If you obtained educational qualifications from an academic program that is not in social service work, you may submit your combination of academic qualifications and experience performing the role of a social service worker for the Registrar’s consideration.

Please note that programs from private career colleges do not meet the education requirement(s) for registration in either category of the College (SSW or SW). This applies to any application for registration. Accumulating post-graduate work experience does not alter this.

The Registration Policy sets out the following criteria to assist in the Registrar’s determination regarding whether you possess the academic qualifications and experience recognized as substantially equivalent to a diploma in social service work offered in Ontario at a college of applied arts and technology.


  • You must possess a minimum of a diploma from a two-year program at an Ontario college of applied arts and technology; or a diploma equivalent to a diploma from a two-year program at an Ontario college of applied arts and technology; or a degree from a university program that is at least two years in length.
  • You must demonstrate that you meet the General Education Standard, the 9 Vocational Learning Outcomes and the 11 Essential Employability Skills.
  • Your academic program must be a minimum of 4 academic semesters in duration.


  • In addition to the formal education described above, you must have practised in a situation where you performed the role of a social service worker for at least one year and had direct responsibility for providing social service work services to any of the following: individuals, dyads, families, groups, organizations and communities.


  • During the period of time you performed the role of a social service worker, 650 hours must have been supervised by a social service worker or social worker.

5 Year Requirement

  • It is a requirement for registration that you must have engaged in the practice of social service work within the five years immediately before the date of the application or otherwise satisfy the Registrar that you are competent to perform the role of a social service worker.

How to Apply

  1. Information for All Applicants
    Before downloading the appropriate registration guide, application form and supplemental form, if applicable, please ensure you read the important information (including citizenship, language proficiency and translation requirements) found on the Information for All Applicants page and in the Quick Links.
  2. Transcripts
    Arrange for your academic institutions to forward an official transcript with the institution’s seal and signature of the Registrar directly to the College. Please note the following:
    a) The document must contain your name as it appears on the application form and the name under which you were issued your academic credentials. If the name used on the application form is different from the name on the academic verification, please explain.
    b) The College accepts only original documents directly from the academic institution. Fax, email attachments, your own transcripts or photocopies of your academic qualifications are not accepted and will delay the application process.
    c) If you have completed degree(s) and/or diploma (s) outside of Canada, you must send your official transcript(s) to a third-party evaluation agency that is provincially mandated or provincially recognized agency such as World Education Services (WES) or the International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS). If applicable, have your official documents translated into either English or French prior to sending them to a credential evaluation agency.
  3. Fees
    The registration fee and non-refundable application fee must be enclosed with each application. Click here for more information about the fees.
  4. Length of Practice and Supervision Confirmation Form(s)
    Ensure you forward the Length of Practice and Supervision Confirmation Form(s) to those persons who will provide information about your experience in performing the role of a social service worker. The completed Length of Practice and Supervision Confirmation Form must be mailed by them directly to the College.

The review process will begin only after the College has received all your documents and fees. The College will contact you if more information is required. Once the College has all your documents, it typically takes three to six months to process your application. The process may take longer if the College requires more information. Documents submitted to the College become property of the College.

To download a registration package for a general certificate of registration in social service work (combination of academic qualifications and experience performing the role of a social service worker), please click on the following links:

* Before completing the application form, please read the Registration Guide for further requirements.

If you have questions about the application process, you may contact the College at 416-972-9882 or toll free 1-877-828-9380 or email equivalency@ocswssw.org.