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Notice Type
General Section
Notice Title

Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work General Scope of Practice and Prescribed Qualifications for the Scope of Practice

Introduction

The Social Workers Registration Act was passed in 2003.

The purpose of the Social Workers Registration Act (2003) (“Act”) is for the Social Workers Registration Board (“Board”) to protect the safety of the public by registering social workers and developing mechanisms to ensure that registered social workers are competent to practice, and accountable for their practice. The Board also has a mandate to promote the benefits of registration and enhance the professionalism of social workers.

Changes to the Act, commencing 27 February 2021 include the introduction of mandatory registration for social workers, protection of the title “social worker”, and implementation of a Scope(s) of Practice to describe social work practice in Aotearoa New Zealand.

In accordance with Part 1A section 5A, of the Act, a General Scope of Practice (“Scope”) has been developed as a high-level description of social work in Aotearoa New Zealand, for registered social work practitioners working across the breadth of social work roles.

The Board consulted with the social work sector on its proposal to gazette a General Scope of Practice for social work. To ensure the Scope was developed to reflect social work in Aotearoa, a working group made up of sector leaders was established to develop a draft Scope, informed by the feedback received from consultation, and regulatory requirements under the Act. The working group included four Tangata Whenua and four Tauiwi members, one representing a Pasifika voice. The working group was chaired by a Board member, and the Board’s Kāhui Chair provided kaumatua support to the group. The draft Scope was circulated to the social work sector for feedback, and this feedback informed amendments to it. The finalised Scope was approved by the Board in December 2020.

Registration pathways within the Scope are stipulated in the Act and include:

  • Social workers eligible for registration under section 6 of the Act, who have a New Zealand qualification prescribed for a scope of practice
  • Social workers who are overseas qualified and registered under section 7 of the Act, and have a qualification that has been recognised as equivalent to a prescribed qualification for a scope of practice
  • Social workers who are registered under section 13 Experience Pathway, are assessed as having enough practical experience to compensate for the lack of a recognised social work qualification. This pathway is time limited. Section 13 of the Act is repealed in February 2024.

The Board is required to prescribe qualifications for the General Scope of Practice in accordance with section 5B of the Act.

Prescribed Qualifications for the General Scope of Practice

Attached as Schedule 1 are the current prescribed New Zealand Social Work qualifications recognised by the Board.

Attached as Schedule 2 are the historical prescribes qualifications that are recognised by the Board.

Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work General Scope of Practice*

Whakatauki

“Awhinatia ngā taonga tuku iho”
Embrace the Wisdom of the Past with the Present

Pepeha

Ko Mana Motuhake te Moemoeaa**
Ko Mana Tangata te Kaupapa
Ko Mana Atua te Ara Taumata
Ko Mana Tipuna te Tikanga
Ko Mana Whenua te Turanga
Ko Manaakitanga te Uaraa

“Ma is the essence”, Mana is the intrinsic nature that all humanity walks with. Mana motuhake drives the direction, mana atua is the protective presence, mana tipuna is the pathway guided by the ancestors, mana whenua is the distinctive source of the pathway and mana tangata is the respectful relationship. The core of social work in Aotearoa New Zealand is centred in manaakitanga.

Niho Taniwha kaupapa

Niho Taniwha***

Practice Lens

Tangata Whenua perspectives on engagement and relationship building draw on traditions that transcend from ancestral realms. Reflecting the diversity of Aotearoa New Zealand, engagement and relationship building from other cultural paradigms will look different. Social workers practice through their cultural lens and through the lens of their field of practice, knowledge, experience, and worldview. These lenses enable social workers to connect with the narratives of their own paradigms.

Tauākī Tikanga Mahi, Social Work Practice Statement

He umanga whanaungatanga te tauwhiro hapori, ā, he pūkenga mātauranga hoki e whakauru mai ana i ngā mahi tātari i ngā whakaawenga onāianei, o mua hoki mō ngā āhuatanga hauropi, pāpori, tōrangapū, ā-wairua, ā-hinengaro hoki.

Ka whakatairanga panoni pāpori me te whakamanatanga ngā tauwhiro mā te ū ki ngā mātāpono o te tōkeke ā-iwi, ngā tika tangata, te kawenga ā-iwi me te whakaaro nui ki te kanorautanga.

Ka tuitui ngā tauwhiro i ngā taura here manaaki me te whakaaro nui kia tūturu, kia whai koronga, whai kaupapa hoki hei whakakaha, whakaora me te whakaū i te haumaru me te oranga o te hunga e mahi nei rātau. Ka tautuhia e ngā tauwhiro ngā kaha, ngā hiahia me ngā kōtuinga tautoko hei whakaraupapa i ngā whāinga e whakarei ake i te tūhonohono ā-tangata, me te āwhina ki te whakarite i ngā uauatanga ora, raruraru nui hoki.

