If you have social work credentials
and are practicing within the
of practice you must be
registered with the College.

The Registration Process

The Application and Policy Manual offers detailed information about the NSCSW policies and processes for registration. There are different registration pathways for new registrants with Canadian credentials, social workers transferring registration from other Canadian provinces, and those who received their BSW or MSW degree abroad (in the US or elsewhere). Most applicants will follow the four steps below:

Complete this online application form with your $100 non-refundable application fee. Once you have completed your online application form and paid your application fee you have 6 months to complete the registration process (see next steps).

Complete through the application portal :

  1. consent to release information to the employer concerning the status of your application.
  2. The names and email addresses of two references. The forms will be automatically emailed to your references for completion through the application portal.
  3. Current Resume
  4. Job description (if employed)

Mail an original copy of the following documents to the College:

  • University transcript (BSW/MSW) sent from the University directly to the College OR a letter sent from the University directly confirming completion of your BSW/MSW degree program (if you are awaiting convocation)
  • Original copy (no photocopy or digital version) of your Criminal Record Check (contact local police or visit this website)
  • Original copy (no photocopy or digital version) of your Child Abuse Registry Check
    *** If your province does not conduct a child abuse check, please note this in your application and ensure that the police include a vulnerable persons’ check.

Your complete application will be presented to the Board of Examiners for approval and notification of the decision will be mailed to you within a week following the decision.

  • You must submit a complete application package with all registration documents and all material must be available to the Board 5 days prior to the Board meeting.
  • The Board meets eleven times a year — generally once per month, with one month off every summer. (there will be no Board meeting in August 2023)

If approved your name will be added to the Register of Social Workers and Social Worker Candidates within the week.

If your application is not approved you will be informed, in writing, of the Board’s reasons.

Pending review of your application by the Board, the Registrar may grant temporary registration for a period of up to 30 days. For more information about temporary status, please contact the office.

Translating Documents

Application documents that are not in English or French must be translated before they are submitted to the College.

You must provide your original documents plus a precise word-for-word translation in English or French. This must be a certified translation, accompanied by a cover letter from an accredited translator including:

  •  The exact name of the documents which have been translated.
  • The method by which the accredited translator received the documents.
  • Any comments about the accuracy of your documents.
  • The date of the translation.
  • The accredited translator’s identification number and/or seal.

Academic Qualifications

You are asked to list the academic qualifications you obtained from your social work program on the online application form.

  • Please contact the academic institution(s) you graduated from and request to have your original transcripts forwarded directly to the College.
  • A photocopy, fax or electronic copy of the documentation will not be accepted.

If your social work program has been submitted to the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) for an evaluation, ensure that the CASW forwards the written evaluation directly to the College. An official transcript from your academic institution is not required.

Member classes

The Board of Examiners will determine if an applicant is eligible to be placed on the Registry of Registered Social Workers. Eligibility for the Registry of Registered Social Workers is outlined in section 22 of the Social Workers Act and further defined in Section 8 of the regulations.

A person is eligible for Registered Social Worker status if they have completed a CASWE accredited Bachelor of Social Work degree or a Masters of Social Work Degree or equivalent and an additional 2500 hours of practice experience post-graduation that falls within the scope of practice (Social Worker Act Section 5(a)).

A qualified applicant who has not completed 2500 hours of practice experience post-graduation will be considered a Social Worker Candidate and placed on the Social Worker Candidate Registry, and must complete all or part of the Candidacy Mentorship Program based on their previous experience.

For comprehensive details on the Candidacy Mentorship Program, visit candidacy.nscsw.org.

Registration Appeal

If the Board of Examiners refuses your registration, you will be notified in writing by the College’s Executive Director/Registrar with reasons and the Registrar’s proposal.

Within 30 days of receipt of the Registrar’s proposal, you may request a review of the Board of Examiner’s registration refusal.

If a review is requested, it will be conducted by a Registration Appeals Committee.

It may take several months before the committee begins your review. The length of time it takes for the Committee to render a decision depends on the unique circumstances of each individual’s application, additional information submitted on the review, and the Registrar’s proposal.

Application & Renewal Policy Manual

Reviewed November 26, 2021


Annual Registration and Renewal Fee

The registration year begins January 1 and covers a twelve-month period, to be renewed annually. Fees for new members of the College who apply to NSCSW later in the year are prorated to reflect the date of approval to practice.

Initial registration fees for new applicants in 2023

Active Associate
January 1 – December 31 $445 $222
April 1 – December 31 $334 $167
July 1 – December 31 $222 $111
October 1 – December 31 $111 $56

First-time registration fees for new social workers are further reduced for recent graduates who apply to NSCSW within a year of completing their accredited social work program.

Visit our registration fees page for more detailed information, including the 2024 fee schedule.

Private Practice Fees

  • The initial application fee for entitlement to engage in private practice is $50.
  • The additional annual fee to engage in private practice is $50.

Initial Application Fee

All Active or Associate Registered Social Workers, Social Worker Candidates and Registered Social Workers (Provisional) pay a $100.00 application fee. 

Other Fees

  • The fee for an examination of an applicant: $50
  • The fee for duplicate copies of receipts: $10
  • The fee for Reinstatement (Failure to pay fees): $100
  • The fee for Reinstatement (from retirement or resignation): $25
  • The fee to assess international credentials (through the CASW – learn more here): $339.00

Learn more about the application process for:

 Questions? Contact the College’s Regulatory and Applications Administrator Suzanne Kutach at suzanne.kutach@nscsw.org or call 902-429-7799 x 221.