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 2018-2020 here.
Some of the duties of BCCSW are:
- to maintain the Public Registry of every registrant and former registrant of the College
- to establish the qualifications required for registration as a registrant
- to establish and employ registration, inquiry and discipline practices which are transparent, objective, impartial and fair
- to establish, monitor and enforce standards of practice and ethical standards to enhance the quality of practice
- to establish and maintain a continuing competence program to promote high practice standards amongst registrants
- to receive and investigate complaints against registrants and to deal with issues of discipline
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 (or related equivalency) from a program approved by the College’s Board and must pass an examination (unless exempt). 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.
Professional Excellence/Continuing Competency
The College encourages and promotes high standards of social work practice through its Standards of Practice and Bylaws. Registrants also participate in ongoing yearly professional development.
Inquiry and Discipline
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.
Please see a summary of the differences between membership with the BCASW and registration with the BCCSW here.