As a public or private sector social worker, you can apply to become registered provided you meet and maintain minimum standards of experience, practice and expertise, adhere to the Code of Conduct and hold an Annual Practising Certificate.
To apply for registration you must:
- have completed or be enrolled in a recognised New Zealand qualification (recognised New Zealand qualification are listed here) – or
- have an overseas equivalent (which has been confirmed by completing a Non-binding assessment) or
- have enough practical experience to compensate for the lack of a NZ recognised qualification, as per the SWRB Criteria for Section 13 Registration
- be competent to practise social work, including practising social work with Māori and with different ethnic and cultural groups in New Zealand
- have enough practical experience in New Zealand
- be ‘fit and proper’ to practise social work in New Zealand (includes police checks, giving information about any convictions/court orders, your mental/physical condition etc).
The benefits of registration
- Registration is about the recognition of professionalism. It helps to raise the profile of social work as a competent and respected profession
- Registration protects the public and ensures public confidence – it demonstrates to your clients and to potential employers that you practice social work in a safe, competent and ethical manner
- The title ‘registered social worker’ recognises and identifies those who have attained this professional standard
- Registration confers status. It confirms that social workers’ practice is at the same standard as those they work with in multi-disciplinary teams
- A complaints procedure ensures that your peers deal with any complaints with fairness and sensitivity, within a robust and transparent system
- Registration ensures that you get professional development and professional supervision opportunities.