Summer 2019

Q&A: Use of the Title “Clinical Social Worker”

Q. Why can’t an employee use the title “clinical social worker” and/or “registered clinical social worker” in respect to their practice?

A. Regardless of what practice setting in which a College member may be working, the College has only two classes of registration: Registered Social Worker and Registered Social Service Worker.

The following titles, abbreviations of these titles or any variations of these titles, do not exist as a class of registration with the College, and therefore cannot be used:

  • clinical social worker
  • registered clinical social worker or RCSW
  • licensed clinical social worker or LCSW

In Ontario, only the protected titles listed below are recognized by the College. Anyone who uses these titles, abbreviations of these titles or their French equivalents, must be registered with the College:

  • social worker
  • registered social worker
  • social service worker
  • registered social service worker

Sections (46) and Section (47) of the Social Work and Social Service Work Act set out the use of title provisions. If you have any questions regarding the use of protected titles, please write to the College at: titleprotection@ocswssw.org. Additional information is available here.