Annual renewals for 2023 are open!

Known issue: The table that displays a tally of your professional development hours has a column for “credited hours” that is likely full of zeroes. Please ignore this column entirely for now; it is not accurate and will be removed in a future update.

Members of NSCSW can now complete your 2023 registration renewal online. This post explains the steps to completing the renewal process. Each step is followed by a short list of troubleshooting tips, answers to questions frequently asked by our members, and links to helpful resources.

We remain confident in our ability to support our members in completing the renewal process. 

  • If you encounter a problem that cannot be fixed with the troubleshooting tips on this page, please contact the College for assistance. Our staff can assist you by phone, email, or video chat.
  • If you need to visit our office in person, please email us to make an appointment so we can confirm availability; some staff members are on telework rotation, and our office will be closed for several days at the end of December.
  • We aim to respond within two business days to all renewal inquiries. Please avoid leaving messages for multiple team members as it can further slow down our response. If the person you contacted can’t help you themselves, they will forward your question to the correct person on your behalf.
  • RSW (Telepractice) members (i.e. social workers resident and registered in other Canadian jurisdictions whose work with clients in Nova Scotia must be limited to electronic practice) cannot renew online this year. Forms have been emailed to these members to complete and return to the College via email, fax or post before the Dec 31 renewal deadline; please contact Ogo Okechukwu at Ogochukwu.Okechukwu@NSCSW.org if you need staff support with a telepractice renewal.
  • We are holding several renewal workshops where members will be able to see all the steps of the renewal process and ask questions. Check out event listings to see the date of the next one.

As we do every year, we strongly encourage you to consider early renewal as a gift to your future self.

1. Member login

Access your member account online.

  • Use one of the link buttons in this post, or visit NSCSW.org and click the registry portal link in the menu at the very top of the page then select the option for current NSCSW members.
  • Enter your member registration number and password to sign into your member account.

Login tips & troubleshooting

  • Can’t remember your member registration number? You can find it by looking up your name in the public registry; type it in with no spaces or symbols. Or you can sign in using your primary email address.
  • Can’t remember your password? Click “Forgot your password?” and follow the directions, and you’ll receive an email with instructions to regain access. All fields are case-sensitive. 
    • Use the password reset option early; your profile will be locked if you enter an incorrect password three times in a row. Locked profiles will need intervention from College staff to unlock them.
    • You must type in your email address to request a password reset; entering your member registration number won’t work there.
    • We’re not sure why, but Hotmail addresses sometimes block our password reset emails and renewal notifications. If this happens to you, please contact us for help resetting your password. And if you have another non-Hotmail address you check frequently, please consider adding it to your member account instead.
  • Are you at work? Digital security settings at your workplace might limit which websites you can visit, or which ones can save “cookies” on your computer (i.e. small data files exchanged between your device and the website you visit). Without cookies, the database will seem to keep forgetting that you’re logged in, because it can’t recognize your computer from one page to the next. Try using a personal device from home, or talk to your IT department.
  • Is your browser up to date? Microsoft retired Internet Explorer this year, but they have a new browser called Edge that is pre-installed on new Windows computers. There are many other modern web browsers available as well; Safari, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox should all work, as long as your software is kept up to date.
  • Still can’t get in? Please double check whether you’ve clicked on the member account section of the registry portal. (The applicant section of the registry portal is not for renewals; that section is only for people who are applying to join NSCSW for the first time and do not have a member number yet.)

2. Professional development inventory

Click on Professional Development in the menu, and select Activities.

Scroll down and find Add Activity

Use this option to enter each of your professional development activities from 2022.

Each activity should be entered separately, and should have both a category (e.g. Required Trainings) and selected subcategory/description (e.g. Ethics Training). If you attempt to combine multiple activities into a single entry, the database may not recognize that you have met your minimum requirements.

There’s a new question on the activity tracking form this year; please write a brief reflection on how each activity will influence your future practice. 

