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. Our professional development standards have also been more fully revised for 2022; please click here for a preview of next year’s requirements.

The Nova Scotia College of Social Workers recognizes the broad scope of the social work profession and that there are many methods of learning new skills and knowledge. NSCSW encourages social workers to seek opportunities that combine professional development with contributing to the field of social work and the quality of life for the residents of Nova Scotia.

All social workers (including employed, unemployed and self-employed individuals) are required to maintain 40 hours of professional development activity in social work each year. Members will be asked to report their activities upon renewal of their registration. Reporting may include formal and informal activities outlined in the NSCSW professional development activities found on the NSCSW website.

Associate Member Professional Development Requirements

Associate members including those on parental leave or sick leave (pro-rated up to one year) shall report a minimum of 20 hours of professional development which may be accumulated solely through volunteer activities and/or self-directed study.

Professional Development Audit

Members must keep a record of the professional development hours and verification of formal activities (Most formal activities will have credentials listed on their promotional material and certificates will be provided upon completion). Records should be kept for the previous three years.

The College may, at any time, conduct an audit of records kept under to ensure the validity of data that is recorded on applications to the College respecting the professional development hours completed.

Parental Leave or Sick Leave

Members on parental leave or sick leave (pro-rated up to one year) shall report a minimum of 20 hours of Professional Development which may be accumulated solely through volunteer activities and/or self-directed study.

First-time Registrants

When renewing registration for the first time only, Professional Development requirements will be pro-rated on a quarterly basis, to reflect the portion of the year in which the RSW was registered. For example, a member who was granted registration in June, 2014 will have to record 20 hours of Professional Development when renewing in December, 2014. A member who was granted registration in October, 2014, will have to record 10 hours of Professional Development in December, 2014.

Recording Requirements

Members of NSCSW are required to record and submit professional development activities yearly. Registration approval/renewal cannot be granted until the requirements for professional development have been supplied and met. If the professional development inventory does not meet the requirements (Appendix A), the renewal cannot be completed and the member will not be registered and licensed as a Social Worker for the upcoming year.

Members should be aware that incomplete PDS hours will be flagged. Noncompliance to this Policy will be dealt with by the Registrar and/or acting designate.

Inspiring a Learning Community

A best practice guide for registered Social Workers in Nova Scotia prepared by the NSCSW in conjunction with the Professional Development Committee.

Inspiring a Learning Community.