The mandate of the College is to protect the public from unqualified, incompetent or unfit practitioners. The public needs to be able to trust that those who provide care to them are qualified to do so.
In Ontario, the following titles are protected titles. This means that anyone who uses these titles, an abbreviation of these titles or the French language equivalents, must be registered with the College:
- “social worker”
- “registered social worker”
- “social service worker”
- “registered social service worker”
Using any of the protected titles without being registered is illegal. It is also illegal for an individual to hold out expressly or by implication that they are a social worker or a social service worker without being registered. Individuals who use the protected titles illegally or who hold out as if they are a social worker or a social service worker are considered unregulated practitioners and may put the public at risk.
Some individuals may have a degree in social work or a diploma in social service work. While such individuals can list their degree or diploma, they cannot use any of the protected titles unless they are registered with the College. The public is strongly encouraged always to check the College’s Online Register to confirm the registration status of an individual. For more information on how the College addresses title protection concerns, please refer to the College’s Title Protection Fact Sheet.
There are currently no court proceedings.