The recurring requirement for PD hours in social work ethics every five years has also been replaced with a new annual requirement launched at the beginning of 2022. All registered members must now complete at least six hours of PD across five specific topics mandated by the College. Full details are at nscsw.org/pd, but here’s a quick summary:

  • social work ethics (1 hour training)
  • anti-racist & anti-discriminatory practice (1 hour training)
  • truth & reconciliation (1 hour training or activity)
  • vicarious trauma & secondary stress (1 hour training or activity)
  • social justice (1 hour training or activity)

When you’re done, choose Submit to College from the menu.

Once your minimum hours are met, the Submit button on this page should change its colour to blue – click this to continue. Click Finish when you are done. A renewal form link will then appear on the front page of your member profile.

Professional development tips & troubleshooting

  • Need more professional development (PD) hours? Our PD activities page is full of suggestions, including links to our YouTube archive, CASW resources, and activities related to every one of the five new mandatory PD topics.
  • Are you a Social Worker Candidate? SWCs are required to complete and report to the College the same amount of PD as RSWs.
    • Annual PD and the Candidacy Mentorship Program (CMP) are separate regulatory requirements, and are tracked in different sections of the member portal. The PD activities you complete to fulfil your membership renewal obligations should not be counted as CMP activities, and vice versa. However, SWCs may choose to include discussions of PD activities in conversations with their mentor.
  • If you had active registration for the entire year, you need 40 hours of PD in 2022; of these, at least 20 hours must be formal learning. You may need fewer hours if you were an associate for any part of the year, or joined the College after the first quarter of the year.
  • For multi-day activities, such as a conference or an ongoing volunteer commitment, you can either enter each day as a separate activity, or choose the start date and enter any additional date information in the description section.
  • If an activity fits into multiple categories, you can choose whether to assign all the hours to a single category or divide them up.
    • For example, a two hour workshop about ethics in social work research could be divided into one hour for the mandated social work ethics requirement and the remaining hour assigned to formal learning.
  • You will only be able to submit the professional development inventory once your annual minimum PD requirements are met (i.e. 10-40 total hours, including six hours across five new mandatory PD topics, and up to 20 hours of formal learning, depending on registration status).
    • If you think your hours are complete and correct, but are unable to submit your inventory and proceed to the next step, please contact College staff for assistance.
  • You won’t be able to edit activities or add new ones after you submit the inventory. Please make sure all details are complete before you click the button. If you accidentally submit too soon and need to make changes, you will need to ask College staff to assist you.

3. Complete renewal form

Complete the entire renewal form. Review all your information and confirm it’s correct.

  • Have you recently changed your name?
  • Do you have a new mailing address, primary email, or phone number?
  • Is all your employment information up to date, and complete?
  • Are you interested in volunteering for a position on Council, or a College committee?
  • Are you subscribed to our mailing list to receive updates from the College, the biweekly email newsletter, and Connection magazine?

Please make all your updates and changes before you submit the form.

Renewal form tips & troubleshooting

  • Have you confirmed your liability insurance? All members must attest that they have sufficient liability coverage, which may be obtained via an employer and/or independently. Further documentation is only required for members who are solely liable for their practice (i.e. Private Practitioners).
  • Your “common first name” is the name you are commonly known by, and/or prefer to be called. It might be your legal first name, your middle name, or a nickname; whatever it is, it should be included in our registry so that someone searching for that name will be able to find and confirm your registration.
  • Are you registered in other jurisdictions? Or with the regulatory body of another health profession?
  • Are you a Private Practitioner? The public registry will identify all Private Practitioners, but will only include contact information for your practice if you (1) enter your practice information in the employment section and (2) give consent for us to publish it in the registry. These steps are on two different pages of the renewal form. 

