Registration in South Australia

Registration of social work in South Australia

The registration of the social work profession is an issue that the AASW has campaigned for, over a long period. In response to significant failures in their child protection system, South Australia is now the first jurisdiction in the country to begin legislating to make registration a reality in that state.

We worked with the South Australian Parliament and Government to ensure the best social work scheme possible.

February 2023

National recruitment began for a Director to set up South Australia’s social worker registration scheme.

View the media release

The Department of Child Protection is responsible for the establishment, development and implementation of the social worker registration scheme for social workers in South Australia.

December 2021

AASW CEO, Cindy Smith provided an overview of where the introduction of Social Work Registration was up to in South Australia and fielded questions.

You can watch the information session here using the access code g9xZbf@1

View the Social Workers Registration Act 2021


November 2021


On Tuesday, 30 November 2021 Nat Cook MP took carriage of the Bill into the lower house and it passed late in the evening.

View our media release.


AASW South Australian Branch President Patricia Muncey was interviewed on ABC Mornings with Angela Smallacombe.

On Wednesday, 17 November 2021 Greens MLC Tammy Franks passed the Social Work Registration Bill in the upper house.


October 2021


On Wednesday, 27 October 2021, Greens MLC Tammy Franks introduced the Social Workers Registration Bill for a second reading into the South Australian parliament to regulate the social work profession. Watch the video below.



May 2021


On 12 May the South Australian Upper House supported the report of the Joint Committee into the Registration of Social Workers Bill – a Bill introduced by Tammy Franks Greens MLC.


The key recommendation of the report is for South Australia to pass legislation and lead the nation in the registration of social workers. The AASW have been advocating for registration for over 20 years and this is a much-welcomed next step.


December 2020


Thanks to the work of the AASW and members over decades, we are one step closer to having social work be a registered profession.


The South Australian parliament introduced its final report calling for the registration of social workers with the legislation being voted on early next year. This is a truly historic step that will significantly improve the quality of social work services in the community.


September 2020


In 2020 the SA Committee has held more hearings and is now in the process of finalising its report and recommendations for the Bill.


The AASW has given evidence numerous times and we are waiting on the outcome of this inquiry. The AASW as advocated for the inclusion of several key changes.


The Committee will hand in its report in the last quarter of 2020.


The process for introducing the Bill


The introduction of the Social Workers Registration Bill 2018 was made by the Hon Tammy Franks MLC into the South Australian upper house on Wednesday, 5 September 2018 and was attended by AASW CEO Cindy Smith, along with SA Branch BMC members.


Read the Hon Tammy Frank’s speech.


We published a media release on the day and our Board Director Anita Phillips was interviewed on ABC Adelaide radio breakfast on Thursday, 6 September.


The Bill will make provision for the registration of Social Workers and establish a Social Workers Registration Board.


2018 Our submission to the Social Workers Registration Bill Inquiry


The Bill is currently going through a public inquiry. The AASW has been present at every hearing, we have given oral evidence and made two submissions you can now access here.


In our submission we welcome the introduction of the Social Work Registration Bill 2018 and commends Parliament for taking such an important step to better protect the lives of vulnerable children, adults and families across South Australia.


Statutory registration provides a systemic response and is much needed because: it sets and protects professional education and practice standards; it defines safe and competent scopes of practice; it ensures qualification and fitness to practice checks prior to practice; it requires minimum continuing professional development for practitioners; and it establishes a profession specific complaints and disciplinary process with a public record of registered and deregistered persons.


Our submission details the recommended amendments including: The need for greater clarity around ethical guidelines and unprofessional conduct, eligibility for registration and board composition.


2019 Public Hearings


In September, the AASW gave formal evidence again to this inquiry presenting our concluding arguments and responding to several of the issues raised throughout the hearings. We will make our final submission available shortly.