The Professional Practice Department contributes to the ongoing development of practice resources and oversees the Continuing Competence Program (CCP). Professional Practice staff also responds to practice inquiries from members, employers, the public and other stakeholders and presents across Ontario on a variety of topics.
On this page
As a member of the College, you can consult with the Professional Practice Department about an ethical or practice dilemma that you are facing. The Professional Practice staff will help you to identify the Standards of Practice that are relevant in a particular scenario and that will guide your decisions. They can also direct you to other College resources, such as Practice Guidelines, and help you to identify the pertinent issues in a particular situation. You may also be encouraged to consult more widely – with your colleagues, your manager or a lawyer, for example. Your professional judgement is key in the many challenging situations which you face in your practice; practice consultations can help you make sound and ethical decisions.
The Professional Practice Department delivers in-person and remote presentations across Ontario. Presentations to students focus on regulation and how to become a member of the College. Presentations to members focus on relevant practice issues, the role of the standards of practice and ethical decision-making. Additionally the Department participates in panel discussions and consultations with government and other stakeholders on topics relevant to the College mandate and to our members.
College members have access to the following resources:
- The Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice
- Practice Guidelines
- Practice Notes
- Scopes of Practice Paper
- SWSSWA Use of the Title “Dr”
- Relevant articles
- Educational and networking events, such as the Annual Meeting and Education Day (AMED) and the Educational Forums
What services does the Professional Practice Department provide?
The Professional Practice Department offers a number of free services to members, employers, the public and other stakeholders across the province. This includes:
Consultations: Members can consult with Professional Practice staff about an ethical or practice dilemma they are facing. Employers and the public can consult with Professional Practice staff regarding our members’ practice.
Presentations: Professional Practice staff delivers free in-person and remote presentations across Ontario on topics including the role of the College, practice issues, the application of the Standards of Practice and ethical decision-making.
Will the Professional Practice staff give me a yes or no answer to my practice question?
Some members call the Professional Practice Department for practice consultations with the expectation that they are going to be told exactly how to manage their practice dilemma. In the course of a practice call, Professional Practice staff cannot become completely familiar with the full context and details of a specific practice scenario. Using your professional judgment and knowledge base is part of being a regulated professional, and key in managing the many challenging situations which you face in your practice. The Professional Practice Department can help guide you with useful information and resources to aid in your decision-making process.
How soon will someone from the College call me back to answer my practice question?
The Professional Practice Department is not in a position to provide crisis consultations to members. Urgent inquiries may be better addressed by consulting with colleagues, your supervisor or manager, or by seeking a legal opinion. At times, Professional Practice staff is able to respond quickly to practice inquiries; however, due to the volume of inquiries received, there are times when they cannot. You may wish to review the various practice resources, which can be found in the right column of your screen. These resources have been developed to assist members in understanding and applying the Standards of Practice to particular practice dilemmas.
I’ve heard that I have access to free legal consultation through my professional liability insurance. Is this true?
Yes. One advantage of having professional liability insurance is that it provides access to free legal advice, over the phone. The Social Work and Social Service Work Act, 1998 does not require members to obtain professional liability insurance, and the College does not offer it. The College nevertheless strongly advises members to discuss professional liability insurance provisions with their employer, and to obtain further coverage if necessary. The College does not recommend or require a specific amount of coverage.