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Registration Pathways - Social Workers

The Australian Association of Social Workers reviews and accredits social work degrees offered by Universities throughout Australia to establish whether graduates are eligible for membership of their professional association.

Qualifications
An AASW accredited Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree or AASW accredited Master of Social Work (Qualifying) (MSW) degree is required for entry into the profession of social work, and to meet the minimum eligibility requirements for AASW membership.

There is no legal registration for Social Workers in any State of Australia. However, the AASW is the standard-setting body for social work and many jobs require eligibility for membership of the AASW. In order to be eligible for membership, you need to complete one of the AASW approved degrees. Refer www.AASW.asn.au website for details of approved courses.

Membership of the AASW is available to those who hold an AASW approved social work qualification from overseas that has been recognised by the AASW as comparable to an AASW approved social work qualification.

Overseas Qualified Applicants
The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) is the official authority for assessment of overseas qualifications in social work, for the purposes of migration and employment in Australia.

Qualifications

  • The AASW currently assesses qualifications based on their comparison to the AASW accredited Bachelor of Social Work.
  • From 1 July 2011 the Department of Immigration and Citizenship require that the AASW confirm the highest level of the applicant’s qualification in Social Work as this will impact on the number of points DIAC award to the applicant.
  • Namely, international qualifications which are assessed as equivalent to either an Australian Bachelor Degree or Masters qualifying in social work will attract 15 points.
  • If an applicant holds a PhD level social work qualification they will be awarded 20 points.

Continuing Professional Development

All members
For the 2011/2012 membership cycle all members (excluding fully retired and student members) will be required to earn ten points in each of the three CPD activity categories for a total of thirty CPD points. There will be no penalty for not achieving this requirement in 2011/2012 however penalties may apply for future membership years.

All members of the AASW (excluding retired & student) are required to participate in the CPD program. For the 2011/2012 member year all members are required to complete a total of 30 points:

  • Reflection, Ethical Practice & Career Development 10 points
  • Skills & Knowledge 10 points
  • Contributing to the Profession 10 points

Accredited Social Workers
Members who complete additional professional development can gain ‘Accredited Social Worker’ status. To gain accreditation members must earn twenty-five points in each of the three CPD activity categories for a total of seventy-five CPD points. The seventy-five points are not in addition to the ‘All Member’ requirement. Members gaining ‘Accredited Social Worker’ status can use the post nominal MAASW (Acc). Accredited Social Worker status remains a requirement for members applying for ‘Accredited Mental Health Social Worker’ status.

Accredited Mental Health Social Workers
For AMHSW members it is a requirement of maintaining AMHSW accreditation that you earn twenty-five points in each of the three CPD activity categories for a total of seventy-five CPD points. This must include thirty points relevant to mental health practice including the completion of 10 hours.

Skilled Employment

  • From 1 July 2011, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship requires that any claims of skilled employment in the nominated profession in Australia or internationally be assessed by the relevant assessing authority.
  • If an applicant is seeking additional points for skilled employment as a professionally qualified social worker, evidence must be provided with the AASW assessment application verifying the position held, the duties performed, the duration of employment, whether this was full or part time and any breaks in employment should be accounted for.
  • Information regarding the number of points awarded is available on the DIAC website.

Assessment Fees
Fees are in Australian Dollars and non-refundable.

  • Australian Non-Residents with overseas qualification/s $850
  • Australian Residents with overseas qualification/s $850
  • Non-Residents with AASW accredited qualification/s from an Australian University $350
  • Non-Residents (who are AASW members) with AASW accredited qualification/s from an Australian University $250

International Qualifications Assessment also determines if a social worker’s qualification meet the eligibility requirements for migration and/or employment in Australia. Refer Department of Immigration & Border Protection website for more information. Evidence of English language competency is also required. Applicants are required to provide evidence that meets one of the following options:

  • Completed their primary and secondary education in English (education must have been completed in the English language) in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom or the United States of America.
  • Completed the equivalent of three years or more full time study at the level of Bachelor Degree or higher in Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom or the United States of America.
  • Has completed at least three years employment as a qualified social worker using English as the primary means of communication in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom or the United States of America.
  • Obtained a score of 7 or more in each component of the Academic IELTS.

Note: English language requirement must be met before other assessment is made.

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More Information
For further information and assistance please email the Nursing and Allied Health recruitment team.