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
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.
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
No, accreditation is not restricted to social workers in the social service sector. It is open to all social workers.
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.
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 and renewal
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
Generally, the Board would recognise foreign social work degrees if they are accredited or recognised by an accrediting body in the country and year in which the degree was awarded. If no such body exists, the degrees must be recognised by the relevant authority for social work practice in that country. For information on the standards and criteria, please click here.
Volunteer experience will not be counted in chalking up the number of years of experience required for accreditation. The experience must involve full-time employment.
Supervised practice hours may be obtained from either field placements during the social work degree course and/or during post-social work degree employment from a supervisor with a social work qualification and at least 4 years of social work experience. One field placement is equivalent to 400 supervised practice hours. The remaining hours can be obtained during employment where the social worker is supervised by his/her supervisor on a regular basis throughout the period. Examples of supervised practice include formal and informal discussions, case conferences, professional meetings and open appraisals as well as indirect contacts such as emails, appraisal reports, etc.
No. As long as the applicant has accumulated 80 hours of relevant in-employment training and 1,000 hours of supervised practice at the time of application, he/she would be deemed as having met those requirements regardless of the duration taken to achieve those hours. It does not have to be all from one employment but could be acquired through an accumulation of work experience in different employments.
If you have completed your first degree or graduate diploma in social work in 2010 and thereafter and are applying for accreditation for the first time, your hours of supervised practice during employment must be obtained from a supervisor with a recognised degree or graduate diploma in social work and at least 4 years of post-social work qualification experience. This means that the supervised practice hours must be obtained from your supervisor after your supervisor has obtained his/her degree or graduate diploma in social work for a period of at least 4 years. A supervisor who is a Registered Social Worker would be considered as having a recognised social work qualification.
If you have completed your first degree or graduate diploma in social work before 2010, it is not mandatory for you to fulfill this condition but you are encouraged to do so.
If you are a Registered Social Service Practitioner applying for conversion to a Registered Social Worker after you have completed your first degree or graduate diploma in social work in 2010 and thereafter, your hours of supervised practice during employment must be obtained from a supervisor with a recognised degree or graduate diploma in social work and at least 4 years of social work experience. This means that the supervised practice hours must be obtained from your supervisor after your supervisor has obtained his/her degree or graduate diploma in social work for a period of at least 4 years. A supervisor who is a Registered Social Worker would be considered as having a recognised social work qualification.
However, if you have completed your first degree or graduate diploma in social work before 2010, the supervised practice hours during employment may be obtained from a supervisor without a recognised social work qualification or at least 4 years of social work experience.
SASW has a supervision service to help you meet this requirement. The service helps secure, select and match supervisors with social workers who are unable to obtain supervision from a senior social worker at the workplace and enables social workers to obtain supervision from qualified social workers with at least 4 years of social work experience. For details and registration, please click here.
Yes. To become a Registered Social Worker under the accreditation system, you would need to possess a recognised degree or graduate diploma in social work as stated in the answer to Question 8.
Funding support of up to $20,000 will continue to be available to Registered Social Service Practitioners after the window period to enable them to acquire a recognised degree or graduate diploma in social work.
SSPs who are not accredited but are employed with NCSS member and MSF-funded Voluntary Welfare Organisations could also qualify to apply for the funding support.
For details on how to become a social worker, please click here.
Accreditation status is renewed every two years. Registered Social Workers-Provisional, Registered Social Workers and Registered Social Service Practitioners must fulfill 60 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Credits during the two-year period to qualify for renewal. Please click here on how the credits can be obtained. Social Service Practitioners who have been accredited before the window period for RSSP accreditation expired on 30 June 2012 and who meet the CPE credits requirements will continue to be eligible for renewal after the window period.
You will be given the following extension periods during which you will not be accredited:
- One-year extension. This means you will be given another year to acquire the number of credits required; 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 during the 2-year period, the first day of the period will be deleted from your log book calendar. This means that credits acquired on that first day will be deleted
During the above extension periods, you will not be accredited and will not be on the register. You are encouraged to return to the register by chalking up the remaining credits and applying for renewal as soon as possible. However, should you fail to meet the CPE requirements and have your accreditation status renewed during the two extension periods, your accreditation records will be deleted from our online system and you will have to apply as a fresh applicant should you wish to be accredited again
No fees will be levied for accreditation and renewal.