28 Sep 2018

Message from the Registrar – Registration Regulation Amendments

We have recently become aware that a number of inaccuracies have been recirculating in relation to amendments to the Registration Regulation, O. Reg. 383/00 that came into effect on January 1, 2018. The amendments include, among other changes:

Improving language in the current Regulation so that all applicants will be required to indicate whether or not they have any physical or mental condition or disorder that could affect their ability to practise social work or social service work in a safe manner.

If you have questions about the amendments, please read carefully the information which follows. We also invite you to read our Registration Application FAQs at the end of the General Registration FAQs page of our website.

Is this a new requirement?

No, this is not a new requirement. It’s an improvement to already-existing wording in the Regulation. Since it began operations in 2000, the College has had the authority to request information from applicants in order to ensure they were “mentally competent to practise social work or social service work.”

The amendment to the Registration Regulation now puts the emphasis on “the ability to practise social work or social service work, as the case may be, in a safe manner.” As of January 1, 2018, an applicant is asked to answer a question on the application form about whether they have a physical or mental condition or disorder that could affect their ability to practise in a safe manner.

The amendments to the Registration Regulation, which were made after a period of consultation and extensive legal review by the College and the government, do not conflict with any provincial or federal legislation.

The amendment to the Registration Regulation furthers the College’s public protection mandate by ensuring that the public can be assured that members of the College are able to practise in a safe manner. It is also consistent with the registration regulations of other regulatory bodies in Ontario.

What does this mean for me?

It is important to note that this particular requirement applies to applicants and not members (unless a member is applying to move into specific membership classes; e.g. into the inactive class or into the general class from the inactive class).

As part of the application process, an applicant must determine if they have a physical or mental condition or disorder that could affect their ability to practise in a safe manner, and then make a declaration to the College based on that determination.

What happens to this information?

The College is aware of the sensitivity of this information and must carefully balance human rights and privacy considerations with its public protection mandate. We maintain confidentiality and adhere to strict record management practices with respect to the application process.

If an applicant confirms that they have a physical or mental condition or disorder that could affect their ability to practise social work or social service work in a safe manner, the College will contact the applicant to discuss next steps, which may include requesting more information.

Where can I find more information?

The College continues to be committed to keeping you informed as we implement the amendments. For more information, please read our Registration Application FAQs regarding Physical or Mental Condition or Disorder.

For further information, please contact Christina Van Sickle, Director of Professional Practice by phone at 416-972-9882 or toll-free 1-877-828-9380 ext. 226 or by email cvansickle@ocswssw.org.