Alberta College of Social Workers

About ACSW

Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) serves as the regulatory body for the profession of social work in Alberta. Its regulatory obligations are legislated under the Health Professions Act (HPA) which came into force for social work on April 1, 2003. The HPA has requirements for mandatory registration, continuing competency activities, the practice of restricted activities and a specialty register for clinical social workers. It provides control of title and a broadly defined scope of practice. 

Under the HPA mandated objectives of the ACSW are:

  • to serve and protect the public interest
  • to provide direction and to regulate the profession
  • to establish, maintain and enforce standards for registration, continuing competence and standards of practice
  • to establish, maintain and enforce a code of ethics
  • to approve educational programs for registration purposes

The ACSW also represents the social work profession in Alberta. It supports membership activities that promote skilled and ethical social work practice such as annual conferences and regional events. Under its auspices, ACSW members are able to meet around areas of interest such as children’s issues, gerontology, health and private practice.

To complement its legislated obligations, the ACSW advocates for policies, programs and services that serve the public interest. Over the years, ACSW has established relationships with numerous external organizations involved in advancing social justice initiatives.

The ACSW is governed by a Council comprised of ten members elected by its membership, four public members appointed by the government and the chair of the Indigenous Social Work Committee.  The ACSW maintains an office in Edmonton, Alberta..

Our Vision

 Social Workers passionately engaged through our commitment to professionalism, individual, systems and environmental advocacy, and social justice.

Our Mission

Together we represent, strengthen and celebrate the social work profession and fulfill the regulatory requirements of the Health Professions Act.

Under the Health Professions Act, the Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) is mandated to carry out its regulatory functions which include: Professional Registration & Regulation, Promoting Social Work, and Protecting the Public. 

In addition to its regulatory functions, the ACSW also supports professional association activities and services for our members including: our Annual Conference, Regional Activities, and promotion of Social Work Week. We also promote advocacy initiatives to improve working conditions for Social Workers and better programs & services for the clients we serve. 

Social work is a valued profession. To find out more about social work please follow the links below.

Under the Health Professions Act (HPA), the first role of a regulatory college is to “carry out its activities and govern its regulated members in a manner that protects and serves the public interest”. The ACSW fulfills this role in a number of ways.

  • We have a Code of Ethics that all social workers are expected to follow. Social work is an ethics based profession and the majority of social workers are very conscientious in their practice.
  • The ACSW has developed Standards of Practice that define specific minimum requirements for social workers in all types of practice. These are reviewed and updated to recognize current best practices.
  • The ACSW has a Continuing Competence program that all social workers are expected to follow. There are minimum requirements with regard to maintaining current practice knowledge and skills.
  • With the mandatory registration requirements in the Health Professions Act  (HPA), all social workers practicing in Alberta must be registered which means their practice is subject to regulation by the professional body. This means that if a social worker is acting in an unprofessional manner the ACSW can investigate to determine whether further action is required.

Advocating for progressive social policies is fundamental to our work as social workers. ACSW supports social workers through our committee structure, annual conference, publications and specific initiatives to advocate. In addition, we have created coalitions with government representatives and our social policy partners to advance social justice.

The Legislative committees include the Clinical Committee, the Competence Committee, the Professional Social Work Education Board, the Registration Committee and the rosters for Hearing Tribunals and Complaint Review Committees. Appointments to these committees are made by Council. Members who are interested in these committees should indicate their interest on their annual review form or contact the appropriate staff member. 
Please click on the highlighted areas to learn more about ACSW's Regional Activities & Annual Conference .
To notify us of any changes in your work or home contact information please send an e-mail to Member Change/Update at the ACSW office with the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Your RSW number
  • Preferred e-mail address
  • Your new employer name & job title (if applicable) address, phone number, fax number, professional insurance information, etc.
  • Date in which the changes take effect


British Columbia

British Coumbia Association of Social Workers


Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers


The Manitoba Institute of Registered Social Workers


Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers
Ontario Association of Social Workers


Ordre des travailleurssociauxetthérapeutesconjugaux et familiaux du Québec

New Brunswick

The New Brunswick Association of Social Work

Nova Scotia

The Nova Scotia Association of Social Workers

Prince Edward Island

No Website Available

Northern Canada

The Association of Social Workers in Northern Canada

Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers
Alberta College of Social Workers - Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW)


Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW)

North America

Alberta College of Social Workers - Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)
Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)


Alberta College of Social Workers - International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW)
International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW)


Council is the governing body of the Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW). Council has responsibilities that are defined in the Health Professions Act (HPA) and specified in the Regulations and By-laws (Sept. 2014) of the ACSW.

Council is comprised of 15 members (10 elected, 4 public members and 1 Chair of Indigenous Social Work Committee).  The Executive Director & Registrar is an ex-officio member of Council.

Council meets approximately 6 - 8 times per year.


ACSW Council governs the work of the College in accordance with the Health Professions Act (HPA) regulations and bylaws. (HPA) regulations and bylaws.

The Annual General Meeting of the Alberta College of Social Workers will take place Friday, March 27, 2015 at 5:00 pm at the Telus Convention Centre in Calgary, AB. The AGM provides an opportunity to report on the events of the past year, meet newly elected members of ACSW Council and understand the business of the college.

