The Standards of Practice of the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers (NSCSW) describes the responsibilities of Social Workers to their clients, colleagues, employers and society as a whole. This document was achieved through a process of consultation with NSCSW members which provided every member with the opportunity for input.

The Standards of Practice perform several functions:

  1. Establish professional expectations as the basis of responsibility for Social Workers so that they may develop, control, evaluate and improve their own practice.
  2. Promote the protection of the public, and specifically, of clients of Social Workers, by ensuring competent social work practice.
  3. Provide a basis for professional development and continuing education within the social work profession.
  4. Put into action the values, ethics, knowledge and skills expected of social work professionals, so that other professionals, employees, clients and the general public may understand the goals and methods of social work practice in Nova Scotia.
  5. Enhance the value and credibility of the profession so that it may more effectively advocate for social change when deemed necessary.

Adopted from the NSCSW Standards of Practice, amended 2002

The language of the Standards of Practice is mandatory. The use of the word “shall” in these standards reinforces the accountability of Social Workers to adhere to these standards in their practice. A violation of these standards is grounds for a complaint and possible disciplinary action.

The Standards of Practice apply to all Registered Social Workers, including provisional (RSW) and Social Worker Candidates (SWC). The use of the term Social Worker within these standards includes all categories listed above.