Tiwhikete Mahi
Practising Certificate

When you are working as a registered social worker, you are required to: 

The Practising Certificate is issued by the SWRB and confirms that you are legally able to practise social work in Aotearoa New Zealand for the year it covers.

You must have a current and valid Practising Certificate if you are practising under the social work Hōkaitanga o ngā Mahi | Scope of Practice including: 

  • working directly with clients, including whānau, hapū and community
  • being involved with casework decisions at any level  
  • managing and/or supervising other social workers
  • applying your social work values, skills, ethics, and knowledge in your role 
  • teaching social work practice or theory 
  • developing policy that impacts upon social work practice. 

Employers and members of the public can check that you have a valid Practising Certificate as it appears on the SWRB’s Public Register.

Apply or renew

Your Practising Certificate expires on 30 June each year. It is your responsibility to renew it and ensure it is current and in place before you continue to practise. 

You can apply for or renew your Practising Certificate by logging into MySWRB. If you have a current Practising Certificate for this year, you will only see the button to renew your Practising Certificate a few weeks before your current certificate expires. 

When you apply for or renew your Practising Certificate, the Social Work Registration Act 2003 requires you to make an online declaration that you are competent and fit to practise.  

You do not need to renew your registration. It is only your Practising Certificate that needs to be renewed each year that you are practising.  

Keeping your information up to date

Change of address

We ask registered social workers to inform us of any changes to their residential, mailing or workplace addresses as soon as possible. It is a legal requirement that the SWRB is informed within one month of the change occurring.

You can update your details any time by logging into MySWRB.

Name change

As a registered social worker, you must inform us if you change your name or if you are practising under a different name than we have you registered under. This notification needs to be done within a month of the change and is a legal requirement. 

You need to provide a copy of the document confirming the change, for example your marriage certificate or name change certificate from the Department of Internal Affairs. 

If you haven’t legally changed your name but you are practising under a different name, please fill out the following statutory declaration:

Statutory declaration

Scan and send copies of your name change documents and/or the statutory declaration to the SWRB at applications@swrb.govt.nz.

Practising Certificate costs

The charge for the Practising Certificate is made up of two parts – the Practising Certificate fee and the Disciplinary Levy. The Practising Certificate fee is an annual fee which contributes to running the costs of the SWRB for our regulatory activities. The Disciplinary Levy pays for the costs of running the disciplinary activities of the Board, including the complaints process and mandatory reporting, as well as Professional Conduct Committees and the Social Workers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal. 

Find out more about fees and funding.