New Regulations

New regulations to accompany the Social Workers Act came into effect on September 28, 2018.  The regulations are designed to standardize practices across regulated health professions in the province and support requirements as outlined in the legislation.

The majority of requirements outlined in the regulations have been part of NLASW’s operations for many years.  Examples are the submission of a certificate of conduct, vulnerable sector check and proof of education by individuals applying for social work registration as well as the submission of continuing professional education credits and proof of good standing if registered in another jurisdiction for individuals renewing social work registration.


Changes for new applicants include proof of identity and proof of proficiency in the English language. 

The major change resulting from these new regulations affects those who are not registered but wish to practice social work in Newfoundland and Labrador.  An individual who has not been registered to practice for three years or more must successfully complete an exam as a requirement for registration.  This applies to:

  • individuals who have never been registered and three years or more has passed since receiving an accredited social work degree by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE) or international equivalent.  The three years is counted from the date the degree was conferred as indicated on the official degree transcript. 
  •  individuals who have been previously registered but let their registration lapse for three years or more.  For previous NLASW registrants, the three years is counted from the date that registration with NLASW expired. Registration expires annually on February 28.  For those registered previously with another regulatory body, three years is counted from the date that the registration with that regulatory body expired as indicated on the verification of registration form.

The exam which will be utilized will be the Association of Social Work Boards exam which is administered electronically at approved Pearson Vue testing sites.  This exam is the same one used in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.  Details regarding the exam process are available by clicking here.

Non-practicing members who wish to return to active practice will also need to meet additional requirements which corelate with the number of years as a non-practicing member.  The new regulations will not impact non-practicing members who wish to maintain this type of membership indefinitely (e.g. due to reasons such as retirement, residing in another jurisdiction).

March 2019- February 2020 will be year one for all current non-practicing members regardless of how long a non-practicing membership has been held up to that point.  The table below outlines the new re-entry to practice requirements for non-practicing members with no membership lapse. Please note that all non-practicing members returning to active social work practice complete the online application through MyNLASW including submission of the applicable fee in addition to requirements outlined below.  

Non-Practicing Membership

Requirements to Return

1-3 years as a non-practicing member

Non-practicing members can return to active social work practice at any time without additional educational requirements.

3-5 years as a non-practicing member

Non-practicing members who have been non-practicing for more than 3 years but less than 5 can return to active registration by submitting 40 credits if non-practicing for 4 years and 80 credits if non-practicing for five years as per CPE Policy statement. These credits can be completed at any time throughout the 4-5 year period that an individual has maintained a non-practicing membership.

5 years or more as a non-practicing member

Successful completion of the Association of Social Work Boards exam.  Exam details are available by clicking here.

 (One year is equivalent to one registration year. The registration year runs from March 1 to February 28 of any given year.)