The Future of Candidacy

We recently unveiled the new direction for the Candidacy program at the College’s Fall Conference.

On May 16th, 2016, the Social Workers Act was amended which brought a renewed mandate to our organization, the newly named Nova Scotia College of Social Workers. We believed Candidacy would be removed. However, the amendments included Candidacy as a regulatory requirement.

This gave us an opportunity to reinvest in Candidacy to transform it into a program that reflects the tensions within postmodern social work practice and provide a tangible alternative to current national regulatory practices.

Here are the core changes to the Candidacy program as recommended by the College’s Candidacy Committee:

  1. Regardless of their level of degree, Candidates are required to complete 2500 practice hours.  Candidates can count all paid experience that falls with the social worker scope of practice. In addition, 500 of those hours can be in a volunteer role. Finally, all Candidates must normally complete the 2500 hours within a 5-year period.
  1. The term Supervisor is now Mentor to better reflect the guiding principles. The Mentor should have at least two years of full time experience as a professional social worker acceptable by the Board of Examiners and be Registered as a:
    • Registered Social Worker
    • Registered Social Worker (Associate)
    • Registered Social Worker (Retired)
  2. Learning objectives in each learning agreement should promote overall professional development related to social work values, knowledge, and skills across contexts.  There will Appendices for support on writing clear achievable learning objectives, with activities and resources to support these objectives. (See an example of the Appendix here) Mentors and Candidates will be responsible for 2 reports to the NSCSW.

Read more about the College & Committee’s steps to reinvent Candidacy 

Next steps

There is still a lot to discuss as we move forward to transform the Candidacy program.

The committee will develop 11 Appendices to line up with our 11 Standards of Practice. Each Appendix will provide activities options and objective examples as well resources and assessment options.

Our planned role out-time for the new program is for the Spring of 2018. There will be lots of discussion about how to transition those who are currently completing Candidacy.

Feed Back 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the redevelopment of the Candidacy program. Contact me directly at with your comments and feedback.