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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.

COVID-19 - Business as usual - please note information below

***Qualification Assessment Program of social workers for migration and/or employment purposes***

The AASW wishes to update you as to the International Qualification Assessment program which includes the assessment of applications for migration and also to determine eligibility of membership to the AASW for employment purposes, from social workers trained overseas and in Australia.

The AASW remains open with staff and all programs functioning remotely. The IQA program will continue to receive, assess and decide all applications. There is no change to our timelines and we are working towards reducing waitlists in parts of the program.

Due to applications requiring to be received by mail and the overseas postal services delayed from the impact of the coronavirus in the world, we will review this situation in the near future and determine if we need to implement alternative processes to ensure we can receive applications sooner.

Correspondence with applicants via email will be the mode of communication and for any updates as to the IQA program, please link into the AASW website

We wish to thank you for your patience and co-operation during these difficult times.

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.

Please read the Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Postal address

Australian Association of Social Workers
IQA Program
PO Box 2008
Royal Melbourne Hospital VIC 3050

Courier Address

Australian Association of Social Workers
IQA Program
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 14,000 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:

Application forms

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.

Important information on the required documentation to support each type of application is contained in the Application Forms.

You can access the Application Forms here.

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:

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.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers