Returning to Practice

Many social workers return to practice under different circumstances, it may be after some time on parental leave or after returning from overseas. This page is to assist you with returning to social work and having your Annual Practising Certificate (APC) in place before you start work.

Competence Certificate expiry date

Check that your competence certificate is still valid. Not sure of the expiry date, you can check the public register by clicking here. If your competence has expired, you may need to complete a competence assessment, please email us on or call 0508 797 269 to discuss which path you’ll need to take.

Been Living Overseas

Have you been living outside of New Zealand for the past 12 months or more? If yes, then you will need to submit a police certificate from the country you have been living in, even if you have lived in more than one country. You will also need to check your competence certificate expiry date. Please email us on or call 0508 797 269 to discuss which path you’ll need to take.

No APC for 3 years or more

If you are a registered social worker who has not held an Annual Practising Certificate (APC) for the previous three years you will need Board approval for the secretariat to issue you with an APC.

Section 30 (1) (a) (iv) of the Social Workers Registration Act states that: The Registrar must refer an application for a practising certificate to the Board if he or she believes on reasonable grounds that the applicant has previously held a practising certificate, but has not held a practising certificate within the 3 years immediately before the date of the application.

You will also require a current competence certificate before an APC can be issued.

If you intend to return to social work practice and have not held an APC within the last 3 years, please contact the secretariat on or 0508 797 269