Preparing to implement regulatory change

As you may remember from our last update, some significant bylaw changes were approved at our special general meeting in 2023 to substantially change how we regulate private practice and clinical practice. We’ve been fine-tuning that framework, and we’re about to take a great leap forward.

Where we’re at: Updating the registry

The technical updates to our online member registry are in progress now! If all goes well with testing, we expect this to be complete within the next few weeks. When it is, the by-laws approved by membership in 2023 will take effect:

  • All NSCSW members will be able to pursue self-employment and engage in the private practice of non-clinical social work
  • Registered Social Workers will be able to apply to the Board of Examiners for authorization to practice clinical specializations in private practice settings under the new framework.
    • The application process we have been using for our current framework will run in parallel with the new one for several months; members who have been working towards approval under that paradigm will have time to complete that process.
  • Private practitioners whom the Board of Examiners authorized for clinical specializations under the current framework will be automatically grandparented into the new framework.

What’s next: Clinical practice guidelines

As a companion to the clinical standards under development, we have also been developing a guidelines document for clinical practitioners. Standards represent what will be required by regulation; the guidelines represent best practices in enacting those standards, and are intended to be both aspirational and supportive.

We are sharing a draft of those guidelines now, and are inviting member feedback. Your responses to our member survey will play a crucial role in evaluating and refining these guidelines to ensure they effectively contribute to a more just, inclusive, and compassionate approach to social work practice. This feedback is essential for the NSCSW to understand the practical implications and effectiveness of the guidelines from the perspectives of those directly affected. We appreciate your time and thoughtful responses, which will contribute to the ongoing development and refinement of social work practice standards in Nova Scotia.

We expect the new clinical practice standards and the accompanying guidelines to be completed this year and be ready for full implementation in 2025. A copy of the latest draft of the standards is included here for your reference.