Tiwhikete Mahi
Practising Certificate

As a registered social worker, you are required to:

The Practising Certificate, which is issued by the SWRB, confirms that you are legally able to practise social work in New Zealand that year.

Your certificate expires on 30 June each year and it’s your responsibility to renew it, and ensure it’s current and in place before you practise. In applying or renewing your Practising Certificate, you are asked to make an online declaration that you are competent and fit to practise.

Apply or renew

You can apply or renew your Practising Certificate by logging into MySWRB. If you currently have a Practising Certificate for this year, you will only see the Practising Certificate button (to renew) from May 1 when the round opens.

Do I need a Practising Certificate?

You must have a Practising Certificate if you are practising social work, 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
  • if you apply 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

When you apply for or renew your Practising Certificate, you are asked to make an online declaration that you are competent, and fit to practise. To apply or to renew, log into MySWRB and click apply/renew Practising Certificate.


We are currently updating our FAQs as processes have changed with the introduction of a new database.

How do I renew my registration?

You only need to register once.  It is your Practising Certificate that needs to be renewed each year that you are practising. 

Change of address

Registered social workers are legally required to inform the SWRB of any changes to their residential, mailing or work place addresses, within one month of these occurring.

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

Name change

As a registered social worker, you are legally required to inform the SWRB if you change your name or 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.

You need to provide a copy of the document confirming the change, eg 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.

What do Practising Certificate fees pay for?

The Practising Certificate is an annual fee that is a significant contributor to running the costs of the SWRB.

As the regulatory authority we work to ensure that registered social workers are competent and fit to practise. Our primary purpose is to protect the safety of the public by making sure:

  • social workers who come on the register have all the necessary qualifications and are fit to practise social work
  • Investigating the practice of social workers where there have been complaints about their competence, where they have been convicted of criminal offences, and where those whose fitness to practise is in question

The SWRB uses the registration and Practising Certificate fees to cover the costs of reviewing application forms and templates, responding to enquiries, running the website, submissions and consultation, policy development, and holding Board meetings.

We are mindful of the costs faced by many in the sector and work hard to keep our costs down as much as we can.

Find out how the fees are set