General

Why is there a need to accredit Social Workers (SWs) and Social Service Practitioners (SSPs)?

The accreditation system was put in place to:

  • Ensure professional standards of Social Work practice
  • Promote continuing education and training of SWs and SSPs
  • Improve the professional image of SWs and SSPs
  • Groom leaders to guide young SWs and SSPs

Who is the owner of the Accreditation System?

The Accreditation System is owned by the Ministry of Social and Family Development. It is overseen by the Social Work Accreditation and Advisory Board and administered by the Singapore Association of Social Workers.

Is accreditation mandatory?

Accreditation is not mandatory currently. Social Workers and Social Service Practitioners will be informed through their VWOs ahead of time if accreditation were to be made mandatory in future.

Who can be accredited

Is the accreditation system restricted to social workers in the Social Service Sector? What about social workers in the other sectors (healthcare, schools etc)?

No, accreditation is not restricted to Social Workers in the social service sector. It is open to all Social Workers.

Can Programme Executives/Youth Workers be accredited?

The accreditation system is for Social Workers as defined below:

"Social Workers" refer to graduates and current practitioners with social work qualifications, i.e. Degree in Social Work or a Graduate Diploma in Social Work recognised by the Singapore Association of Social Workers and the Social Work Accreditation and Advisory Board.

Programme Executives/Youth Workers who are not social work trained are encouraged to undergo formal social work training in order to be accredited as Social Workers.

If I had been a Registered Social Worker with SASW before and would like to be accredited, do I still need to apply for it?

Yes. The requirements for accreditation are different from those for SASW registration which had ceased on 31 March 2009. Hence, if you wish to be accredited, you would need to submit an application for accreditation even though you had been a Registered Social Worker with SASW prior to 1 April 2009.

Criteria for Accreditation

What are the recognised Social Work qualifications that can be obtained in Singapore?

The recognised social work qualifications are:

National University of Singapore

  • Bachelor of Arts (Social Work)
  • Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours) in Social Work
  • Graduate Diploma in Social Work
  • Master of Social Sciences (Social Work)

Singapore University of Social Sciences (formerly known as SIM University)

  • Bachelor of Social Work
  • Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
  • Graduate Diploma in Social Work
  • Master of Social Work

What are the recognised Social Work qualifications that can be obtained from overseas?

Social Work qualifications that are obtained from overseas must be accredited by a recognised accrediting body in the country and year in which the qualifications were awarded. Please see more here: Recognised Social Work Qualifications.

What are the requirements for accreditation as a Registered Social Worker–Provisional (RSW-P)?

The criteria to apply for accreditation as Registered Social Worker – Provisional (RSW-P) are:

  • Possess at least a Bachelor Degree or Graduate Diploma in Social Work recognised by the Social Work Accreditation and Advisory Board (SWAAB)
  • Provide two (2) character references from peers and/or employers
  • Have an offer of Social Work employment or employed as a Social Worker in a social service agency, government agency, hospital, institutes of higher learning or registered charity or society engaged in Social Work practices in Singapore
  • Less than one year of post-qualification full-time Social Work experience locally
  • Obtain a pass (75% mark) in the Online Ethics Quiz at point of application

What are the changes to the requirements for accreditation as Registered Social Worker (RSW)?

 

The criteria to apply for accreditation as Registered Social Worker (RSW) are:

  • Possess a recognised Social Work qualification with field placement hours undertaken in accordance to the university’s programme requirement
  • Provide two (2) character references from peers and/or employers
  • Have at least one year of post-qualification full-time Social Work experience locally
  • Obtain a pass (75% mark) in the Online Ethics Quiz at point of application
  • 80-hours of post-qualification in-employment training
  • 1,000 hours of supervised practice obtained from employment after completing one’s Social Work qualification

Can I apply directly for accreditation as a Registered Social Worker (RSW) without prior application for accreditation as Registered Social Worker – Provisional (RSW-P)?

Yes. If you have met all the criteria for accreditation as a Registered Social Worker (RSW), you may apply directly for accreditation as RSW.

I have just submitted my application for accreditation, how long does it take to be approved?

