Section 13 Application

New Zealand legislation recognises that there may be some instances where social workers practising in New Zealand have never gained formal qualifications and cannot be reasonably expected to, but who in other respects could be registered.

The SWRB believes it is in the interests of the profession for people who have worked as social workers for many years in New Zealand, prior to the introduction of the SWR Act (2003), and who have demonstrated their competence in terms of practice, supervision, professional development and other contributions to the profession to be recognised accordingly.

It will consider applications under Section 13 on a case-by-case basis.

You will need to download the SECTION 13 ‘Social Work Practice Framework’ template:

Social Work Practice Framework

We strongly recommend that you contact the Board first before you complete the Social Work Practice Framework to discuss your application 0508 797 269.

If you believe you meet the criteria below and have spoken to the Board, you will still need to complete the online Application Process for Registration.

Criteria

Section 13 of the Social Workers Registration Act 2003 states that the SWRB may recognise practical experience gained in New Zealand in certain cases, where experience compensates for the lack of a New Zealand qualification or equivalent:

The Board may decide that the applicant should be registered fully if —

  1. he or she has neither a recognised New Zealand qualification nor an overseas qualification equivalent to a recognised New Zealand qualification; but
    1. the Board is satisfied that
      1. his or her practical experience in practising social work in New Zealand is enough to compensate for the lack of such a qualification; and
      2. his or her competence to practise social work has been found satisfactory under Part 3; and
      3. he or she is a fit and proper person to practise social work; and
      4. that (whether as a result of his or her satisfactory completion of a course or courses of training, or because his or her practical experience in practising social work in New Zealand is enough to compensate for not having completed such a course) he or she—
        1. is competent to practise social work with Māori; and
        2. is competent to practise social work with different ethnic and cultural groups in New Zealand.

It should be noted that registration under this section is discretionary. If the Board considers that registration under section 13 is not appropriate the Board may consider registration under other sections of this Act.

You can view our current Criteria for Section 13 Registration here:

Criteria for Section 13 Registration

If you do not meet the criteria, you cannot register under Section 13 of the Social Workers Registration Act 2003.