Notice: The Board of Examiners and Council of the College have extended 2020’s temporary changes to the Professional Development Requirements policy until the end of 2021. The number of formal professional development hours required during 2021 is therefore changed, and the maximum for several other categories has been temporarily increased; please click here to learn more.
Pursuing professional development (PD) is part of how every social worker ensures they are best equipped to complete their responsibilities and help those they are called to serve. Social workers in Nova Scotia are self-regulated, and have collectively created standards for minimum PD activity that each member is accountable to their College to complete each year; members must therefore keep track of their PD activities, and submit documentation to NSCSW during their annual registration renewal.
Registered Social Workers and Social Work Candidates are encouraged to seek opportunities that combine their PD activity with contributing to the field of social work, serving the public interest, improving social conditions, and promoting social justice and quality of life for all Nova Scotians.
We are always open to member feedback on our PD standards, and ways we can appropriately and effectively support our members in their professional commitments to lifelong learning.
PD is self-directed
We recognize the broad scope of the social work profession, and there are many methods of learning new skills and developing knowledge.
The NSCSW’s Council does not limit members to pre-approved options for professional development; while topics such as social work ethics may be be mandated, each NSCSW member can assess which of the many learning opportunities available to them are most appropriate to their practice.
The suggested activities on this page are intended to support and guide members, not restrict them. The list is also a work in progress, and we will continue to add to it over time.
PD via NSCSW
We offer a program of professional development events every year, including an annual conference scheduled with our AGM in May. Sessions are designed to help members meet regulatory requirements, advance the interests of the profession, and address interests/needs expressed by our membership. Check here to see what’s coming up in our event calendar.
NSCSW is also part of the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW). We encourage our members to visit casw-acts.ca/webinars to browse upcoming CASW events and their archive of recordings. In addition to their live and recorded webinars, CASW offers many learning resources that are free for NSCSW members, including a professional journal and a full-text journal database. Members of our College can visit the CASW website to claim their free national membership.
Selected topics of interest
Social work ethics
Ethical behaviour is at the core of social work practice. It is a part of our everyday decision making and paramount to guiding our actions.
All active social workers registered with the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers must complete 5 hours of social work ethics professional development over a recurring 5 year period in addition to their annual 40 hours.
These webinars were recorded by NSCSW and/or CASW, and are free for our members:
- The ethics of burnout
- Ethics and social work during COVID-19
- Social work ethics and telehealth
- Ethics In Social Work Webinar Series
- Social Work Practice in a Digital and Electronic World: Ethical and Risk Management Challenges
- Navigating Ethical Issues in Social Work Practice
Truth and Reconciliation
The 94 calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission include provision of education to public servants and health care professionals, as well as those charged with child welfare, specifically on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations.
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Final Report
Recorded webcast of the Commission’s closing event
- Learning from Knowledge Keepers of Mi’kma’ki
A 12-episode lecture series from Unama’ki College at Cape Breton University
- Doctrine of Discovery: Stolen lands, strong hearts
A documentary film created in response to The Anglican Church’s Primate’s Commission on Discovery, Reconciliation and Justice
- Respect our Boundaries: A conversation on land, bodies and consent
On the National Day of Awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Womxn and Girls, hosted by Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women and The Red Nation.
- Indigenous Perspectives & Social Work series
- Aboriginal Community Social Work: Committing to Anti-Oppressive Practice
- Unsettling ourselves: Settler engagement with Truth and Reconciliation
- Decolonizing Journeys
Anti-racist & anti-discriminatory practice
- Trans inclusion in social work
Nebraska Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers
- Working with LGBTQ+ people
Social Work England
- Virtual Tour of Yad Vashem’s Holocaust History Museum
- Social work with refugees and asylum-seekers: Current practices, research and challenges
Research seminar co-hosted by the Universities of Sussex and Brighton
- Black Lives Matter and environmental racism
- Africentric social work practice
- Intersectional trauma-informed care series: Part 1 and Part 2
- Doing better for LGBTQ2+ communities in health and social services
- Working with trans youth and their families: Evidence based practice for intervention and social change
Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3
- Spirituality and Social Work
Includes a presenter who focuses on mental health experiences of Afro-Caribbean youth
- Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard webinar series
- Casualties of Care: Social work as a cog in the machinery of white supremacy
- Beyond Good and Bad: Understanding Racism
- Social Work and Racialized Youth
- Canadian Immigration Policies and Family Reunification: Implications For Social Work
- Repositioning social workers in mental health in NS:
- Mental health services & Indigenous communities
Vicarious trauma & secondary stress
- Chronic stress, moral injury and grief
- Wanted: Moral courage in social work
- The ethics of burnout
- Arts-based mindfulness methods