Are registered social workers able to complete supporting assessments for clients seeking gender confirming surgery?

Yes, provided that certain requirements are met. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) states that registered social workers who have “a master’s degree in social work and hold a current certificate of registration” with the College may complete supporting assessments recommending gender confirming surgery (GCS). The MOHLTC also requires that social workers who complete these assessments have training in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of gender dysphoria in accordance with the current World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care.

Social workers must ensure that they are qualified and competent to provide the requested services. Members of the College are required to practise in accordance with the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice and are reminded of Principle II: Competence and Integrity, Interpretation 2.1.1, which states that “College members are responsible for being aware of the extent and parameters of their competence and their professional scope of practice and limit their practice accordingly.”

For more information please see the links below:

For more information about this or other practice issues, please contact the Professional Practice Department at practice@ocswssw.org.