SWRB Fees and Disciplinary Levy: Consultation 2023

The Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB) has been consulting on proposals to change our fees and the disciplinary levy for social workers.

Information about the consultation

All the information about the consultation and proposed changes is in the consultation document. You can download this document here.

SWRB Fees and Levy Consultation 2023-24

The proposed changes are also summarised in the Table of proposed fees and disciplinary levy later in this page.

You can read responses to frequently asked questions in this document available to download:

Frequently Asked Questions - consultation 2023-24

The consultation was open until 7 February 2024. During that time feedback was accepted via the online submission form or by email.

Closing date

This consultation closed at 5.00pm on Wednesday 7 February 2024.

Please note this was later than the originally advertised closing date, and later than the date stated in the consultation document itself.

Zoom question and answer sessions

We held Zoom hui for you to hear about the proposals and ask any questions you may have. These consultation sessions were held on:

  • Thursday 18th January
  • Tuesday 23rd January

What happens after the consultation?

We will consider the feedback received using the online form and any written submissions to the submissions email against the requirements in the Auditor General and Treasury guidelines and our Act. This will inform the Board’s decision-making process. If the Board proceeds with the fees and levy proposals, the changes will apply from the dates set out in a new Fees and Disciplinary Levy Notice.


When the SWRB consulted about fees and levy charges in 2021, mandatory registration of social workers had been in place for just under a year. It has been a time of great change for both the profession, and employers. As the regulator we have the responsibility to ensure social workers are competent, accountable for their practice and professional in this new world.

We have faced a number of cost pressures, including the higher than anticipated inflation rate experienced across New Zealand. We have also continued to see a relatively high volume of complaints and associated disciplinary activity which is funded from the disciplinary levy. The following numbers are extracted from our annual report:

2021/22 total concerns: 1592022/23 total concerns: 196
Notifications and complaints: 136Notifications and complaints: 155
Mandatory reports: 19Mandatory reports: 28
Self-declarations: 4Self-declarations: 13

The SWRB is committed to ensuring it operates an appropriate cost recovery framework. That means making sure we have the right approach for sustainable recovery of costs to meet our regulatory functions. The consultation includes a proposal to allow for annual CPI (inflation) adjustments, as well as changes to the current fees and levy charged.

Table of proposed fees and disciplinary levy

Fees and the disciplinary levy $ including GSTCurrentProposed
Practising certificate fee (annual)
The fee applies to a registered social worker to practise for 12 months from 1 July to 30 June each year.
Disciplinary Levy (annual)
The levy applies to a practising registered social worker.
Registration application fee
Applies to an applicant seeking to be a registered social worker.  A new registration application fee must be paid if registration documents are not received by SWRB within 6 months of the application being received by SWRB
Provisional to full registration application fee
The fee applies to an applicant who is a provisionally registered social worker and has completed 2000 hours or more of practise and met any conditions on the applicant’s provisional registration.
Overseas applicant: qualification assessment fee
Applies to a registration application by an applicant who has an overseas qualification and does not have a SWRB recognised New Zealand qualification
Overseas applicant: provisional registration competence assessment application fee
Applies to an applicant who has an overseas qualification and does not have a SWRB-recognised New Zealand qualification. The fee does not apply to an applicant who has been in New Zealand six months or more and has 2000 hours or more social work experience in New Zealand.
Overseas applicant: full registration competence assessment application fee
Applies to an applicant who has an overseas qualification, does not have a SWRB recognised New Zealand qualification.
Certificate of good standing or hard copy registration certificate fee
The fee applies to an application for a Certificate of Good Standing for overseas registration purposes or a hard copy of a registration certificate. There is no charge for digital copies of practising and registration certificates.
Return to practise application fee
The fee applies to a registered social worker where the application to practise is received by SWRB three years or more after the applicant’s previous practising certificate expiry date.
Applies if the application is received by SWRB more than 3 years after applicant’s practising certificate expiry date