Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct covers the minimum professional standards of behaviour, integrity and conduct that apply to Registered Social Workers and that should apply generally in the social work profession.


SWRB Code of Conduct

The Social Workers Registration Board issues this Code in accordance with section 105 of the Social Workers Registration Act 2003.

Under the Code, social workers are expected to:

  • act with integrity and honesty
  • respect the status of Mäori as tangata whenua
  • respect the cultural needs and values of the client
  • be competent and responsible for your professional development
  • protect the rights and promote the interests of clients
  • strive to establish and maintain the trust and confidence of clients
  • respect the client’s privacy and confidentiality
  • work openly and respectfully with colleagues
  • maintain public trust and confidence in the social work profession
  • keep accurate records and use technology effectively and safely
  • be responsible in research and publications

After each section outlining the principles, there is a guide to interpreting the principles. The SWRB recognises that no code can prescribe, in detail, every behaviour expected of a professional social worker. This Code must be interpreted taking account of the balance of responsibilities between employers and their professional staff. The Code must be interpreted in the context of an individual circumstance.


The Code of Conduct may be updated by the SWRB from time to time to ensure their ongoing relevance, and to reflect issues that arise in practice.