Reviewing the Candidacy Mentorship Program

The NSCSW has utilized the Candidacy Mentorship Program as a secondary assessment since 1993, with significant revisions to the program occurring in 2019. The Candidacy Mentorship Program (CMP) is a strategic initiative for graduates of accredited social work schools. It aims to provide a supportive and educational environment for professional development, grounded in adult learning principles. By pairing new graduates or those returning to practice (candidates) with seasoned practitioners (mentors), the CMP helps new registrants assimilate knowledge, apply skills, and put ethical principles into action during their initial years of practice.

The Candidacy Mentorship Program offers a fresh approach to evaluating student potential and readiness. Unlike traditional standardized testing methods, the CMP places a strong emphasis on practical experience, mentorship, and adherence to core social work values. This methodological shift allows for a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of a student’s capabilities, which can lead to more accurate and equitable outcomes.

During 2023, the College undertook a preliminary review of this program using a reflective thematic analysis of completed candidacy records from 2019-2022. The goal of this review was to evaluate if the program is meeting its core objectives, such as the program’s effectiveness in:

  • Integrating ethics,
  • Strengthening professional identity, and
  • Addressing occupational stress.

This review provided insights into the program’s strengths as well as areas for continued improvement. We are pleased to be able to share the result with you now:

Join the Candidacy Committee

The College’s candidacy committee has been on hiatus for several years, and is being reinstated to plan our next steps for the CMP. Council of the NSCSW is accepting letters of intent from any members interested in joining this work. 


Based on recommendations made in the review, the reinstated Candidacy Committee’s objectives will be to:

  • Strengthen mentor engagement;
  • Support the capacity of mentors to assess candidate character and competency;
  • Examine ways the NSCSW can meaningfully compensate mentors;
  • Examine the areas of the program that need revamping and revitalizing;
  • Update the CMP by incorporating the new CASW Code of Ethics content; and
  • Develop tools and resources for mentors and candidates.


Letters of intent and current CV can be sent to Alec Stratford ( no later then March 31, 2024.

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