Practicing Social Worker

All those engaged in the practice of social work as a Social Worker in the province of Manitoba as a paid staff, unpaid staff, under contract, a volunteer or in any other capacity (full-time, part-time, casual) must be registered with the Manitoba College of Social Workers. The practice of social work is defined in The Social Work Profession Act as “the application of social work knowledge, skills, values and practice methods in a person-in-environment context”, with the following objectives:

  1. to accomplish the core functions of social work, including
    helping people obtain services relating to their basic human needs,
    counseling of individuals, families and groups, and
    helping communities and groups provide or improve social and health services
  2. to assess, remediate and prevent social problems encountered by individuals, families and communities;
  3. to enhance individual, family and community social functioning

The scope of practice for Social Workers includes:

Case management Group therapy
Psychosocial assessments & interventions Cultural & spiritual counseling
General counseling Community development & organization
Psychotherapy Child protective services
Relationship counseling Structural social work practice
Child & adolescent therapy Social justice & client advocacy
Family therapy Clinical outcome evaluation
Program planning & development Clinical supervision
Program management Administrative supervision
Program evaluation Consultative services
Policy research & development Social work education
Research Private practice

If you are engaged in activities outlined in the social work scope of practice as a Social Worker, you must be registered in the practicing category.

Non-Practicing Designation

Non-practicing designation is available to eligible applicants who are not currently engaged in the practice of social work in Manitoba as a paid staff, unpaid staff, under contract, a volunteer, or in any other capacity.


Eligibility for application for non-practicing designation may include:

  • Retirement
  • Unemployment
    • Not employed by any employer and not self-employed
  • Leave of absence
    • Parental or other
  • Long-term disability
  • Residing in another jurisdiction

Social Workers registered under Section 11 of The Social Work Profession Act (grandparenting provision) are generally required to maintain registration in the Practicing category.  Exceptions include approved leaves of absence such as parental/sick leaves.

Application Criteria:

A registrant may be granted non-practicing designation where he/she has provided an approved application for the Non-Practicing designation, including a signed declaration that he or she:

  1. will not use the titles “social worker”, “registered social worker” or use the designation “R.S.W.”; and
  2. will not practice social work while in the Non-Practicing category; and
  3. will return their current Certificate of Practice, if applicable; and
  4. will pay the Non-Practicing Category fees

Non-practicing category fees will be applied following approval of applications. Category changes will not be back dated.  Members are encouraged to apply immediately upon eligibility for the non-practicing category.

For all category change requests please log into your Member Portal and make the request under the Category Change Request tab.