15 Nov 2017

Important Clarification – Registration Regulation Amendments

It has come to the College’s attention that members and potential applicants have expressed some concerns regarding the amendments to the Registration Regulation, which will come into effect on January 1, 2018.

As mentioned in the College’s August 2nd eBulletin, the amendments to the Registration Regulation, O. Reg. 383/00 made under the Social Work and Social Service Work Act, 1998 include, amongst other changes, the following:

Improving language in the current Regulation so that all applicants will be required to indicate whether or not they have any physical or mental condition or disorder that could affect their ability to practise social work or social service work in a safe manner.

Why the change?

Unlike the other amendments to the Registration Regulation, this is not a new requirement, but rather an improvement to already-existing wording in the Regulation.

Since it began operations in 2000, the College has had the authority to request information from applicants in order to ensure they were “mentally competent to practise social work or social service work.”

The amendment to the Registration Regulation now puts the emphasis on “the ability to practise social work or social service work, as the case may be, in a safe manner”. Once the amendment comes into effect, an applicant will be asked to answer a question on the application form about whether they have a physical or mental condition or disorder that could affect their ability to practise in a safe manner.

The amendments to the Registration Regulation were made after a period of consultation and extensive legal review by the College and the government. They do not conflict with any provincial or federal legislation.

The amendment to the Registration Regulation furthers the College’s public protection mandate by ensuring that the public can be assured that members of the College are able to practise in a safe manner. It is also consistent with the registration regulations of other regulatory bodies in Ontario.

What does this mean for me?             

It is important to note that this particular requirement applies to applicants and not members (unless a member is applying to move into specific membership classes; e.g. into the inactive class or the retired class, or into the general class from the inactive class).

As part of the application process, an applicant must determine if they have a physical or mental condition or disorder that could affect their ability to practise in a safe manner, and then make a declaration to the College based on that determination.

What happens to this information?

The College maintains confidentiality and adheres to strict record management practices with respect to the application process.

If an applicant confirms that they have a physical or mental condition or disorder that could affect their ability to practise social work or social service work in a safe manner, the College will contact the applicant to discuss next steps, which may include requesting more information.

Have additional questions?

The College is committed to keeping you informed as we move toward implementation of the amendments. For further information, please contact Christina Van Sickle, Director of Professional Practice by phone at 416-972-9882 or toll-free 1-877-828-9380 ext. 226 or by email cvansickle@ocswssw.org.