The social work sector in Canada is regulated in all provinces. Only those who meet the qualifications and standards set by the provincial regulatory bodies can use the titles of “Social Worker” and “Registered Social Worker.” These bodies issue licenses or certificates to individuals who meet their registration requirements.
The Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) is the national organization which represents social workers from across Canada. You need to apply directly to the appropriate provincial regulatory authority if you wish to become licensed as a social worker or registered social worker in Canada.
It is important for you to have a general overview of how your international qualifications may be viewed in Canada and have a general sense of the Canadian labour market and workplace culture.
There are many steps that you can take before immigrating to Canada to improve your chances of success to practice your profession in your future country.
- Attend the Know Before You Go Webinar Series to learn more about life in Canada.
- Contact the Canadian diplomatic mission closest to you to find out about the employment requirements for the social work occupation in Canada.
- Contact the association mandated with regulating social workers in the province where you’ll settle in Canada to find out about licensing procedures you can take before and after you immigrate.
- Improve your language skills and enroll in language classes in your home country and continue them after you move to Canada. You’ll need to prove your English or French (depending on your destination province) language competency, or be tested.
- Assess your language skills by taking on an online self-assessment on the Canadian Language Benchmarks website.
- Gather and organize your official education, work and identity documents while still in your home country. Check with your provincial or territorial regulatory body to enquire about the documents you need to bring and verify if they need to be translated. You might need to use a professional translation service in Canada.
- Understand how your profession is practiced in Canada and familiarize yourself with provincial laws and legislation where you’ll settle.
- Know the name of your job in Canada and make a list of potential employers.
- Find out how to get your driver’s license when you arrive. It will be useful to help you get a job, or even to search for a job.