New registrations

You can apply to become a registered social worker, in the public or private sector, if you meet and maintain minimum standards of experience, practice and expertise, adhere to the Code of Conduct and hold a Practising Certificate.

To apply for registration you must:

  • have completed a recognised New Zealand qualification (recognised New Zealand qualifications are listed here) or
  • have overseas qualifications equivalent to a NZ qualification which has been confirmed by either:

(i) completing a non-binding assessment or

(ii) an Australian social work qualification, accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers)

  • have enough practical experience if you don’t have a NZ recognised qualification, as per the SWRB criteria for Section 13 Registration
  • be competent to practise social work, including practising social work with Māori and with different ethnic and cultural groups in New Zealand
  • have enough practical experience in New Zealand
  • be ‘fit and proper’ to practise social work in New Zealand (includes police checks, giving information about any convictions/court orders, your mental/physical condition etc).

Apply to register now →

The benefits of registration

There are many benefits to having social workers registered. It:

  • increases the professionalism of the sector, and helps to raise the profile of social work as a competent and respected profession
  • enhances the standing of social work and puts it on an equal footing with other similar professions, ie health, teaching and law, which all require people to be registered
  • helps to increase the trust and transparency with the social work profession
  • gives everyone in the sector and the public greater assurances around social workers’ quality and accountability
  • increases the safety of vulnerable adults and children by having more professional, qualified and accountable social workers
  • confers status and confirms that social workers’ practice is at the same standard as those they work with in multi-disciplinary teams
  • has a complaints procedure that ensures complaints are dealt with fairly and sensitively, within a robust and transparent system
  • ensures you get professional development and professional supervision opportunities.