Practising Certificate

As a registered social worker, you are required to:

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

Your certificate expires on 30 June each year and it’s your responsibility to renew it, and ensure it is current and in place before you practise.

Do I need a Practising Certificate?

You must have a Practising Certificate if you are practising social work, including:

  • working directly with clients;
  • being involved with casework decisions at any level;
  • managing and/or supervising other social workers;
  • teaching social work practice or theory;
  • developing policy that impacts upon frontline social workers;
  • if you call yourself a social worker or have a job title as a social worker.

Apply/renew your certificate

You can apply or renew your Practising Certificate by clicking on the following. Make sure you have your registration number:

Practising Certificate log-in

When you apply for your Practising Certificate, you will be asked to make an online declaration that you are competent, and fit to practise. See the example below (this is an example only, you need to click on the Practising Certificate log-in above and go through the online process to fill out your own declaration.)

Practising Certificate Declaration

If you’ve forgotten your password, you can re-set it by logging on above, using your registration number, and following the prompts.

Not practising

If you decide you will not practise as a social worker, you are required to make an online declaration.

You can do that by clicking on the following, logging on with your registration number, and completing the online process.

Declaration log-in

Change of address

Registered social workers are legally required to inform the SWRB of residential, mailing or work place address changes.

You can update your details any time by logging into your profile at Practising Certificate online account or alternatively email us at

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.

You need to provide a certified copy of the document confirming your name change, ie your marriage certificate or deed poll name change.

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

Please mail the certified copies or the statutory declaration to the SWRB as PO Box 3452, Wellington.

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