Alberta College of Social Workers

What We Do

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 maintains some 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. 

Promote Social Work

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

What are the basic principles of social work?

Social workers believe:

  • in the worth, dignity, and creativity of every human being;
  • all people should have equal access to the resources, services and opportunities that one requires to promote their well-being; and
  • that each person has the right to self-determination with due regard for the interest of others.

What are the goals of social work?

In accordance with these values, Social Work is committed to fostering human welfare through professional services. Social work practice focuses on the relationship among people and their environments. The social worker endeavors to:

  • enhance the problem-solving and coping capacities of people;
  • help people better use resources in their environment; and
  • effect changes in society towards the social justice for all

What roles and skills do social workers have?

  • Administration
  • Investigation
  • Advocacy
  • Mediation
  • Assessment
  • Networking
  • Brokering
  • Planning
  • Coordinating
  • Policy Development
  • Counseling
  • Problem-Solving
  • Consultation
  • Supervision
  • Education
  • Research
  • Evaluation

What are the areas of practice for social workers?

Social workers practice in a variety of settings or fields of practice, such as:

  • Addictions
  • Health Care
  • Child and Family Services
  • Mental Health
  • Community Development
  • Schools
  • Corrections
  • Social Planning
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Social Work Education
  • Gerontology
  • Vocational Assistance
  • Youth Programs

Social Work is a helping profession. Professional social work practice may intervene to:

Social Work is a helping profession. Professional social work practice may intervene to:
  • enhance developmental, problem solving and coping capacities of people and systems; 
  • promote effective and humane operation of systems that provide resources and service to people;
  • link people to systems that provide them with resources, services and opportunities; and
  • contribute to development and improvement of social policy.


View the PDF "What in the world is Social Work"


The Legislative committees include the Clinical Committee, the Competence Committee, the Professional Social Work Education Committee, 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. 


Protect the Public

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”. To fullfill this role ACSW has adopted a professional Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice to help guide the professional activities of social workers in all types of practice. We have a continuing comptence program which requires all members to maintain current practice knowledge and skills. Registered Social Workers in Alberta are accountable for their practice to their clients and to their profession. Complaints about a social worker acting in an unprofessional manner can be investigated by ther ACSW 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 committee structures, annual conference, publications and special initiatives. In addition, we create and participate in coalitions with government representatives and social policy partners to advance social justice.


Please click on the highlighted areas to learn more about ACSW's Regional Activities  & Annual Conference.