Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long does it take for my application to be processed?
    The application process is completed when the applicant has successfully submitted all of the documents required and has paid the application fee of $100.00. The application will then go before the Board of Examiners for approval.
  2. What is the difference between a Child Abuse Registry Check and the Vulnerable Sector Check?
    The Vulnerable Sector Check is different from a Child Abuse Registry Check in that the former include those vulnerable in society but may not include young children, and the latter specifically addresses that of young children in Nova Scotia. It’s a requirement of the NSASW that all applicants do a Child Abuse Registry Check regardless if they will be working with children or not, or if they have never lived in Nova Scotia.
  3. If I am an international Social Worker trying to get registered in Nova Scotia as a Social Worker what must I have before I can be registered?
    A person coming from another country must have his/her credentials assessed. The Canadian Association of Social Workers offers for a fee the evaluation of international social work degrees in addition to other programs that fall within the same category. The application and additional information can be found here: Once your credentials have been approved, along with your application the NSASW will require a document confirming the assessment was approved.
  4. What is Temporary or Courtesy Registration?

    Temporary Registration or Courtesy Registration is provided to an applicant who because of an employment opportunity requires registration in Nova Scotia. For up to one year Courtesy Registration can be provided to an applicant already registered and living in another province. Temporary Registration is provided when an applicant requires registration and can’t wait until the next meeting of the Board of Examiners. The applicant must have all the required documents and fees paid before a temporary can be provided.

  5. The annual license fee or license renewal fee is:

    Active Registrants: $416.00 prorated quarterly for new applicants; b. Inactive Registration: 50% of the regular registration fee

    • Registrants may apply for inactive registration if
      • They are eligible for active status
      • They are not in default of any obligations to the Association
      • They are not practicing social work in Nova Scotia on January 1 of the renewal year
      • They are not practicing social work in Nova Scotia for reasons which may include but are not limited to: maternity leave; paternity or parental leave; long-term disability; long term leave of absence; return to school; inability to secure social work employment; residing out of province; retirement from a social work position.
    • Inactive registrants may resume active practice after they have informed the Registrar of their proposed change of status, have fulfilled the continuing education requirements, submitted the required forms, and have paid any outstanding fees owed to the Association. Fees must be paid in full before inactive registrants may resume active status
    • If an inactive registrant engages in the practice of social work or uses any of the titles or designations reserved to the profession of social work without their being followed by "inactive", the inactive registrant is deemed to have resumed active practice and shall pay to the Association any outstanding fees or penalties, including the annual registration fee or balance thereof, and a further fee, as referred to in Schedule "a", for each relevant year.
  6. How often does the Board of Examiners Meet?
    The Board of Examiners has a meeting on the fourth Thursday of every month excluding August.
  7. What Payment Methods are available to me?
    You can pay online at the time when applying for registration or you can call us with a credit card and we will pay the fee manually for you. You can also send us a check or money order.
  8. By what means can I send my documents?
    The only document that has to be sent directly from the University to NSASW in a sealed envelope is the BSW or MSW Transcripts. Otherwise, you can send your References, your Criminal Record Check, Child Abuse Registry Check, Resume and Job Description by mail, email or by fax. All that information can be found under “Contact Us” in our website at
  9. What is the NSASW policy on returning original documents?
    The NSASW does not return any original documents.
  10. What is a Social Work Candidate?
    A Social Work Candidate is a status of registration where the registrant has to undertake a period of supervision depending on the level of their academic achievement. For someone with a BSW it will be 24 months of supervision with a Candidate Supervisor and 18 months for someone with a MSW. All the information regarding Candidacy can be found in the Candidacy Manual which is on our website You will also find all the forms needed for Candidacy, the NSASW By-Laws, The NSASW Regulations, The NSASW Standards of Practice, and the NSASW Code of Ethics.
  11. What will NSASW expect from a Candidate?
    Once a Candidate has secured a Candidate Supervisor then the Candidate must submit together Forms B & C to the NSASW for approval. Every 6 months after Forms B & C have been approved, a Form A, namely a report, is expected from the Candidate and the Candidate supervisor detailing the 2 hour meetings, held once a month, between Candidate and Candidate Supervisor. You can find all the forms and the Candidacy Manual here
  12. If I have been registered as a Social Worker in another province will I have complete the requirements of Candidacy?
    If an applicant has been registered in another province for at least 2 years, and NSASW has a document confirming that registration, they may not have to complete the Candidacy requirements. The Board of Examiners examines all applications carefully and they make their determination based on the applicant’s experience.
  13. How do I find a Candidate Supervisor?
    Finding a Candidate Supervisor is the responsibility of the Social Work Candidate.
  14. Can I still do Candidacy if I am unemployed?
    No, you must be employed in a social work position, full time, in order to complete the requirements of Candidacy. If you find yourself unemployed, on maternity leave or any other leave you must inform the NSASW to change your status. When you return to work, you must inform the NSASW to changeyour statusto allow you to continue with your Candidacy. You will receive credit for Candidacy already completed.
  15. What is my responsibility to the NSASW once I become a member?
    Your responsibility to the NSASW once you become a member is to always renew your membership fee, keep your profile updated especially your contact information and name changes, keep the NSASW informed of any status changes (unemployed, maternity leave, any leave of absence) so we can change your status, maintain your Professional Development (PD) standards and to ensure your profile reflects your 40 hours of PD. All of these requirements are necessary in order to maintain “Good Standing” status with the NSASW. You can always access your member profile by visiting our website at and signing into the Member Login.
  16. If I wanted to apply for Private Practice what level of experience do I need?
    When deciding on your Area of Specialization, you must have the equivalent of two years continuous full time professional social work experience, within the last ten years, in the area of specialization in which you propose to practice privately. This experience should have been either supervised or conducted in consultation with another person with experience in the area. You should have demonstrated evidence (certification) in your area of specialization, for example; Family Therapy. To apply please visit our website at .