06 Apr 2020

Important Update Regarding Priority Applications for Registration

The Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (the College) continues to monitor the developments concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. While the College’s physical office remains closed, we have resumed many regulatory operations remotely.

We understand that during these challenging times, there remains an ongoing need for applicants to register with the College, as well as a desire for an expedited process to put individuals in a position to contribute during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

In the context of the current crisis, the College has adapted its registration processes where possible, keeping in mind that government approval is needed to change the current requirements of the Registration Regulation. High priority applications for registration will be processed on a case-by-case basis.

Adhering to the Registration Regulation

The College must continue to follow the registration processes that were developed in accordance with the Registration Regulation made under the Social Work and Social Service Work Act and must ensure that all its decisions (before, during and in the aftermath of a pandemic or other crisis) align with its ongoing mandate of public protection. It fulfills that mandate by:

  • Setting entry-to-practice requirements to ensure that only those with the educational qualifications and other requirements set out in the Registration Regulation are eligible for registration.
  • Setting, maintaining and ensuring that all members follow the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
  • Maintaining a Public Register of registered social workers (RSWs) and registered social service workers (RSSWs) in Ontario.
  • Requiring members to engage in ongoing learning through the Continuing Competence Program (CCP).
  • Maintaining rigorous complaints and discipline processes.

Requirements related to registration, continuing competence and minimum standards of practice are all essential in ensuring that social work and social service work services are provided by members who:

  • are current in their practice;
  • have maintained their competence through the CCP; and
  • are familiar with, and adhere to, the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

Processing high priority applications for registration

The College is processing high priority applications on a case-by-case basis for the following registration streams:

  • social work degree from an accredited program
  • social service work diploma from an approved program
  • registered social worker from a province or territory outside Ontario, excluding Nunavut (AIT)

This adapted process enables those individuals seeking registration with the College under the general class of certificate of registration (including new graduates prior to convocation) to submit their application and all necessary documentation electronically.

The request for high priority registration must be made in writing to the Registration Department at registration@ocswssw.org. All application-related documents must be sent electronically as part of the high priority request, including the following:

  • College application form
  • Credit card authorization, as part of the application form
  • Official transcript (or In Good Standing Certificate for AIT applicants)

New graduates

In cases where an applicant has completed all of the academic and practicum requirements for their social work degree or social service work diploma, but has not yet obtained their degree/diploma, the College will require that the dean or director of the social work program or program coordinator of the social service work program complete and forward a Confirmation of Completion of Requirements for a Social Work Degree/Social Service Work Diploma form by email to registration@ocswssw.org.

New graduates requesting priority registration can request that the Confirmation of Completion of Requirements for a Social Work Degree/Social Service Work Diploma form be emailed to deans/directors and coordinators to be completed as needed. Please email the Registration Department at registration@ocswssw.org with this request.

Application processing times

The College will make every effort to process high priority applications for registration in a timely manner. Please note that there may be delays during this period due to volume and resources available remotely.

For more information

For more information regarding registration, please contact registration@ocswssw.org.

We also encourage stakeholders to visit the College’s website and Twitter account regularly for updates and further communications related to COVID-19 and College operations.