4. Select payment & submit renewal form

There are three payment options:

  1. To pay online, click the Pay Now box next to your registration fee(s), enter your credit card information, and click Process Payment.
  2. To pay by mail, select Cheque. Your cheque payment must be received before December 15.
  3. If your employer plans to submit payment directly on your behalf, select To Be Submitted By Employer. You will be able to view and print an invoice for them if it’s required for their internal procedures.
    • Employer payments to NSCSW are made by cheque, so please complete your renewal form by December 15 to prevent processing delays.

If your employer is reimbursing you for registration fees, you may choose whether you prefer online or cheque payment. After your renewal is complete you can print copies of your receipt directly from your member profile, and submit them to your employer according to their internal process.

Payment is due no later than December 31 (see Late Renewal section below).

Payment tips & troubleshooting

  • We will only accept payments once the online renewal form is complete. We strongly encourage you to pay online if you can.
  • Cheque payments are only accepted until December 15, 2022, to allow time to process and deposit payments before the end of the year. Cheques can be mailed, or dropped off at our office in Halifax (please use our mail slot if the office is closed), as long as they are delivered before the cutoff date.
  • We do not recommend post-dating cheques. If a member’s cheque payment fails in late December, they may not have time to complete an alternate method of payment before the deadline, and could have their registration suspended. 
  • If your employer submits payment to the College on your behalf:
    • Please ask them about their internal procedures and deadlines. You must complete the renewal form before we can accept their payment, so they may require you to provide them with a copy of your invoice. They may need time to collect and process these for multiple staff members at your organization, so act early.
    • You should complete the renewal form by December 15 to prevent processing delays. Employers pay fees to us via cheque, but the funds are not attached to your member account until every other step of renewal is complete. Our staff spend the last two weeks of the year renewing and processing hundreds of these payments, and we don’t want yours to be held up.
    • Are you also a Private Practitioner? Most employers do not cover the $50 annual fee to maintain your entitlement to engage in private practice. To pay this portion yourself when you’re completing the renewal form, use the Pay Now checkboxes to split your payment; select the box next to Private Practice Fee and deselect the one next to Annual Renewal Fee

5. Completing renewal

Your registration is renewed for 2023 once the College receives both your complete online renewal form and your payment of registration fees. You need to renew your registration to continue practicing social work in the new year. 

Once your registration is renewed, you can print your receipt and proof of 2023 registration (i.e. certificate or wallet card) directly from your online member account.

Leaving the College

If you have retired or left the province and will not be renewing this year, please contact Ogo Okechukwu at Ogochukwu.Okechukwu@NSCSW.org.

If you have changed positions and believe you are no longer practicing within the Scope of Practice as defined by the Social Workers Act, you may apply for resignation by submitting a request and current job description to the College’s Executive Director/Registrar for review in accordance with Social Worker Regulation 26 (a). Please send requests for resignation to our Executive Director/Registrar Alec Stratford at Alec.Stratford@NSCSW.org

Why is registration renewed annually?

The annual renewal process is a core NSCSW regulatory function. It confirms to the public that our members have the ethical foundation, skills and good character to practice social work in Nova Scotia. 

Renewal is also an opportunity to reflect on your professional growth and development, and to bring to life the core social work value of integrity in professional practice. You’re recommitting to the values and standards of our profession and reflecting on your goals and commitment to lifelong learning. 

Professional social work registration is a privilege our members can take pride in.

Late renewals

If a member’s registration is not renewed by December 31, it will be suspended on January 1. The member will need to pay an additional fee to reinstate their registration.

The Social Workers Act requires that individuals who practice social work in this province must be registered with our College. If a member’s registration is suspended, this may affect their employment. 

It is each individual member’s responsibility to ensure their own registration is renewed on time. We encourage all members to consider completing their renewal as early as possible.

Early bird renewal draws

On November 1, 2022, we will randomly select a member who has completed all steps for their annual registration renewal before October 31. We will complete a second draw on December 1, from all members who completed renewal before November 30. The two winners will each be offered a free ticket to the College’s annual conference in May 2023, and their names will be published in the bi-weekly member newsletter.

(College staff and Council are not eligible for these draws.)

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