Employers play an important role in social work regulation by:

  • ensuring that Social Work employees are registered,
  • supporting Social Work staff to fulfill their Continuing Competence requirements, and
  • being informed about and respecting the mandatory reporting requirements

Employers play a significant role in supporting the College to fulfill its mandate to protect the public interest.

Practice Limitations and Conditions

Registered Social Workers (RSW) may have practice limitations and/or conditions under which they must practice.  These practice limitations and/or conditions will be listed on their Certificate of Practice and on the public Register of Social Workers, available on the Manitoba College of Social Workers website .  RSWs who gained membership via the grandparenting route of entry have demonstrated competence in a specific area or areas of social work and are limited to practicing within approved area(s) only.  For example, an RSW with a practice limitation of Addictions Services may only practice social work in the area of addictions and may not practice social work in another setting such as general Counselling/Assessment.

A member’s social work practice may also be subject to one or more conditions.  Conditions are also reflected both on the RSW’s Certificate of Practice and on the Register of Social Workers.  Examples of conditions include the completion of specific training or supervision.  RSWs are required to practice in compliance with their condition(s).

Practice Limitations – Information Sheet


Advantages of Employing A Social Worker

Employing Social Workers who are members of the Manitoba College of Social Workers offers credibility and provides assurances that your clients will receive care and services that are professional and ethical, delivered by individuals who are qualified and accountable.

As professionals, Social Workers are accountable for their actions and must adhere to the College Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

Registration demonstrates commitment to accountability, ethics and excellence in social work. In addition to being accountable to their clients and employers, Social Workers are accountable to the College as required by legislation in the province of Manitoba. All members are accountable to practice in accordance with The Social Work Profession Act, the regulations made under the Act, and the by-laws of the College.

Social Workers Participate in lifelong learning

The Continuing Competence Program, to be established in 2016, will ensure members meet professional and ethical standards to undertake ongoing practice enhancement. This program will support workplace standards by requiring members of the College to establish and fulfill a professional learning plan.


Ensuring Social Work staff are Registered

In accordance with The Social Work Profession Act, only members of the Manitoba College of Social Workers can use the title “Social Worker” or represent themselves as Social Workers, expressly or by implication, regardless of position, title or designation.

The Social Work Profession Act states:
74(1)   A person who employs another person as a Social Worker must ensure that the Social Worker is registered under this Act during the period of employment.

All practicing Social Workers in Manitoba must be registered with the College. There are several routes of entry into the College for Social Workers, which include:

Accredited: This route is appropriate for applicants who have graduated from a Canadian university Social Work degree program which has been accredited by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE). If you have a Bachelor of Social Work degree, a Master of Social Work degree, or a Doctorate degree in Social Work from an accredited Canadian social work program, you will apply through the Accredited route.

Approved: This route is appropriate for applicants who have graduated from a Manitoba-based Social Work education program that is not accredited by CASWE but is approved by the College. Currently, Booth University College is the only non-accredited Approved program in Manitoba. Other applicants eligible for the Approved route of entry are graduates of American universities accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Substantial Equivalency: The Substantial Equivalency route of entry recognizes current practitioners without a social work degree who are able to provide evidence that they have functioned as a Social Worker safely, competently and ethically for at least 5600 hours in the previous 5 years and demonstrate that they have formal social work-related education.  Applicants assessed to have met the Practice Experience and Education criteria must then write an exam to demonstrate adequate theoretical social work knowledge.

International: Applicants who have completed an international Social Work education program must complete the International Assessment of Credentials process through the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) prior to applying for registration with the College.


Mandatory Reporting – An Employers Responsibility

Mandatory Reporting – Employer

Subsection 74(1) of The Social Work Profession Act mandates employers to promptly report termination of employment of a Social Worker due to misconduct, incompetence or incapacity.   The employer must promptly report the termination to the registrar and provide the Social Worker with a copy of the report.

Mandatory Reporting – Members

Subection 73(1) of The Social Work Profession Act mandates members to inform the registrar if they believe that another member is suffering from a physical or mental condition or disorder of a nature or to an extent that

  1. The member is unfit to continue to practice; or
  2. The member’s practice should be restricted

Content of Report

Employers should NOT use the College’s Complaint Form to submit a mandatory report. The Complaint Form is intended for members of the public who wish to make a complaint about the conduct of a social worker.

The report from the employer should include:

  • Name of Employer
  • Name of Employer representative submitting report
  • Name of the Social Worker who is the subject of the report;
  • A statement about the reason the report is being made (i.e. due to the termination of the Social Worker)
  • A detailed explanation or description of the professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity for which the Social Worker was terminated;
  • Relevant supporting documentation (i.e. letter of termination)

Failure to Report

The Act makes failure to report an offence. On conviction, there is a liability for a fine of up to $10,000. Members of the College who fail to report may also face allegations of professional misconduct.

For complete information regarding mandatory reporting, please review The Social Work Profession Act, the Social Work Profession Regulation, the Manitoba College of Social Workers ByLaw, the Manitoba College of Social Workers Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics and the College website.

To download this information, click here.

If you have further questions, please contact the College at 204-888-9477.


Working Together

The College and employers can work together in a number of ways:

  • Employers may refer to the Manitoba College of Social Workers Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice to determine reasonable expectations of the Social Workers that they employ. The Standards of Practice set out the minimum standards of professional practice and conduct and can be used by employers to inform practices and set policies.
  • Employers may verify a Social Worker’s registration on a yearly basis by accessing the College’s public register.
  • Although they are different processes, a Social Worker’s Continuing Competence plan can complement an employer’s performance review. A workplace performance review can provide feedback suggesting practice areas in need of improvement, from which a Social Worker may develop aspects of their learning goals. An employer can be helpful in assisting a member to identify learning activities to reach their goals, and an employer may be able to provide support, such as time off to engage in professional development, or learning resources, such as seminars or reading materials.
  • Employers and the College can alert each other to issues, practice trends or new legislation that affect Social Workers. This helps both the College and employers keep current with practice realities.