Alberta College of Social Workers

                                         Application Instructions for Social Workers who have Never been Registered/licensed

This application registration should be submitted by those who have completed a social work education program from a CASWE or CSWE accredited university or from an approved Alberta social work diploma program more than 3 years ago who have never been registered or licensed in Alberta, or within any other North American jurisdiction within the past 3 years. 

Upon receipt of the completed application form and appropriate fee (professional dues and application fee), a file will be opened.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all supporting documentation is received by the Registrar.  A provisional practice permit, which will allow you to work as a regulated professional in Alberta, may be issued when the ACSW receives the following documentation.

1. Application for Social Workers who have never been Registered/licensed   Provide complete answers to each question. 

2. Education qualifications. Applicants must arrange to have official transcripts from your highest level of social work education submitted directly to the ACSW office by the academic institution. Transcripts provided by the applicant will not be accepted for purposes of registration.  

3. Background information. Please provide a current résumé. ACSW is most interested in social work related activities and provinces of residence. 

4. Character Reference.  A Character Reference Form may be given to a person of your choice who is able to answer the questions and who is not a family member/partner. Please write the referee’s name and address in the space at the top of the form. Ensure that your name appears on the form. Ask your referees to submit the forms directly to the ACSW office.  Please note that the Character Reference Form and Supervisor Reference Form (see below) must come from two difference individuals. 

5. Current Criminal Record Check.  The Criminal Record Check should be issued no more than six months from the date of application.  Contact your local law enforcement agency for information on how to obtain this document.  See the Application Instructions for additional information.  

6. Continuing Competency Requirements.  Complete a Self-Assessment and Learning Plan for the coming year using one of the formats available at www.acsw.ab.ca/social_workers/competence_program

7. Payment Form and Payment.  Full payment of the appropriate application fee and professional dues is required before your application is considered. 


Provisional registration will remain in place until the applicant has met the following requirements. 

8. Supervised Practice Hours.  The applicant is required to complete 1500 supervised practice hours under the supervision of a qualified RSW.  A Qualified Social Worker is registered, licensed, or certified in the jurisdiction in which she/he practices and does not have provisional status.  The applicant must be a regulated professional (RSW) before any hours are credited.  Upon completion of the practice hours, provide your supervisor with a Supervisor Reference Form and ask her/him to forward complete and forward the form to the ACSW office.  This can be faxed, e-mailed, or forwarded through mail.  

9. Examination Requirements.  As you are an experienced social worker who has not been regulated in the past three years, you must register for and pass an examination appropriate to your highest level of social work education.  Upon receipt of your application for registration and confirmation that you will take the exam, we will forward your name to ASWB to allow you to register for the exam.  You may then contact them any time over the next year to begin the process.  All the details are in the ASWB handbook: http://www.aswb.org/pdfs/handbook.pdf.  You can schedule an examination time in either Edmonton or Calgary.  Please note that if you do not pass the exam within this period, you will have to be re-approved to take the exam at a later date. 

10. Professional Liability Insurance.  All social workers are who are working within the scope of social work practice are required to show evidence of having professional liability insurance (this is insurance for coverage in the event of a complaint against your practice as a social worker).  This may be coverage through your employer, or you may have a personal policy through the ACSW group plan or another company.  A copy of the cover sheet showing who is covered for what is sufficient. If you are not currently in practice, you must forward this documentation when you begin working.  Note:  Provisional registration can be granted without this item. 

Provisional registration will not normally be extended beyond the first year of registration. If you are unable to complete the 1500 practice hours within one year, please contact the ACSW office. 

Restricted Activities:  Section 2 question 7 of the Application for Registration refers to Restricted Activities.  Social workers with a BSW or higher degree and who have appropriate education/ training may be authorized to perform psychosocial interventions without supervision. Information on psychosocial interventions is available on the ACSW website at www.acsw.ab.ca/social_workers/faq/restricted_activities, as is the application form (www.acsw.ab.ca/social_workers/practice_resources/application_for_authorization_for_restricted_a ctivities).   


Additional Requirement:  If you have practiced social work in another jurisdiction (in Canada or the USA), you must forward Appendix B to each jurisdiction, even if you were not registered when you were practicing.  Complete the top portion of the Appendix and forward the form to the regulatory body.  Please include a copy of page 1 of the jurisdiction form with your application for registration.  Note:  Some regulatory bodies require a fee for verification.  The applicant is responsible for any additional fees.  Please check with the jurisdiction(s) you are coming from and include any additional fees required when you send them this form.