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 Hospital Social Work may only practice social work in the hospital setting and may not practice social work in another setting such as Child Protection.

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).


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 University, 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).

Grandparented: The Manitoba College of Social Workers has established a “grandparenting” process that recognizes current practitioners without formal social work education who are functioning as social workers as their principal occupation. These applicants must provide evidence that they have functioned as a Social Worker safely, competently and ethically for at least 4400 hours in the previous 5 years. The grandparenting route of entry will be available to eligible applicants until March 31, 2018. However, all practitioners using the title Social Worker or representing themselves as a Social Worker on or after April 1, 2015 must be registered with the College.

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

When an employer or anyone has a concern regarding a Social Worker, they may contact the Manitoba College of Social Workers. The College has the legal obligation to investigate reports or complaints and to take action. By law, the College maintains a public register of its members and is required to have a formal complaints process.

As part of its duty to protect the public interest, the College is required to assess reports of misconduct from employers. Section 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.

What can happen if an employer does not make a report?
The Act makes failure to report an offence. On conviction, a fine of up to $10,000 may be assessed. Members of the College who fail to report may also face allegations of professional misconduct.

What if an employer states that individuals representing themselves as social workers do not have to be registered to do their jobs?
An employer is free to set any job requirements for hiring. The employer cannot, however, decide that a qualified Social Worker does not have to be registered. This may mean that the individual is doing exactly the same job as another person who is not required to be a registered Social Worker because that other person does not qualify for registration.


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.