Note: As of January 1, 2018, inactive members were deemed to hold an inactive certificate of registration. There is a new process for members who hold an inactive certificate of registration and who wish to start practising, to apply for a general certificate of registration.

A member in the general class of certificate of registration may wish to become a member in the inactive class of certificate of registration because they have temporarily withdrawn from the practice of social work or social service work. The reasons for temporary withdrawal from practice are varied but may include the following:

  • maternity and/or parental leave
  • long-term illness or disability
  • long-term leave of absence
  • temporary move out of Ontario
  • return to school

While a member in the inactive class pays a reduced annual fee, they are still a member of the College and subject to the authority and jurisdiction of the College. Accordingly, a member in the inactive class must continue to participate in the Continuing Competence Program.

Considering becoming a member in the inactive class? The College encourages members to consider the following before applying to become a member in the inactive class:

Process regarding inactive membership
If a member in the inactive class wishes to be issued a general certificate of registration again, they must complete and submitting the “Application to Return to the General Class of Certificate of Registration” form at least 60 days before the member intends to start practising.

A member must complete and submit an application for an inactive certificate of registration at least 60 days before the member intends to cease practising. Therefore, inactive membership would not likely benefit a member who intends to withdraw from the practice of social work or social service work for less than six months.

Seeking employment 
Only members in the general class of certificate of registration can engage in the practice of social work or social service work in Ontario.

Becoming a member in the inactive class would also not likely benefit a member who intends to return to practice and is actively looking for employment as a social worker or social service worker as they will be required to notify the Registrar at least 60 days in advance.

The following sections set out the requirements and processes for College members who wish to become members in the inactive class and for members in the inactive class wishing to return to the general class of certificate of registration.


SECTION ONE: BECOMING A MEMBER IN THE INACTIVE CLASS

A member who wishes to become a member in the inactive class of certificate of registration must meet the following requirements:

  1. The member must be a member in the general class of certificate of registration.
  2. The member must be a member in the general class of certificate of registration who is not in default of any obligation to the College, including payment of the annual fee.
  3. The member must be a member in the general class of certificate of registration who is not the subject of any pending or ongoing disciplinary proceeding.
  4. The member must apply for an inactive certificate of registration by completing, signing and submitting the “Application for Inactive Class of Certificate of Registration” form at least 60 days before the member intends to cease practising.
  5. The member must complete, sign and submit the “Undertaking and Acknowledgement” form.
  6. The member must pay any outstanding fees owed to the College, including any annual fee owed for the current year, penalty or other amount.

After the College receives the required forms, the Registrar will review them. If the Registrar is satisfied that the member meets the requirements, the College will send the member a letter advising the member that they have been issued an inactive certificate of registration and a refund (if applicable). A notation indicating that the member holds an inactive certificate of registration will be entered on the College’s Register. This information will be available to the public on the College website.

Conditions imposed on an Inactive Certificate of Registration

A member who holds an inactive certificate of registration must not:

  • Engage in the practice of social work or social service work in Ontario.
  • Use the titles or designations reserved for members of the College who hold a general certificate of registration unless the title or designation is immediately followed by “inactive” in English or “inactif” in French.
    • Example: Jane Doe, RSSW, inactive

Obligations of a Member in the Inactive Class

A member who holds an inactive certificate of registration must:

  • Complete their annual renewal of registration each year.
  • Pay the annual fee for members in the inactive class.
  • Participate, on an annual basis, in the Continuing Competence Program (CCP) and, at any time required by the College, provide evidence satisfactory to the College that they have completed the CCP.

SECTION TWO: FEES FOR A MEMBER WHO BECOMES A MEMBER IN THE INACTIVE CLASS

The annual fee payable by a member in the general class of certificate of registration is $310.00. The annual fee payable by a member who holds an inactive certificate of registration (inactive member) is $155.00. If a member is an inactive member for only part of a year, the total amount payable for the year with respect to the annual fee will be calculated, based on the number of quarters the member is an inactive member and the number of quarters the member is a member in the general class. The quarters are based on a calendar year (that is, January 1 to March 31; April 1 to June 30; July 1 to September 30; and October 1 to December 31). For purposes of the calculation of fees, a member will be considered to be an inactive member for a quarter only if the member is an inactive member for the entire quarter.

