Overseas qualifications

If you hold overseas social work qualifications, and wish to apply to register in New Zealand, there are a number of steps to go through.

1. Before applying – what you will need

Before applying to register you will need:

a. either an Australian social work qualification, accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers* (AASW) or

b. to complete a non-binding assessment

The SWRB does a non-binding assessment to investigate whether your overseas social work qualification is deemed equivalent to a recognised NZ qualification. You can download the following forms to get started.

Non Binding Application Form 2018

Non Binding Application Guide Notes

An NZQA assessment is not accepted, only the SWRB non-binding assessment.

*AASW accreditation
The New Zealand Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB) and the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) have entered into an agreement to mutually recognise social workers who are credentialed or registered in Australia and New Zealand. To see if you meet the requirements please read the attached document:

Information Mutual Agreement

2. Apply to register

Once you have your SWRB non-binding assessment or your qualification is accredited by the AASW, click here to apply for registration.

3. Competence assessment

After you’ve applied for registration, the SWRB will send you an email requesting documents, including a competence assessment.

There are two types of competence assessment.

i. Less than six months social work experience in New Zealand

Please fill out the following documents:

Overseas competence application & standards 1415

Overseas Self ReflectionTemplate

Overseas Practice Study Template

If you are successful with your registration, you will then be provisionally registered*.

or

ii. More than six months social work experience in New Zealand

Please fill out the following documents:

Competence Assessment Application Form

Self-reflection Template

Practice Study Template

If you’ve done a minimum 2,000 hours of supervised social work practice in NZ, you can then apply for full registration. Otherwise, you will be provisionally registered.

*Provisional Registration

As an overseas qualified social worker you will be required to complete the following before you become fully registered:

  • Complete 2,000 hours of supervised social work in New Zealand
  • Complete 10 hours of continuing professional development relating to competence to practise social work with Māori
  • Complete 10 hours of continuing professional development relating to competence to practise social work with different ethnic and cultural groups in New Zealand
  • Complete a Full Competence Assessment about your social work practice in New Zealand
  • Complete the New Zealand Request and Consent Police Vetting form

These requirements must normally be completed within 2 years of becoming registered. However, you can build up your 2,000 hours within 8 years, remaining provisionally registered.

4. Practising Certificate

If you are registered and practising in New Zealand, you will need to apply and pay for a Practising Certificate.

If you are overseas, you will need to declare yourself as not practising and apply for a Practising Certificate when you arrive in New Zealand.