In Nova Scotia, provincial legislation requires that persons practicing as social workers be registered with the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers (NSCSW). To become registered as a social worker and thus permitted to use the title of social worker, a candidate with the BSW degree must complete at least two years, or a minimum of 3,859 hours, of paid supervised social work experience. A candidate with the MSW 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 hours are based upon a 37.5 hour work week. The Board may consider part-time work as acceptable experience on an appropriately pro-rated basis. Overtime or extra work cannot be used to reduce the number of years of required supervision.

All new applicants for registration must demonstrate to the Board that they have the knowledge, values and skills necessary to competently practice social work.

The social worker candidacy period is designed to provide 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.