1. How long does it take for my application to be processed?

The application process is completed when the applicant has successfully submitted all of the documents required and has paid the application fee of $100.00. The application will then go before the Board of Examiners for approval.

2. What if an Employer Says I don’t have to be Registered to do my Job

An employer is free to set any job requirements for hiring. The employer cannot, however, decide that a qualified social worker does not have to be registered. This may mean that you are doing exactly the same job as another person who is not required to be a registered social worker because that other person does not qualify for registration. That person is not a social worker.

3. What is the difference between a Child Abuse Registry Check and the Vulnerable Sector Check?

The Vulnerable Sector Check is different from a Child Abuse Registry Check in that the former include those vulnerable in society but may not include young children, and the latter specifically addresses that of young children in Nova Scotia. It’s a requirement of the NSCSW that all applicants do a Child Abuse Registry Check regardless if they will be working with children or not, or if they have never lived in Nova Scotia.

4. If I am an international Social Worker trying to get registered in Nova Scotia as a Social Worker what must I have before I can be registered?

A person coming from another country must have their credentials assessed. The Canadian Association of Social Workers offers for a fee the evaluation of international social work degrees in addition to other programs that fall within the same category. The application and additional information can be found here. Once your credentials have been approved along with your application, the NSCSW will require a document confirming the assessment was approved.

5. What is Temporary or Courtesy Registration?

Temporary Registration is provided to an applicant who because of an employment opportunity requires registration in Nova Scotia. For up to 30 days a temporary Registration can be provided to an applicant already registered and living in another province. Temporary Registration is provided when an applicant requires registration and can’t wait until the next meeting of the Board of Examiners. The applicant must have all the required documents and fees paid before a temporary can be provided.

6. The annual registration fee or license renewal fee is:

  • Active Registrants: $416.00 prorated quarterly for new applicants
  • Inactive Registration: 50% of the regular registration fee

Registrants may apply for Associate registration if:

  • They are eligible for active status.
  • They are not in default of any obligations to the College.
  • They are not practicing social work in Nova Scotia on January 1 of the renewal year.
  • They are not practicing social work in Nova Scotia for reasons which may include but are not limited to: maternity leave; paternity or parental leave; long-term disability; long term leave of absence; return to school; inability to secure social work employment; residing out of province; retirement from a social work position.

7. How often does the Board of Examiners Meet?

The Board of Examiners has a meeting on the fourth Thursday of every month excluding August.

8. What Payment Methods are available to me?

You can pay online at the time when applying for registration or you can call us with a credit card and we will pay the fee manually for you. You can also send us a check or money order.

9. By what means can I send my documents?

The only document that has to be sent directly from the University to NSCSW in a sealed envelope is the BSW or MSW Transcripts. Otherwise, you can send your References, your Criminal Record Check, Child Abuse Registry Check, Resume and Job Description by uploading them, mail, email or by fax.

10. What is the NSCSW policy on returning original documents?

The NSCSW does not return any original documents.

11. What is a Social Work Candidate?

A Social Work Candidate is a status of registration where the registrant has to undertake a period of supervision depending on the level of their academic achievement. For someone with a BSW it will be 24 months of supervision with a Candidate Supervisor and 18 months for someone with a MSW. All the information regarding Candidacy can be found in the Candidacy Manual which is on our website You will also find all the forms needed for Candidacy, the NSCSW By-Laws, The NSCSW Regulations, The NSCSW Standards of Practice