Whakamahia ai e ngā tauwhiro ngā tūmomo ariā iwi taketake me te tauwhiro hapori, ngā tikanga hoki i ahu mai i tētahi tohu tauwhiro hapori whai mana, whakangungu, wheako hoki. I takea mai ā rātau tikanga mahi i Te Tiriti o Waitangi, te International Federation of Social Workers/International Association of Schools of Social Work Joint Global Definition of Social Work me te Global Social Work Statement of Ethical Principles, Ngā Tikanga Matatika a Te Rōpū Tauwhiro o Aotearoa me Ngā Ture Whanonga me ngā Paerewa Kaiakatanga Matua a Te Kāhui Whakamana Tauwhiro.

He whakaritenga pūmau te wetewete whakaaro me te whakawhanaketanga ngaio nō te tikanga mahi tauwhiro hapori.

Ka whakamahia e ngā tauwhiro ō rātau mōhio, pūkenga hoki mā ngā tūmomo āhuatanga, tūranga i ngā taumata whāiti, whānui, whāroa hoki. Kei roto i tēnei ko te mahi tahi me te iwi me ngā whānau, ngā mahi tauwhiro hapori haumanu, te whanaketanga nā te hapori, te tuku tohutohu, rangahau, mātauranga, wetewete whakaaro, takawaenga, taunaki, whakahaerenga, waihanga kaupapahere me te ārahitanga.

Social Work Practice Statement – English

Social work is a relationship-based profession and an academic discipline that incorporates analyses of current and historical influences including ecological, social, political, economic, spiritual, and psychological factors.

Social workers promote social change and empowerment by adhering to the principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility, and respect for diversity.

Social workers establish caring and respectful relationships with authenticity, intention, and purpose, to strengthen, restore and uphold the safety and wellbeing of those they work with. Social workers identify strengths, needs and support networks to prioritise goals that will enhance social connectedness, and assist in addressing life challenges and major events.

Social workers use a range of indigenous and social work theories, methods and techniques drawn from a recognised social work qualification, training, and experience. Their practice is based on Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the International Federation of Social Workers/International Association of Schools of Social Work Joint Global Definition of Social Work and Global Social Work Statement of Ethical Principles, the Aotearoa New Zealand Social Workers Association’s Code of Ethics and the Social Workers Registration Board’s Code of Conduct and Core Competence Standards.

Critically reflective supervision and continuing professional development are ongoing requirements of social work practice.

Social workers apply their knowledge and expertise in a variety of ways and roles at micro, meso and macro levels. This includes direct work with people and whānau, therapeutic social work, community-led development, consultancy, research, education, supervision, facilitation, advocacy, management, policy development and leadership.

* This notice is authorised under section 5A of the Social Workers Registration Act 2003.
** To honour Turoa Haronga of Tainui, double vowel is used within the Pepeha.
*** The Niho Taniwha kaupapa was selected to bring the essential components of a Tangata Whenua perspective to the scope Korero. The narrative to support this korero can be found on the SWRB website https://swrb.govt.nz/.

SCHEDULE 1

CURRENT RECOGNISED NEW ZEALAND SOCIAL WORK QUALIFICATIONS

SCHEDULE 1 CONTAINS:

Current qualifications that have been recognised by the Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB) for the purpose of registration. If you intend to enrol in a social work qualification these are the qualifications that are accepted by the SWRB.

INSTITUTION QUALIFICATION
Ara Institute of Canterbury
  • Bachelor of Social Work
Bethlehem Tertiary Institute
  • Bachelor of Social Work
Eastern Institute of Technology
  • Bachelor of Social Work
  • Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
Manukau Institute of Technology
  • Bachelor of Applied Social Work Te Tōrino
Massey University
  • Bachelor of Social Work (may be awarded with Honours)
  • Master of Applied Social Work
Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology
  • Bachelor of Social Work
NorthTec
  • Bachelor of Applied Social Work
Open Polytechnic
  • Bachelor of Social Work
Te Wānanga o Aotearoa
  • Ngā Poutoko Whakarara Oranga - Bachelor of Bicultural Social Work
Te Wānanga o Raukawa
  • Poutuārongo Toiora Whānau
Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology
  • Bachelor of Social Work
The University of Auckland
  • Bachelor of Social Work
  • Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
  • Master of Social Work (Professional) (may be awarded with Honours)
Unitec New Zealand
  • Bachelor of Social Practice (no major)
University of Canterbury
  • Bachelor of Social Work (may be awarded with Honours)
  • Master of Social Work (Applied)
University of Otago
  • Bachelor of Social Work
  • Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
  • Master of Social and Community Work (Applied)
University of Waikato
  • Bachelor of Social Work (may be awarded with Honours)
Whitireia New Zealand
  • Bachelor of Social Work
Wintec
  • Bachelor of Social Work