Time will also be available at the AGM to discuss resolutions. If you wish to submit a resolution please review the format for submitting resolutions below:

Process for Resolutions link

All resolutions must be submitted to the ACSW office by February 6, 2015.

Election 2016

Run for ACSW Council! Share your knowledge, expertise and time and help promote excellence in the profession of Social Work in Alberta!

Positions (2 year terms) that are available for 2016 elections are:

  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • 3 Council Members

Election Procedure and Important Dates

  • Call for Nominations - November 14, 2015
  • Completed Nomination forms signed by two RSW nominators and biographies must be submitted to ACSW by January 16, 2016
  • List of candidates and biographies will be posted on website by January 29, 2016.
  • Voting conducted online February 06 - March 10, 2016 (4:30 pm). (Paper ballots will be available by request from )

Elected candidates will be determined by a majority of votes cast. Single candidates for 2016 positions will be declared elected by acclamation.

Election results will be officially declared at the ACSW Annual General Meeting in Edmonton on March 25, 2016.

Nomination forms are available for downloading by clicking Council Nomination form.

The positions on the ACSW Council that are up for election in 2016 are:

  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Council Members (3)

Following are the individuals who have been nominated for election in these positions. Please click on their name to review their individual bios.

Council Member

We are happy to provide the ability for you to ask, any of the candidates running for election, questions that you may have of them from January 29 - February 27, 2016. Please send an email with your question to Noreen Majek at with the name of the candidate and the position they are running for included in your email subject line, for example, "Question for Terry Wilson, Secretary". We will respond to your question within 3 days and post all questions and answers below!

Questions for the Candidates : (click on question to view answers)


The Alberta College of Social Workers is authorized by the Health Professions Act (HPA) to conduct the activities of a professional regulatory body which involves:

  • carrying out activities and governing regulated members in a manner that protects and serves the public interest,
  • providing direction to and regulating the practice of social work,
  • establishing, maintaining and enforcing a code of ethics and standards for registration, continuing competence and standards of practice.

The ACSW also serves as the professional association that promotes best practices in social work, supports membership activities that strengthen the profession and advocates for public policies that support competent social work practice.

The Council of ACSW is comprised of elected and appointed members who are responsible for conducting the affairs of the ACSW in accordance with the HPA. The membership elects ten (10) registered social workers to serve on Council. Four (4) public members, who are not social workers, are appointed to serve on Council by the Alberta government. The Chair of the Indigenous Social Work Committee also is appointed as a member of Council.

Serving on ACSW Council is a challenging commitment. Registered social workers seeking election for a position on Council should be willing to:

  • become well informed about the role of the ACSW and its legislative obligations,
  • commit to serve in the best interests of the ACSW and the social work profession,
  • discuss diverse perspectives on a variety of complex topics,
  • commit time and energy to the activities of the ACSW,
  • face challenges and opportunities related to implementing the legislative requirements of the Health Professions Act ,
  • deal professionally with conflict of interest situations and confidential matters,
  • be part of a team that holds a broad view of issues and challenges facing the profession,
  • represent, engage and mobilize the membership on professional issues,
  • recognize and represent the diversity of professional interests.

Council members meet 6 - 8 times peryear including the Annual General Meeting held in conjunction with the annual provincial conference. Members in executive positions attend additional meetings. Council members are expected to be involved in legislative committees as a Council liaison and Council subcommittees. They may also become involved in Member Interest committees and other activities that require additional time commitments. Council members serve without remuneration and costs associated with council meetings and activities are reimbursed to council members.

Legislative Commmittee

The Registration Committee develops recommendations for ACSW Council regarding standards for registration and fulfills its duties under the Health Professions Act.  

Attach Terms of Reference

The Professional Social Work Education Committee (PSWEC) identifies how social work education programs will be evaluated for accreditated program status, reviews program applications, and makes recommendations to Council regarding regarding accreditation and identifies processes for monitoring programs in accordance with established competencies and standards.

PSWEC Terms of Reference

The Competence Committee makes recommendations to the Council on continuing competence requirements, standards of practice and other practice issues. The Competence Committee reviews competence portfolios to determine whether continuing competence requirements have been met and monitors compliance with any conditions that are imposed on registration or a practice permit. 

Competency Committee Terms of Reference

The Clinical Social Work Committee is a legislative committee established under the authority of the Health Professions Act (HPA) to make recommendations to Council on requirements for inclusion on the Clinical Specialty Registry and to review applications of those applying to be a Registered Clinical Social Worker.

Clinical Committee Terms of Reference

*Hearing Tribunals and Complaint Review Committees (CRC) are established according to the regulations when a discipline matter requires a decision. Hearing Tribunals and Complaint Review Committees must consist of at least three members, and 25% or more of the members must be public members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. Registered Social Workers who have participated in a discipline training workshop with the ACSW and whose names are approved by Council are added to a roster from which members are selected on a case-by-case basis. Social Workers who are interested in taking the training should indicate their interest on the annual renewal form. Social Workers who have been a regulated member for at least five years are eligible to sit on the Discipline Committee. For information about the Discipline Process, go to Complaints and Discipline .