Message from the Registrar and CEO: Update on the Review of the Standards of Practice

abstract image of tree filled with multi-coloured leaves

Over the past year, the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (the College) has been conducting a comprehensive review of its Standards of Practice. Once approved by Council, the revised Standards of Practice will impact every social worker and social service worker in Ontario, regardless of their area of practice.

Supporting employers

The Standards of Practice, which set out the minimum standards of professional practice and conduct for College registrants, can support employers in developing policies related to program and service delivery and expectations around employee conduct. professional development and currency of skills and knowledge.

Proposed updates

The proposed updates to the Standards of Practice reflect societal changes and current practice in the professions of social work and social service work. Once approved by the College Council, these updates will assist social workers and social service workers in better understanding their professional obligations and ensure that they are practising in their clients’ bests interests.

The proposed revisions include:

  • the addition of gender-neutral pronouns;
  • a greater focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging;
  • more simplified language; and
  • further clarification on some topics, in response to feedback from the first phase of registrant and stakeholder consultations.

Next steps

Now that the Phase 2 stakeholder consultations have concluded, further draft revisions will be made to the Standards of Practice. Once the revisions are completed, the draft document will go to College Council for approval. We anticipate that the revised Standards of Practice will be approved and shared with all stakeholders in late 2023.

For more information on the review of the College’s Standards of Practice, employers can contact

On a separate note, this will be my last message to you in the Employer Communiqué. As many of you know, I have announced my retirement effective the end of July 2023. It has been a privilege to serve as the College’s Registrar and CEO for the past eight years. Our public protection mandate has guided each of my decisions in that time, as I know that it will continue to guide the actions and decisions of the new Registrar and CEO as the College continues its important work and builds upon its strong relationship with employers.


Lise Betteridge, MSW, RSW
Registrar and CEO