establishment by departments of State, other instruments of the Crown, and other bodies and organisations that employ social workers, of accessible and efficient procedures for making, considering, and determining complaints relating to social workers they employ
  • to advise, and make recommendations to, the Minister in respect of matters relating to the regulation of the social work profession
  • to appoint the members of the Tribunal
  • to promote and encourage high standards of practice and professional conduct among registered social workers and the employers of social workers
  • to consider the cases of registered social workers who may be unable to perform adequately the functions required to practise social work satisfactorily
  • to disclose to the employers or prospective employers of social workers information it has obtained under this Act relating to people who are or have been—
    • applicants for registration; or
    • registered social workers (subject to the Act)
  • to provide administrative and related services for the Tribunal
  • any other functions conferred or imposed on it under this Act or any other enactment.

More information on the work of the SWRB can be found within our Annual Reports and Statement of Intent