Q&A: Use of the Title “Clinical Social Worker”

Q. Why can’t a College registrant use the title “clinical social worker” and/or “registered clinical social worker” in respect to their practice?

A. The Social Work and Social Service Work Act (SWSSWA) requires anyone who uses either the protected titles below or their abbreviations or French equivalents to be registered with the College:

  • social worker
  • registered social worker
  • social service worker
  • registered social service worker

The Registration Regulation O. Reg. 383/00 made under the SWSSWA sets out only two categories of registration: social work and social service work. Therefore, none of the following titles, abbreviations or variations can be used in Ontario:

  • clinical social worker
  • registered clinical social worker or RCSW
  • licensed clinical social worker or LCSW

Sections (46) and Section (47) of the SWSSWA set out the use of title provisions. If you have any questions regarding the use of protected titles, please write to the College at: titleprotection@ocswssw.org. Additional information is available here.