Onboard newsletter – February 2022

Kei aku nui, kei aku rahi, i te tī, i te tā, tēnā koutou katoa

As we welcome 2022 and continue to navigate these uncertain times, we at the SWRB wanted to say ‘kia kaha’ to our social work sector. We know that for many it’s a difficult time, but hope people were able to spend some time with whānau and friends, enjoying a bit of a break over these summer weeks. Taking time out is an opportunity to reflect, acknowledge and learn from the year past, and look ahead to the future.

Along with the challenges a new year can bring, it similarly brings many opportunities. The SWRB has several upcoming pieces of work coming up that we are looking forward to sharing with you, including:

  • Improvements to our Experience pathway/ S13 application process
  • Reviewing the standards for recognising Education Programmes
  • Release of the Workforce Survey Report
  • Our strategic direction over the next 4 years, through our Statement of Intent, which we expect to be tabled this week in Parliament.

You can expect to see updates on these topics from the team over the next couple of months.

We also have some exciting opportunities for social workers to join important pieces of work within the SWRB. We are looking for expressions of interest in several roles, including Kaiarotake, assessors for Experience Pathway: S13 applications, and sector representatives to join us with the upcoming Programme Recognition Standards reviews in the education space.

We know that these early days of the traffic light system bring a completely new set of challenges for the sector. Thank you to our resilient workforce for their incredible mahi, both on the frontline and behind the scenes who continue to support their clients and whānau across Aotearoa.

Keep looking after yourself and those around you, Kia kaha, kia māia, kia manawanui!

Sarah Clark
SWRB Chief Executive

SWRB Chair named on the New Year Honours List

The SWRB is delighted to congratulate SWRB Chair Shannon Pakura on her inclusion in the New Year Honours List 2022, being appointed to Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in recognition of her services to social work. 

Shannon has served as Chair of the SWRB since 2018. She holds many advisory and advocacy roles and has worked extensively in both the Statutory Child Protection and the Youth Justice social work sector. 

Shannon is passionate in her advocacy and support for the social work profession and the difference that social workers make in people’s lives.

“Social workers work with many who need assistance, they make time for those who are afraid and alone, and without fuss, they drop off food parcels to those who need a little extra help to put kai on the table for their families.”– Shannon Pakura

Te Kāhui Māori

Te kāhui tētēkura Te kāhui tātara Te hunga amokura e muramura ana Tāwhiriwhiri ngārehu o ngā ingoingo Ka puta ka ora!To our distinguished figures Our prominent chiefs The shimmering knowledge radiates Fanning the embers of possibility Let it permeate, let it be realised!

Near the end of 2021, we held our first meeting of the SWRB Te Kāhui Māori. The Kāhui is a committee of external experts who specialise in providing a Te Ao Māori perspective to the SWRB Board to support the SWRB to become an active partner with Māori.

The Kāhui (pictured left to right) is made up of Graham Warren, Caroline Herewini, Hori Ahomiro, and Mahanga Maru (not pictured) who report to our Board Chair Shannon Pakura. They will meet throughout the year, with four currently scheduled for 2022.

The Kāhui will provide invaluable insight, support, and guidance on development of strategies, programmes, and activities to ensure Te Ao Māori perspectives are incorporated in current and future work within the SWRB.

Get involved in supporting the future of social work 

Have you seen our recent calls for expressions of interest to support our work? We have various opportunities available that will have a meaningful impact on the profession.  

Review of the social work education Programme Recognition Standards

We are looking for several people to support the Social Workers Registration Board’s review of its Education Programme Recognition Standards (PRS). You may have already seen the call for expressions of interest on our website. 

All social work programmes in Aotearoa New Zealand must meet the SWRB Programme Recognition Standards (PRS) to continue to be recognised.

The Board uses PRS to assess education providers to ensure they deliver a social work degree that:

  • meets the principles under the Social Workers Registration Act and the scope of practice 
  • enables graduates to meet professional standards for entry into the social work profession such as the Code of Conduct and the Ten Core Competencies. 

It is important we find enough people with the right background and experience for the review. We are therefore still seeking people for the following: 

  • Tangata whenua facilitators for PRS wānanga (deadline extended) 
  • Pacific peoples facilitators for the PRS wānanga
  •  Members of a subject matter rōpu/reference group (ensuring the voices of diverse communities are heard) 
  • Sector representatives for the PRS wānanga

Do you have any friends of colleagues that you think would be awesome for these roles? Perhaps you are considering it yourself but feeling hesitant? Please do get in touch and we can explore if this would be a good fit for you. It is a great opportunity to be part of important mahi shaping the future of the profession. 

To find out more about the PRS and the roles we are seeking to fill, please see our website:

Programme Recognition Standards review – various roles available

Kaiarotake – Assessors of social work experience and competence 

We are looking for experienced social workers to become ngā kaiarotake for social work applicants applying to register through the S13: Experience pathway.  

Supported by an assessment rōpū with broad ranging expertise, kaiarotake assess whether an applicant has enough practical experience to compensate for the lack a recognised social work qualification, by assessing:  

  • practical experience    
  • competence, and   
  • competence to practise with Māori and other ethnic and cultural groups.    

To find out more about the role, the criteria we are looking for and a link to the expression of interest form, please see: Seeking experienced social workers | SWRB 

Board decision on fees update – Experience pathway: S13

In December, we emailed you to let you know the Board’s decision on changes to the fees and disciplinary levy. The first fee to change will be the fee for experience pathway applications, which will be implemented from 1 March 2022. This fee was notified in the NZ Gazette on 31 January 2022: Social Workers Registration Board (Section 13 Fees) Notice March 2022.

Previously the assessment was undertaken in two stages (with two fees), but this has been combined into one stage. We have written to all applicants who had completed stage one of the current process but not yet submitted stage two, to outline what this will mean for them. We are encouraging people to submit before the new fee comes into effect, using the new template, which is more streamlined and easy to navigate.

If you missed our email in December you can read about the consultation and the Board’s decision on our website swrb.govt.nz/consultation/ and swrb.govt.nz/board-decision-fees-and-levy

Weekly Q&A sessions

The SWRB has been hosting weekly Q&A sessions on Zoom every Thursday from 1pm. These have been an open forum for social workers and employers to ask any questions about registration or how the SWRB functions as a regulator.

You can access all these sessions via this link

We are interested in hearing from the sector about any other topics people wish to discuss, and we can look incorporating them into future sessions.

Further details about these sessions are posted on our Facebook page.