When you become a registered member of the College, you join a community of social workers and social service workers across Ontario committed to professionalethicalqualified and accountable practice.

Professional regulation protects the public from unqualified, incompetent or unfit practitioners. Registration with the College demonstrates to the public that you:

It also brings credibility to you as an individual practitioner.

Registration is also the law. Only registered College members can use the following titles:

  • Social worker
  • Social service worker
  • Registered social worker
  • Registered social service worker

Registration is also required if you represent or hold yourself out as a social worker or social service worker.

Registration with the College – what you need to know

Graduates of an approved/accredited social service worker (SSW), bachelor of social work (BSW) or master of social work (MSW) program are eligible for registration with the College. Please visit our lists of approved social work programs and social service work programs offered in Ontario.

If you are a graduate of a social work or social service work program outside Canada or the United States, please click here for relevant information.

For more information on how to apply if you do not have a social work degree or social service worker diploma, please visit one of the following webpages

Registration prior to convocation (for social work students graduating from an accredited Canadian program and social service work students graduating from an approved diploma program in Ontario) – how to apply

We understand that in some circumstances you may need to register with the College before convocation. This is not the case for all new graduates. If you are graduating with a degree in social work or a diploma in social service work and require membership in the College prior to convocation – but after you have completed all the academic and practicum requirements of your program – the Registrar may issue a general certificate of registration provided all other registration requirements are met, and you agree to a term, condition and limitation on your certificate of registration. (This term, condition and limitation will be removed once the College receives verification from your academic institution that you have obtained a degree in social work or a diploma in social service work.)

If you are a graduating student and would like to apply for a certificate of registration on this basis, please note the following steps:

  • Complete your application through the College’s NEW online application portal. Note: If you would like to submit a paper-based application rather than completing the application online, please contact the Registration Department at registration@ocswssw.org.
  • Contact the dean/director of your social work program OR the coordinator of your social service work program and request that they complete the “Confirmation of Completion of Requirements for a Social Work Degree” form OR “Confirmation of Completion of Requirements for a Social Service Work Diploma” form, and forward it directly to the College.
  • Once the College receives the completed form directly from the dean/director OR coordinator, College staff will forward you a “Student/Applicant Declaration, Consent and Undertaking Regarding a Social Work Degree” form OR “Student/Applicant Declaration, Consent and Undertaking Regarding a Social Service Work Diploma” form, which you must read, complete, date, sign and return to the College.  By signing this form, you are agreeing to the term, condition and limitation on your certificate of registration.

The Registrar will then continue to review your application for registration. Due to the multiple steps in this process, it may take several weeks to process your application.

Important Note: If you will be obtaining your social work degree or social service work diploma within approximately six weeks from the date the application is submitted to the College, you do not need to follow these steps. Click here to take the next steps and join the College.

Attention MSW students who have a BSW degree:

If you are applying for registration in the year in which you will obtain your MSW degree, and you have not yet convocated, the basis of registration will be your BSW degree.

Being registered based on your MSW (prior to convocation) would mean that the Registrar would have to issue a certificate with terms, conditions and limitations since you have not yet obtained the MSW degree. As such, the College will require a transcript confirming your BSW degree to be sent directly from the university which granted the degree.

Payment

If you apply prior to completing the requirements for your MSW degree, you would be required to submit payment for the regular registration fee; the fees could be adjusted to the new graduate rate later in the year once we receive your MSW transcript confirming that you obtained your MSW in the current year.

If you apply after you have completed the requirements for your MSW degree, you would be able to submit payment at the new graduate rate. You would be required to sign an agreement confirming that you will arrange for your MSW transcript to be sent to the College within 30 days of your MSW convocation in order to be eligible for the new graduate rate for renewal next year.