Your application will be processed within 6 weeks provided that the application submitted is complete and in order. Any missing or misleading information and/or documents will result in a delay and may cause your application to be rejected. You are advised to keep a copy of your application form for reference. Criteria for approval will be based on the date of the latest submission.

What is the difference between submitting an application for accreditation before 29 December 2023 and after 15 January 2024?

All applications submitted before 29 December 2023 will be assessed and approved based on the existing criteria. Applications submitted after 15 January 2024 will be assessed and approved based on the Revised Accreditation Framework.

Online Ethics Quiz

What is the Online Ethics Quiz?

As Social Workers, ethical practice is the cornerstone of our commitment to serving our clients and communities. To further strengthen ethical standards, an online ethics quiz will be introduced as part of the changes to the requirements for accreditation as RSW-P or RSW. This tool will assess your comprehension of ethical guidelines, dilemmas, and decision-making processes.

What does the Online Ethics Quiz encompass?

The Online Ethics Quiz is based on the SASW Code of Professional Ethics.

How many questions are there in the Online Ethics Quiz?

The Online Ethics Quiz consists of 20 multiple choice questions.

What is the passing mark for the Online Ethics Quiz?

The passing mark for the Online Ethics Quiz is 75%, or 15 out of 20 questions answered correctly.

What happens if I do not achieve a “Pass” on the Online Ethics Quiz at the first attempt?

You are allowed to attempt the Online Ethics Quiz multiple times till you are able to obtain a pass (75% mark). There is no limit as to how many times you can take the quiz.

Will the questions for each attempt be the same?

The questions are randomised and may not be the same for each attempt.

Can I apply for accreditation without passing the Online Ethics Quiz?

No, you will not be able to proceed with your application if you do not obtain a pass (75%) for the Online Ethics Quiz.

80 hours of Post-Qualification In-Employment Training

When can I start counting my in-employment training hours?

You may start accumulating your training hours during employment after you have completed your Social Work Degree programme. This will be based on the start date of your employment as well as the date printed on your degree certificate or interim transcript that is issued prior to the official transcript.

1,000 Supervised Practice Hours During Employment

Can field placement hours be part of the 1000 supervised practice hours?

Field placement is a prerequisite for your Social Work Degree therefore it cannot be included in the 1,000 supervised practice hours from your employment.

What constitutes supervised practice hours?

Supervised Practice refers to being engaged in one’s Social Work Professional Practice (aligned with the skills and competencies listed within the “Skills Framework for Social Service”) while under Supervision.

When can I start counting my supervised practice hours?

You may start accumulating your supervised practice hours during employment after you have completed your Social Work Degree programme. This will be based on the start date of your employment as well as the date printed on your certificate or interim transcript that is issued prior to the official transcript.

What if I did not complete one of the Key Responsibility Areas (KRA) in the checklist? Does that mean that I do not fulfill the 950-hour requirement?

It is not a requirement to complete all the items under the Key Responsibility Areas (KRA).

Do we have to indicate the breakdown of the number of hours for the various Key Responsibility Areas (KRA)?

It is not required to indicate the breakdown of the supervised practice hours spent on each KRA.

Does my Supervisor need to be a Registered Social Worker (RSW)?

From January 2024, all Social Work Supervisors endorsing supervised practice hours must be accredited as a Registered Social Worker (RSW).

Does the Social Work Supervisor need to hold a Certificate in Supervision?

Before becoming a Social Work Supervisor, Social Workers are encouraged to attend a preparatory course in supervision to understand the role of a Social Work Supervisor and to reflect upon one’s suitability to be a Social Work Supervisor.

Once in the role, Social Work Supervisors should continue to enhance their competence by attending relevant training courses and/ or be involved in peer supervision.

How is peer supervision defined?

This refers to peer-to-peer Supervision with fellow Social Workers of the same level and who are accredited as RSW with at least 4 years of post-qualification Social Work experience, of which at least 1 year must be in Singapore.

Do I need to be supervised by the same Social Work Supervisor for the 1000 supervised practice hours as I receive supervision from more than one supervisor?

