Private Practice Policies & Procedures


Application Procedure To The Private Practice Roster

  1. The ACSW office shall direct completed applications to the Private Practice Committee who will review and accept, deny or make further requests of the applicant.
  2. Once the application has been received, the Chair of the Private Practice Committee deals directly with the applicant regarding questions or concerns.
  3. Applications may be accepted or denied or may require further information from the applicant. All applicants will be notified in writing of the Committee's decision.
  4. An annual fee for Roster status may be established.
  5. The Private Practice Committee reviews the Annual Private Practice Update Forms for compliance with requirements for being on the Roster.

Minimum Standards for the Private Practice Roster of Private Practitioners

Our mission with these minimum requirements is that the standard be high to work from a harm reduction/prevention perspective, but flexible and reasonable.Those on the Private Practice Roster accept social work as a good base for practice.

  1. Current applicants to the Roster shall have:
    1. status as a Registered Social Worker (RSW) in Alberta for the last two (2) years under the Health Professions Act with a current practice permit;
      1. an MSW degree from a university program in Canada; or
      2. related degree(s) considered equivalent to a Canadian MSW degree as determined by CASW or the International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS); or if in a field other than clinical Social Work, Registered Social Workers (RSWs) in private practice are also eligible for consideration for inclusion on the Private Practice Roster providing they possess both experience, and relevant academic and professional credentials, at the master's level, appropriate to that particular area of practice. Determination of eligibility for inclusion will rest with the Application Review Committee, a subcommittee of the ACSW Private Practice Committee; or
      3. an RSW with a BSW degree and a masters in a clinical/counselling field but not in social work, and whose private practice is in clinical/counselling, may be considered for acceptance by the Application Review Committee, provided their professional identification has been as a social worker over a number of years of practice.In this situation a statement on "How Your Practice Reflects Social Work Values" must be submitted.
    2. five years of full-time social work practice (or equivalent), two years of which (or equivalent) must be post-MSW under supervised practice.
  2. Applicants to the Roster may be required to submit verification of their academic and professional qualification. RSWs on the ACSW Clinical Registry will have already submitted this documentation to the ACSW and do not have to complete steps 1 and 2 as this information will have been previously submitted.
  3. Applicants are to submit letters of reference from two (2) Registered Social Workers holding MSW degree(s) attesting to the applicant’s ability and readiness to practice independently. One will be an RSW in private practice.
  4. Applicants shall submit a summary plan of business practices on the "Outline of Business Methods" included in the application package.
  5. Applicants engaged in part-time private practice and employment are to advise their employers of their private practice. Applicants will include a copy of the letter of agreement with their employer.
  6. Applicants/members of the Roster shall submit proof of current disciplinary hearing and malpractice liability insurance coverage for their private practice.
  7. Applicants shall submit a copy of their current practice permit.
  8. Members of the Roster shall commit to forty (40) hours per year of continuing professional education.
  9. Members of the Roster shall commit to ten (10) hours of annual professional consultation and/or supervision.
  10. Members of the Roster shall adhere to the Statement of Best Practices for RSWs in Private Practice and will conduct their financial matters in an ethical fashion in keeping with the Code of Ethics.
  11. Members of the Roster shall submit an "Annual Update".

Inactive Status

Members can take up to a two-year sabbatical and be inactive in Private Practice and remain on the roster. Members planning on taking a sabbatical from their private practice must provide written notice to the Private Practice Committee in order to keep their name on the roster. Their names will be listed as inactive up to a maximum of two years. Written notice should include the following information: duration of absence, plans for continuing education, notification of clients and others significantly affected, referral plans, and arrangements for security of and access to clinical records. The committee will send a letter to the member approving their ‘inactive status’. This letter should be kept with their ACSW Continuing Competence Portfolio. Extensions may be considered upon written request.

Inactive Requirements:

If inactive, members must provide evidence of 20 hours of continuing education per year related to their area of private practice. If inactive for 3 or more years, the committee will conduct a review to determine whether additional upgrading or supervision is required. If inactive for a period of no longer than 5 years, and/or engaged in less than 830 hours of practice over that time, a refresher course or supervision will be required, as determined by the Private Practice committee.

Retired Status

Members on the Private Practice Roster who are retired from private social work practice, and have notified the Private Practice Committee, may continue to have their names listed as ‘Retired from the Roster’.

Removal from the Roster And Exceptions

Names on the Roster will be removed by the Registrar when any one of the following conditions apply:

  1. Registration is terminated, suspended or cancelled.
  2. A person ceases to engage in private practice, and has not requested inactive status.
  3. When a member discontinues all their practice in Alberta. Exceptions to this are:
    1. Unforeseeable circumstances, such as serious illness of no more than two year’s duration.
    2. Planned and pre-arranged inactive status for up to two years, where ACSW registration is maintained and continuing competency requirements are met.

Issues relating to the ACSW Code of Ethics and/or Standards of Practice are the jurisdiction of the Complaints & Disciplinary Procedures of the College as determined by the Health Professions Act.

Reinstatement to the Private Practice Roster

  1. Individuals applying for reinstatement to the Private Practice Roster must submit the following documentation to the private practice committee: A statement from the College confirming registration in good standing, a copy of the person’s current practice permit, and a completed reinstatement application form.
  2. If more than three years has lapsed since the applicant was an active member of the Private Practice Roster, the following conditions must be met for re-instatement:
    1. 120 hours of suitable continuing education activities relating to their practice.
    2. A period of contracted supervision, or upgrading may be required, as determined at the discretion of the committee.
  3. In situations where the individual in question has remained a Registered Social Worker, and has been actively engaged in social work practice after terminating their membership on the Private Practice Roster, the committee may waive requirements for reinstatement, except for the completion of a reinstatement application form.

Grievance/Complaint Procedures

All complaints regarding Registered Social Workers, including Private Practitioners who are members of the Roster, shall be dealt with in accordance with the Health Professions Act.

Copyright 2010 Alberta College of Social Workers