Our Collective Social Work Voice

As members of the College, social workers are part of the collective voice that advocates for the profession of social work in our province & protects the most vulnerable Nova Scotians.

Leadership & Networking Opportunities 

Our members are invited to participate on our volunteer College committees, Council and Board of Examiners.

They’re also invited to ongoing discussions on relevant societal issues through College surveys, workshops, events & by contributing to our professional magazine, Connection. Ongoing member insight and feedback helps to shape the profession.

Members are also empowered to lead professional development events in their community and help connect with social workers in their region.

College conferences, open to all members at a discounted rate, bring together social workers throughout the province for knowledge sharing, networking & more.

Professional Support & Guidance 

Social work is a value-based profession & social workers are often faced with many ethical decisions. Our members have access to support and guidance as they face these difficult ethical issues.

Quick Links

Social Work Resources

Members have access to our members-only newsletter which includes direct links to professional development opportunities, social work news & more. They can also take advantage of the Canadian Association of  Social Worker’s (CASW) resources like the Canadian Social Work Journal available to members only on the CASW website.

Quick Links

Discounts & Bursaries

Social work members are eligible to receive discounts on professional liability insurance through our affiliation with the CASW.

The College offers bursaries to social work student members to help further their social work education and to all members to attend conferences and support their professional development.

Quick Links

Our Members

Registered Social Workers

All social workers in Nova Scotia must be registered with the College. This is required under our provincial legislation. Social workers who use the title Registered Social Worker (RSW) (or the French equivalent) must be registered with the College. Before a social worker is an RSW they must complete candidacy (learn more about candidacy below).

Quick Links


Social Work Candidates

To become a Registered Social worker and to be permitted to use the title of social worker, Social Work Candidates complete a period of supervised social work experience.

  • Candidates with the Bachelor of Social Work degree must complete at least two years, or a minimum of 3,859 hours, of paid supervised social work experience.
  • Candidates with the Master of Social Work degree must complete at least 18 months, or a minimum of 2,573 hours of paid supervised social work experience for registration.(Section 22(2)(a) Social Workers Act).

Candidacy provides graduates of recognized schools of social work with a wide range of social work learning opportunities and experiences, as well as supervised assistance and guidance in the development of competent social work practice through the integration of academic knowledge, applied skill, and ethical practice..

Social Work Private Practitioner

Social Workers in private practice require an additional level of registration. Registered Social Workers can apply to the Board of Examiners to engage in private practice social work. The registration process for private practice demonstrates that the social worker has advanced skills in a particular area of social work and can apply them independently.

Student Members

Social work students are our province’s future social workers. Student members have access to all membership activities including discounted membership rates for College professional development events and conferences.

Student members are not registered to practice social work under the Social Work Act. Student membership is also based on approval by the Executive Director/Registrar.

Associate Members

Associate members are social workers in good standing who are not currently practicing. Associate members have access to all member activities, discounts & communications except they cannot use the title of Registered Social Worker (RSW), or practice social work within the scope of practice.

Social workers off on sick leave, parental leave or unemployed should switch their active Registered Social Worker membership to an Associate member by applying to the Executive Director/Registrar in writing.