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.

Overseas qualifications Social Workers Registration Board
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 an overseas qualification assessment

The SWRB does this 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.

Assessment of Overseas qualification form 2020

Non Binding Application Guide Notes

An NZQA assessment is not accepted, only the SWRB overseas qualification assessment.

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

*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 overseas qualification 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

Overseas self reflection template

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:

NZ competence assessment application

Self-reflection template

Practice study template

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.

Provisional registration

If you have been successful in your application, you will now be provisionally registered.

To move from provisional to full registration, you will need to:

  • complete 2,000 hours of supervised social work in New Zealand, and
  • fill out a confirmation of hours form for your manager/supervisor to complete:

Confirmation of hours

If you completed an overseas competence assessment when you applied for registration, you will also need to complete the following:

  • a CPD log, including:
    1. 10 hours of continuing professional development relating to competence to practise social work with Māori
    2. 10 hours of continuing professional development relating to competence to practise social work with different ethnic and cultural groups in New Zealand
    3. CPD log
  • A Supervision Agreement

Supervision agreement confirmation

and

Please send your completed documents to comp@swrb.govt.nz.

These competence requirements must normally be completed within two years of becoming registered.

However, you can build up your 2,000 hours within 8 years, remaining provisionally registered.

Please send your completed documents to comp@swrb.govt.nz.