Why Register with the College?

Upon graduating from an approved social service work or accredited social work program, you are eligible to apply for registration with the College. When you become a member, you join a community of social workers and social service workers across Ontario who are professional, ethical, qualified and accountable. The College serves the public interest by regulating the professions of social service work and social work in Ontario. Registration gives credibility to the professions of social work and social service work and provides important benefits to you as a member, while protecting the public from unqualified, incompetent or unfit practitioners. It is also the law. Professionals who wish to use the title “social worker”/”registered social worker” or “social service worker”/”registered social service worker” can only do so if they are registered with the College. Registration is also required if you represent yourself (or “hold yourself out”) as a “social worker” or “social service worker.”

As a new graduate who becomes a member, you are entitled to:

  • Use the restricted titles of “social service worker” or “registered social service worker”, or “social worker” or “registered social worker” (depending on your class of registration);
  • “Hold yourself out” as a “social worker” or “social service worker”. This means representing yourself in such a way that a reasonable person would assume (from the information you provided) that you were a social worker or social service worker;
  • A reduced membership fee for new graduates (the New Graduate Fee);
  • Access information on the activities of the College through College publications including the Perspective newsletter, Practice Guidelines, Practice Notes, the website and e-bulletins;
  • Educational and networking opportunities through the free Annual Meeting and Education Day (AMED) and regional forums throughout Ontario;
  • Consultation with and guidance from the Professional Practice Department for ethical and practice-related questions.

Incentive for New Grads: The New Graduate Fee

The College makes it a priority to reach out to new graduates. The New Graduate Fee is one of the ways that we demonstrate that your registration with the College is important. You are eligible for the new graduate fee if you apply for registration no later than December 31 of the year in which you obtain your social work degree or social service work diploma. You are then eligible for a $100 exemption from the membership fee for the year that you register, and the two years of membership immediately following the year of registration.

Click here for details, or look under the FAQ #2 How do I apply for membership?