A member who is a new graduate (new graduate member) normally pays an annual fee of $210.00 during the first two years of membership (new graduate member annual fee). If a new graduate member becomes an inactive member during the first two years of membership, the new graduate member will pay the fee payable by an inactive member for the quarter(s) during which they are an inactive member and, for the quarter(s) they are a member in the general class, a prorated amount of the new graduate member annual fee. The length of time that a new graduate member is eligible for the new graduate member annual fee will not be extended if the new graduate member becomes an inactive member during the first two years of membership.

A member who applies for an inactive certificate of registration will be issued a refund, if applicable, on the date they become an inactive member. The refund, if applicable, will be based on the difference between the annual fee paid and the total amount payable with respect to the annual fee for that year, depending on the number of quarters the member was a member in the general class and the number of quarters the member will be a member in the inactive class.


SECTION THREE: RETURNING TO GENERAL CLASS OF CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION

A member who holds an inactive certificate of registration may be issued a general class of certificate of registration again if they complete and submit to the Registrar the “Application to Return to the General Class of Certificate of Registration” form at least 60 days before they intend to start practising. The member must also pay any outstanding fees owing to the College. After receipt and review of the application form, the College will provide the member with an invoice for any outstanding fees owing to the College. It is also a requirement that the member hold a general certificate of registration immediately before they became a member in the inactive class.

The outstanding fees, if any, will be based on the difference between the annual fee paid and the total amount payable with respect to the annual fee for that year, depending on the number of quarters the member was a member in the inactive class and the number of quarters the member will be a member in the general class. The outstanding fees must be paid in full before the member in the inactive class will be issued a general class of certificate of registration.

A member who held an inactive certificate of registration for more than five years and wishes to be issued a general certificate of registration again must also satisfy the Registrar that they are currently competent to practise social work or social service work before the member will be issued a general certificate of registration. After the College receives the application form, the College will contact the member in the inactive class for further information to satisfy the Registrar that they are competent to practise social work or social service work.

If the Registrar is satisfied that a member in the inactive class meets the requirements to be issued a general certificate of registration, the College will send the member a letter advising that they have been issued a general certificate of registration. A notation indicating that the member holds a general certificate of registration will be entered on the College’s Register. This information will be available to the public on the College website.

Member in the Inactive Class who Resumes Practice before being Issued a General Certificate of Registration:

A member in the inactive class may not resume practice before they are issued a general certificate of registration.  A member in the inactive class may not use any of the titles or designations set out in section 15 or 16 of O. Reg. 383/00 (Registration) without the title or designation being immediately followed by “inactive” or “inactif” before they are issued a general certificate of registration. To do so would be a breach of the undertaking and acknowledgement they signed.  It would also be a breach of the conditions imposed on their inactive certificate of registration that they not engage in the practice of social work or social service work in Ontario and that they not use the title or designation reserved for members of the College in the general class.  In these circumstances, the Registrar may refer the matter to a statutory committee of the College.  Such committee, pursuant to its authority, may refer, to the Discipline Committee for a hearing, allegations of professional misconduct arising from any failure to comply with the undertaking and acknowledgement and the conditions imposed on their inactive certificate of registration.

In addition, a member in the inactive class who resumes practice before being issued a general certificate of registration is deemed to owe the College, as of the date the member resumed practice, the annual fee for a member in the general class of certificate of registration, or balance thereof, and a penalty of $50.00, for each relevant year.


SECTION FOUR: CHECKLISTS

A) Becoming a Member in the Inactive Class:

  • Download, complete and sign the “Application for Inactive Certificate of Registration” form.
  • Download, complete and sign the “Undertaking and Acknowledgement” form (the “Undertaking and Acknowledgement” form must be witnessed).
  • Mail, fax, email or courier both forms to:
    The Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers
    250 Bloor St. E., Suite 1000
    Toronto, Ontario
    M4W 1E6
    Attention: Membership Department.
  • By email: info@ocswssw.org
  • By fax: (416) 972-1512
    Both the Application form and the Undertaking and Acknowledgement form must be submitted to the College at least 60 days before the member intends to cease practising.

B) Returning to the General Class of Certificate of Registration:

  • Download, complete and sign the “Application to Return to the General Class of Certificate of Registration” form.
  • Mail, fax, email or courier the form to:
    The Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers
    250 Bloor St. E., Suite 1000
    Toronto, Ontario
    M4W 1E6
    Attention: Membership Department.
  • By email: info@ocswssw.org
  • By fax: (416) 972-1512
    The application form must be submitted to the College at least 60 days before the member intends to start practising.