Assessment of international qualifications for migration and/or employment purposes
If you are migrating to Australia and seeking recognition as a qualified social worker for migration and/or employment purposes, we can help you.
On behalf of the Australian Government, we assess academic social work qualifications by assessing your qualification against the IQA criteria set out below. We also assess post-qualifying work experience for migration purposes.
Criteria for assessment – IQA
There are five Criteria which must all be met for a positive assessment for migration and employment purposes:
Criterion 1: The qualification must be a specific qualification in social work.
Criterion 2: The qualification must be regarded as a professional social work qualification in the country of training.
Criterion 3: The learning outcomes of the professional social work qualification is comparable to the learning outcomes that graduates of AASW accredited social work qualifications must demonstrate.
Criterion 4: At least 980 hours of field education in at least two placements and with two contrasting practice foci, with a requirement that one placement must be in direct practice.
Criterion 5: A high level English language skill (as per the AASW English language policy) is demonstrated.
The AASW reserves the right to ask an applicant to take the Academic IELTS examination if there is uncertainty about their level of English proficiency.
NOTE: The AASW ONLY accepts Academic IELTS.
Applications must be submitted by hard copy.
Applications may be sent by Post or by Courier to the Australian Association of Social Workers, including all relevant certified copies of required documents and accredited translation into English where applicable. No applications or supporting documents will be received by email.
Please note that incomplete applications may be held over and additional Fees apply for the submission of additional documents, as set out in the Fees Schedule.
Relevant information on applying for an International Qualification Assessment is provided on the AASW website and in the Application form. You may email the AASW if you would like to request a phone Consultation – please note that a Fee applies for all phone Consultations.
Australian Association of Social Workers
PO Box 2008
Royal Melbourne Hospital VIC 3050
Australian Association of Social Workers
Level 7, 14-20 Blackwood Street
North Melbourne VIC 3050
General information for all applicants
The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) is the professional representative body of social workers in Australia, with more than 10,000 members. The AASW is a recognised Assessing Authority by the Australian Federal Government. The AASW is an Accrediting Authority for higher education courses in social work. The AASW is an Assessing Authority for comparability and equivalency of international qualifications in social work.
To be a qualified social worker in Australia, tertiary qualifications in social work are required.
An AASW accredited social work qualification is the entry level requirement for professional social work practice in Australia. AASW accredited social work courses are undertaken through Australian Higher Education Providers.
The AASW assesses social work qualifications gained overseas for comparability and equivalency to the required Australian social work qualification standard, and provides assessment of AASW accredited courses or mutually recognised social work qualifications for membership eligibility and migration skills assessment purposes.
The AASW assessment can be relied on for the purposes of applying to the Department of Home Affairs of the Australian Government for some migration purposes.
Social work is not yet a registered profession in Australia. However, many employers require social workers to be eligible for membership of the AASW. If you wish your AASW membership eligibility to be assessed, you will need to indicate this on the Application Form. The assessment of membership eligibility is included as an option, for no additional fee, if you are applying for Assessment of overseas social work qualifications for migration purposes.
The AASW assesses post-qualifying Skilled Employment for migration purposes. This is an optional assessment. An additional Skilled Employment Assessment Fee applies. A Skilled Employment Assessment can be undertaken as part of an assessment for migration purposes, which the Department of Home Affairs may use to award additional points. The skilled occupation category ANZSCO 272511 – Social Worker is currently listed on the Australian Government’s Combined current list of eligible skilled occupations.
A Doctorate Degree Assessment is another OPTIONAL additional assessment that applicants can apply for: (the applicant must have had their SW qualification assessed prior to this).
The Dept of Home Affairs may award 5 additional points to those holding a doctorate degree level qualification and is included as part of their migration application. Applicants holding a doctorate degree relevant to social work may apply to have this degree assessed by the AASW.
The AASW is unable to provide migration advice, and recommends contacting the Department of Home Affairs for further information regarding visa options, points tests and other visa related questions via their website: www.homeaffairs.gov.au
The International Qualifications Assessments applications which can be made to the AASW as an Assessing Authority are primarily made by completing Application Forms 1 to 7:
- Application 1 - Assessment of overseas social work qualifications for migration and/or AASW membership eligibility (employment) purposes
As part of Application 1, you may request an assessment of post-qualifying Skilled Employment completed overseas and/or in Australia for migration purposes.
As part of Application 1, you may request assessment of Doctorate Degree level qualification relevant to social work for migration purposes.
- Application 2 - Assessment of Australian Association of Social Workers accredited social work qualifications for migration purposes
- Application 3 - Assessment of Australian Association of Social Workers accredited social work qualifications for the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485)
- Application 4 - Application for membership eligibility assessment for a social worker with a recognised social work qualification completed in New Zealand and holding full, current registration with the NZSWRB (MRA – membership eligibility)
- Application 5 - Application for migration skills assessment for a social worker with a recognised social work qualification completed in New Zealand and holding full, current registration with the NZSWRB (MRA – migration eligibility)
- Application 6 - Application for a renewal of a skills assessment for migration purposes
- Application 7 – Application for the reissue of a previous skill assessment for membership eligibility for employment purposes
- Application 8 - Application for the reissue of a previous skill assessment for migration purposes
Important information on the required documentation to support each type of application is contained in the Application Forms.
Reading the Application Forms is a recommended first step to clarify which application you wish to make and so that you are able to compile the required documentation to support your application.
You may apply to AASW from Australia or from overseas.
Further helpful links
As well as reading your Application Form in detail, before preparing your application and again before submitting an application, you should also read the following AASW information:
You should also read these further linked pages:
- AASW Country Assessment Guidelines – These Guidelines provide potential applicants with an indication of the likelihood of a positive outcome for migration or AASW membership eligibility purposes following completion of an overseas social work qualification from a number of listed countries. These are Guidelines only and do not preclude applicants from other countries making an application.
- List of current and historic recognised New Zealand social work qualifications
- Declaration of Overseas Conduct Matters
- Culturally responsive and inclusive social work practice in Australia
This gives you the best chance of preparing a complete application so that your application is considered in a timely manner.
A complete application demonstrates your professional level of attention to detail and also your recognition of the importance of the role of the Assessing Authority in making an assessment.