SCHEDULE 2

HISTORICAL RECOGNISED NEW ZEALAND SOCIAL WORK QUALIFICATIONS

SCHEDULE 2 CONTAINS:

PART 1—Recognised historical qualifications for the purposes of registration

PART 2—Recognised historical qualifications for the purposes of registration – if commenced prior to 31/12/2005 and completed by 31/12/2009

SCHEDULE 2 - PART 1
INSTITUTION QUALIFICATION
Auckland College of Education Merged with University of Auckland 01.09.2004
  • Bachelor of Social Work
  • Diploma in Social Work
  • Diploma Applied Social Studies
    Note: Qualifications not completed at the time of the merge awarded by University of Auckland
Auckland Institute of Technology
  • Diploma in Social Work
  • Bachelor of Maori Studies (Social Work and Social Services)
  • Bachelor of Maori Studies (Social Services)
Carrington Polytechnic
  • Diploma in Community and Social Work
Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology
  • Bachelor of Social Work
Eastern Institute of Technology
  • National Diploma in Social Services (Social Work)
  • Diploma in Social Work
  • Bachelor of Applied Social Sciences (Social Work major) (may be awarded with an additional major in Counselling or Psychotherapy)
Manukau Institute of Technology
  • National Diploma in Social Services (1999–2001)
  • Te Pokairua Whanaungatanga Whakaturuma – (Diploma in Social and Community Work) (1994–2002)
  • Te Mahi Whanaungatanga Te Mahi-a-Iwi (1994–2002)
  • Te Pokairua Tikanga Rua Nga Ratonga Hopori – Whakaturuma (National Diploma)
  • Bachelor of Applied Social Work
Massey University
  • Diploma Social Sciences (Welfare development and social work) (1985–1987)
  • Diploma Social Sciences (Social Policy and Social Work) (1988–1997)
  • Master of Social Work (Applied)
Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology
  • Diploma of Social Services
NorthTec
  • Bachelor of Applied Social Service (Social Work major)
  • Bachelor of Applied Social Service (Social Work and Mental Health & Addictions double major)
Te Kaiawhina Ahumahi and Accredited Providers
  • National Diploma of Social Services (Social Work)
Te Wananga o Aotearoa
  • Bachelor of Social Work (Biculturalism in Practice)
Te Wananga o Raukawa
  • Poumanawa Matauranga Toirora Whānau
The University of Auckland
  • Master of Arts in Sociology
Unitec New Zealand
  • Bachelor of Social Practice (Social Work major) or (Community Development major)
University of Canterbury
  • Graduate Diploma in Social Work
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Social Work
  • Diploma Social Work
  • Master of Arts (Sociology and Social Work)
University of Otago
  • Certificate in the Theory and Practice of Social Work and Diploma for Graduates
  • Post Graduate Diploma in the Social Services (1994–1999)
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Social and Community Work
  • Bachelor of Social and Community Work
  • Master of Social and Community Work
Victoria University of Wellington
  • Diploma Social Science
  • Diploma Social Work
  • Master of Arts (Applied) Social Work
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work
Wanganui Polytechnic
  • Diploma in Social and Community Work
  • Diploma in Social Work
Waiariki Institute of Technology
  • Bachelor of Applied Social Science (Social Work)
  • Bachelor of Applied Social Sciences (Kaupapa Maori major)
  • Bachelor of Social Work
Wintec
  • Bachelor of Applied Social Science (Social Work major)

SCHEDULE 2 – PART 2

IF COMMENCED PRIOR TO 31/12/2005 AND COMPLETED BY 31/12/2009

INSTITUTION QUALIFICATION
Anamata
  • National Diploma in Social Work
Bay of Plenty Polytechnic
  • Diploma in Social Practice (Community and Social Work)
  • Diploma in Social Practice (Community and Social Work and Counselling – double endorsement)
Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology
  • Diploma In Social Work
  • Diploma in Social Services
Manukau Institute of Technology
  • Bicultural Diploma Social Services (Applied)
  • Diploma in Social Work
  • Diploma in Social and Community Work
Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology
  • National Diploma in Social Work
  • Diploma In Social Work
NorthTec (Previously Northland Polytechnic)
  • National Diploma in Social Work
  • Diploma In Community and Social Work
Target Education
  • National Diploma in Social Work
Tairawhiti Polytechnic
  • National Diploma in Social Work
Te Kaiawhina Ahumahi
  • National Diploma in Social Work
Te Runanga o Nga Maata Waka Enterprises
  • National Diploma in Social Work
Te Wananga o Aotearoa
  • National Diploma in Social Work
Unitec New Zealand
  • Diploma in Community and Social Work
University of Otago
  • Diploma in Social and Community Work
Western Institute of Technology
  • National Diploma in Social Work
Whitireia Polytechnic
  • National Diploma in Social Work
Wintec (Previously Waikato Polytechnic)
  • Diploma in Social Work
  • National Diploma Social Work