You can apply to become a registered social worker, in the public or private sector, if you meet and maintain minimum standards of experience, practice and expertise, adhere to the Code of Conduct and hold a Practising Certificate.
To apply for registration you must:
- have completed a recognised New Zealand qualification (recognised New Zealand qualifications are listed here) or
- have overseas qualifications equivalent to a NZ qualification which has been confirmed by either:
(i) completing a non-binding assessment or
(ii) an Australian social work qualification, accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers)
- have enough practical experience if you don’t have 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
There are many benefits to having social workers registered. It:
- increases the professionalism of the sector, and helps to raise the profile of social work as a competent and respected profession
- enhances the standing of social work and puts it on an equal footing with other similar professions, ie health, teaching and law, which all require people to be registered
- helps to increase the trust and transparency with the social work profession
- gives everyone in the sector and the public greater assurances around social workers’ quality and accountability
- increases the safety of vulnerable adults and children by having more professional, qualified and accountable social workers
- confers status and confirms that social workers’ practice is at the same standard as those they work with in multi-disciplinary teams
- has a complaints procedure that ensures complaints are dealt with fairly and sensitively, within a robust and transparent system
- ensures you get professional development and professional supervision opportunities.