You can receive supervision from different supervisors, however your employer will need to endorse on the Supervised Practice Declaration Form that you have received supervision from Social Work Supervisor(s) accredited as RSW with at least 4 years of post-qualification Social Work experience, of which at least 1 year must be in Singapore.

If my Social Work Supervisor has left the organisation, can I use the supervision hours that I had with him/her to fulfill the requirement of the 1000 supervised practice hours?

Yes, the supervision hours can be included. However, the Endorsement Officer has to be your current employer.

Who can endorse on the "Endorsement by Employer" section of the Supervised Practice Declaration Form?

The person endorsing the “Endorsement by Employer” section must be of Head of Department (HOD) level and above.

I am a lone (or solo) Social Worker and do not have a Social Work Supervisor in my agency. What are the resources available to me to receive Social Work Supervision?

If you are a lone (or solo) Social Worker in a Social Service Agency (SSA) which is a member of the National Council of Social Service (NCSS); and/or from the Career Conversion Programme (CCPSW)/ Mid-careerist, you can consider applying through the SASW Supervision Service for external supervision.

What are the supervision grants currently available?

For those who may not have access to in-house Social Work Supervision, possible resources include:

  • NCSS Professional Capability Grant (PCG) – Open Grant; or
  • SASW Supervision Service for lone (or solo) Social Workers.

Renewal

Can I renew my accreditation as Registered Social Worker – Provisional (RSW-P) instead of doing a conversion to Registered Social Worker?

From January 2024, all Registered Social Worker – Provisional (RSW-P) are required to apply for Conversion to Registered Social Worker (RSW) to remain accredited. Hence there is no need for RSW-P to submit CPE credits for Renewal.

What if I am not able to fulfil the criteria for accreditation as a Registered Social Worker when my accreditation period as Registered Social Worker-Provisional is due?

You may write in to appeal to SWAAB stating the reason(s) that you are unable to convert to accreditation as a Registered Social Worker. On a case-by-case basis, upon approval by SWAAB, a one-time 12-month extension will be added on to the existing RSW-P accreditation period to enable you to fully meet the criteria for Conversion.

What is the criteria for Renewal of accreditation?

60 CPE credits are required for Renewal of accreditation, of which at least 40 CPE credits must come from Structured Activities.

How soon can I submit my Renewal application during the period of my accreditation?

Accredited professionals can submit their applications for renewal of accreditation status through the Renewal function in their accounts 3 months before the expiry of the accreditation period. They will be asked to update Personal Particulars, Education, Employment and Personal Declaration before submitting the Renewal form.

If the Renewal is not done by the expiry date, will it be considered as a new application thereafter?

If you are unable to meet the CPE requirements before your accreditation status expires or if you do not submit a Renewal application, you will be given the following extension periods:

  • One-year extension. This means you will be given another year to acquire the required number of credits and submit your Renewal application; and
  • Two-year rolling extension. If you are still unable to obtain the required number of credits after the one-year extension, you will be given 2 more years to do so. However, with every passing day, the first day of the period will be deleted from your log book calendar. This means that you will only be able to submit CPE activities within the 3-year period before the current date of submission, i.e. if you submit on 1 January 2024, the system only accepts CPE activities done from 1 January 2021 and later.

 

During the extension period, you will not be accredited and will not be on the register. You are encouraged to return to the register by acquiring the remaining credits and applying for renewal as soon as possible. However, if you are unable to have your accreditation status renewed during the extension period, your records will be deleted from our accreditation system. You will have to apply as a fresh applicant if you wish to be accredited again in future.

Green Lane Applications

Who can apply through Green Lane?

Green Lane was introduced in October 2022 for previously accredited Registered Social Workers who have 20 years of practice experience. The applicant will need to be currently employed in a social service agency, government agency, hospital, institutes of higher learning or registered charity or society engaged in Social Work practices. You will not need to complete the revised supervised practice declaration form.

Is there a deadline for Green Lane applications?

Green Lane applications is opened till 31 December 2024.

Fee

Is there a fee chargeable for accreditation and renewal?

No fees will be levied for accreditation and renewal.