Overseas qualifications

If you hold overseas social work qualifications, and wish to apply to register in New Zealand, there are two pathways:

  1. An Australian social work qualification, accredited by the AASW (Australian Association of Social Workers) or
  2. Other overseas social work qualifications
Overseas qualifications Social Workers Registration Board

Step 1 – Registration

Both pathways require you to log into MySWRB (home page of website, RH corner) and create an account.

1. Australian social work qualification – pathway

There are a number of steps in your application for registration.

  1. Check your Australian social work qualification is AASW-accredited. If not, please choose the overseas qualification pathway (below)

  2. Log into MySWRB
    Create an account and follow a number of prompts including:
    – click Apply for registration, add details required, save and continue

  3. Choose the Australian qualification pathway

  4. Follow the prompts and upload your required documents.
  5. Complete your competence assessment documents and email to applications@swrb.govt.nz. There are two types of competence assessment so choose the one that applies to you, and fill out the documents:
    1. Less than six months social work experience in NZ

      Competence assessment application

      Practice study

      Self reflection

    2. More than six months social work experience in NZ

      Competence assessment application

      Practice study

      Self reflection

There are competence assessment guidelines available here.

The registration application and competence assessment fees apply to this pathway. You can find out more here.

2. Overseas qualification pathway

There are a number of steps in your application for registration.

  1. Log into MySWRB
    Create an account and follow a number of prompts including:
    – click Apply for registration, add details required, save and continue
    – choose your pathway option, ie Overseas qualification pathway.

  2. Upload your completed overseas qualification assessment document and pay your assessment fee:

    Assessment of overseas qualification form

    Overseas assessment guide notes


  3. Assessment of your overseas social work qualification
    Your overseas social work qualification will be assessed by the SWRB to see if it is equivalent to an SWRB-recognised NZ social work qualification. (An NZQA assessment is not accepted, only the SWRB overseas qualification assessment.)
  4. You are contacted
    You will be advised by email whether or not the assessor accepted or declined your qualification as equivalent.

  5. If your qualification is deemed equivalent, log back into MySWRB to continue your registration application.

  6. Upload your required documents.
    There are two types of competence assessment so choose the one that applies to you, and fill out the document:
    1. Less than six months social work experience in NZ

      Competence assessment application

      Practice study

      Self reflection

    2. More than six months social work experience in NZ

      Competence assessment application

      Practice study

      Self reflection

There are competence assessment guidelines available here.

The competence assessment and registration application fees apply to this pathway. Find out more here.

If your qualification was completed in a language other than English, please check our English language policy.

Provisional registration

If you have been successful in your application to register, you will now be provisionally registered. You can find out how to move from provisional to full registration here.

Step 2 – Practising Certificate

Once you are registered, you are required by law to hold a valid Practising Certificate when you are working as a social worker.

How to apply
  • Log into MySWRB, click Apply for Practising Certificate
  • fill out your declaration
  • pay your fee
  • download and print your PC in A4 or wallet size.

You must renew your Practising Certificate each year for it to be valid. If you do not intend to practise, please log onto MySWRB and declare yourself not practising.