The British Columbia College of Social Workers regulates the social work profession in British Columbia. Our mandate is to protect members of the public from preventable harm while they are interacting with Registered Social Workers. The College maintains an online registry of all social workers authorized to practice as Registered Social Workers. You may search the online registry by clicking the “Verify a Registrant” button at the top right hand side of this website.
The College’s authority comes from the Social Workers Act. We are governed by a twelve-member Board, composed of eight elected social work members and four members appointed by the provincial government. The College’s Registrar directs day-to-day operations. You can find the BCCSW Strategic Directions for 2016-2018 here.
The College exercises its jurisdiction over British Columbia’s social work profession in three major areas:
We assess the qualifications of everyone who applies to become a Registered Social Worker (RSW). All RSW’s must have a minimum of a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a program approved by the College’s Board and must pass an examination. To qualify as a Registered Clinical Social Worker (RCSW), applicants must have a Master of Social Work degree and pass a clinical examination. For more information visit the application forms section of our website.
The College reviews complaints from members of the public concerning Registered Social Workers’ practices. The College can impose disciplinary measures that range from temporary oversight of a social worker to removal of an individual’s right to practice social work. For more information read our complaints process.
The College encourages social workers to work in a safe and ethical environment. In support of this, we have developed a General Guidance document which outlines the shared responsibilities of Registered Social Workers, employing agencies and employers.