Alberta College of Social Workers

Registration

Social Work is a profession that is regulated in Alberta under the Health Professions Act (HPA). Registration is mandatory for persons with a recognized social work credential, practicing within the scope of social work, with clients located in Alberta. Only registered social workers can identify as a Social Worker.

The practice of social work is defined as follows in Section 27 of the Health Professions Act:

In their practice, social workers do one or more of the following 
  • enhance or restore the social functioning of individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities by improving developmental, problem-solving and coping capacities of people and systems
  • promote effective and humane systems that provide resources, opportunities and services to people and link people to those systems
  • contribute to the development and improvement of social policy, and
    • teach, manage and conduct research in the science, techniques and practice of social work, and
  • provide restricted activities authorized by the regulations
If your practice involves any of the above, you are active in social work.

A regulated member of the Alberta College of Social Workers may, in accordance with the regulations, use any of the following titles, abbreviations and initials.
  • social worker
  • registered social worker
  • S.W.
  • R.S.W.
  • Soc. Wkr.
 To use the any of the titles in reference to Clinical Social Work, registered members must meet additional requirements.
  • clinical social worker
  • registered clinical social worker
  • R.C.S.W.

Apply to Become a Registered Social Worker

At the top of the webpage you will find the Apply Now button which opens a short survey. Based on your responses, you will be directed to the appropriate electronic application. Listed below are brief descriptions of each type of application as well as a link to the requirements for each application.

If you completed your social work education outside of Canada or America, here's what you need to know to apply to practice in Alberta

  • Your credentials must be assessed as equivalent to a Canadian  Bachelor or Master of Social Work credential and
  • upon ACSW verification of qualified credentials, a link will be provided for the Internationally Educated Application
You can also review the  Application Requirements for Internationally Educated Applicants

This Application is for applicants who have completed either a

  • Bachelor or Master level social work credential from a program accredited by the
    • Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE)
    • the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
    • the National Indigenous Accreditation Board (NIAB)
  • Social Work Diploma from a program accredited by the Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW)

The social work credential must have been completed within the past 3 years based upon the date of conferral on the official transcript.

You can click on the Apply Now button at the top of the website to complete the survey to determine your eligibility for registration. You can also review the Application Requirements for a New Graduate

This application is for social workers who are actively registered and subject to regulation of their social work practice in a jurisdiction that is recognized by the Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) and that is located in Canada or America.

You can click on the Apply Now button at the top of the website to complete the survey to determine your eligibility for registration. You can also review the Application Registrations for Registered Active in Another Jurisdiction

This Application must be completed by applicants who

  • have never been registered or licensed with ACSW
  • are not actively registered as a social worker with any other Canadian or American jurisdiction and
    • Have completed a Bachelor or Master level social work credential from a program accredited by
    • the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE)
    • the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
    • the National Indigenous Accreditation Board (NIAB)
  • Social Work Diploma from a program accredited by the Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW)

You can click on the Apply Now button at the top of the website to complete the survey to determine your eligibility for registration. You can also review the Application Requirements for Not Registered

This application is for applicants who have previously been registered as a social worker with ACSW. Due to individual circumstances, it is strongly recommended that reinstating applicants contact ACSW at registration@acsw.ab.ca for specific requirements.

  • When an applicant was previously on the General Registry and it has been less than 3 years since cancellation
    • they will return to the General Registry
  • If the applicant has been cancelled for more than 3 years, and are not registered in another recognized jurisdiction
    • they will be placed on the Provisional Registry
      • where they will be required to pass an exam
      • and complete 1500 supervised practice hours

Please note: Applicants currently registered as a social worker in another jurisdiction and previously registered with ACSW may qualify for the requirements for registered in another jurisdiction. Please contact ACSW registration if this might apply to you.

You can click on the Apply Now button at the top of the website to complete the survey to determine your eligibility for registration. You can also review the Application Requirements for a Reinstatement

Restricted Activities

Schedule 7.1 Health Services Restricted Activities

Restricted activities 2(1)

(p) to perform a psychosocial intervention with an expectation of treating a substantial disorder of thought, mood, perception, orientation or memory that grossly impairs (i) judgment, (ii) behavior, (iii) capacity to recognize reality, or (iv) ability to meet the ordinary demands of life; (q) to manage labour or deliver a baby; (r) to prescribe or dispense corrective lenses. (2) Despite subsection (1), the following are not restricted activities: (a) activities of daily living, whether performed by the individual or by a surrogate on the individual’s behalf, (b) giving information and providing advice with the intent of enhancing personal development, providing emotional support or promoting spiritual growth of individuals, couples, families and groups, 

Please download the application by clicking on the link below. When you've completed the application please send it into the ACSW office by mail, fax or e-mail. You will not be contacted when we receive your application, you will only be contacted if there is an issue with your application or if we require more information.

Application for Authorization for Restricted Activities  

Please be sure to add a copy of your current resume.  Applications and resumes can be sent to Restrictedactivities@acsw.ab.ca