Registration of social work in Australia

Registration of social work in Australia

The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) has been calling for the statutory registration of social workers for several decades. Statutory registration is instrumental to achieving adequate professional standards for 40,000 social workers across Australia.

The South Australian Government is working towards the implementation of a social worker registration scheme following the passage of the Social Worker Registration Act 2021 (SA).

We need a national registration of the social work profession to ensure:

  • Public safety Registration and title protection involve defining who is qualified to perform particular activities and in doing so create a mechanism for preventing people without requisite qualifications from practising and for providing sanctions for incompetent practice.

  • Professional accountability and recognition Registration incorporates mechanisms for sanctions and investigation for professional misconduct. Registration and title protection also provide a basis for public recognition of the scope of practice in which professions are engaged.

  • Professional quality This is achieved through the definition and monitoring of educational and professional practice standards. For example requirements for professionals to maintain a program of continuing professional development and adhere to recency of practise requirements.

  • Workforce mobility Consistent rules for social worker and protections for the public, in South Australia and in other states and territories.