Annual Practising Certificate

The Annual Practising Certificate (APC) is issued to Registered Social Worker’s who meet the requirements set by the SWR Board. The APC is valid for up to twelve months until 30 June each year.

Information on renewing your APC is emailed to Registered Social Worker’s by the SWRB in May each year for completion by 30 June.

It is important for employers to note that a Registered Social Worker will be committing an offence if she or he practises without an APC.

Registered Social Workers who apply for an APC will have to meet certain minimum recertification requirements. This includes undertaking of continuing professional development, maintaining regular supervision and meeting required practice standards.

Online APC renewal process must be completed in full by the Registered Social Worker. It is the Registered Social Workers responsibility to ensure their APC is current and in place before they practice.

If you employ a Registered Social Worker they should have an APC if:

  • They are using their social work skills, knowledge and expertise in their job
  • They call themselves a Registered Social Worker
  • Their job description requires them to hold an annual practising certificate

For more details please read our policy below or for more SWRB policies please click here

When An Annual Practising Certificate Is Required

Renewal of Annual Practising Certificate

What does my APC fee pay for?

The APC is an annual fee that is a significant contributor to running the costs of the Board. As the regulatory authority we work to ensure that registered social workers are competent and fit to practise. Our primary purpose is to protect the safety of the public by making sure social workers are ‘professional’. This means that we:

  • Ensure social workers that come on the register have all the necessary qualifications and are fit to practise social work
  • Investigate the practice of social workers where there have been complaints about their competence, where they have been convicted of criminal offences and those whose fitness to practise is in question

Occasionally, the outcome of these processes mean that social workers are charged through the Social Workers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal. The APC covers those costs as well – including the costs of any investigations and disciplinary hearings (as the Tribunal is separate to the Board).

Fundamentally this means that the APC fees help to regulate and maintain the social work profession’s reputation, so you are not tarnished as belonging to an incompetent or unprofessional group.

The SWRB have maintained the price of the APC, since it increased from $360.00 to $368.00 in 2010. The SWRB fee for an APC is also comparable to other regulatory authorities in New Zealand, often coming in at the lower end of the scale.

The SWRB does not receive any government funding so your APC is a main source of income of running the SWRB (along with other fees, such as the application fee). This includes staffing, holding Board meetings, running the website, submissions and consultations, policy development and the other aspects of running an organisation such as computer systems and office space. We work hard to ensure good value for money in what we do, and you can read about our finances in our annual report here.