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FAQs

General

1. 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

 

2. Who is the owner of the Accreditaton 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.

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3. 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.
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 Who can be accredited

4. 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 practising in Singapore.
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5. 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.

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6. Do I need to be a member of SASW in order to be accredited?
No. You do not need to be a member of SASW in order to be accredited. Normally, an Ordinary Member of SASW would be eligible for accreditation as a Registered Social Worker-Provisional or a Registered Social Worker.
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7. 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.
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Criteria for accreditation and renewal

8. 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
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9. What are the other foreign Social Work qualifications recognised by the Social Work Accreditation and Advisory Board (SWAAB) for accreditation?
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.
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10. Can volunteer experience be counted as part of the years of experience required for accreditation?
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.
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11. How can the 1,000 hours of supervised practice be acquired?

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 3 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. 

  *The minimum number of years of post-social work qualification experience for the supervisor will be raised from 3 years to 4 years with effect from 8 February 2018. Click here for details.

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12. Must the 80 hours of relevant in-employment training and 1,000 hours of supervised practice (two of the entry requirements for practising social workers) be accumulated over a stipulated time period?
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.

  

13. Must the supervisors providing professional supervision during employment have certain qualifications?

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 3 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 3 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.

 *The minimum number of years of post-social work qualification experience for the supervisor will be raised from 3 years to 4 years with effect from 8 February 2018.  Click here for details. 

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14. Must the supervisors providing professional supervision during employment have certain qualifications if I am a Registered Social Service Practitioner applying for conversion to a Registered Social Worker?

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 3 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 3 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 3 year*s of social work experience.

 *The minimum number of years of post-social work qualification experience for the supervisor will be raised from 3 years to 4 years with effect from 8 February 2018. Click here for details.

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15. How can I fulfill the requirement for supervision by a qualified social worker with at least 3 years’ experience if I do not have such a supervisor at my workplace?

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 3 years* of social work experience. For details and registration, please click here.

*The minimum number of years of post-social work qualification experience for the supervisor will be raised from 3 years to 4 years with effect from 8 February 2018.  Click here for details.

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16. If I am a Registered Social Service Practitioner and want to become a Registered Social Worker, must I go for courses to do so?

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.

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17. What happens if a practising social worker or social service practitioner does not meet the requirements for accreditation on 1 April 2009?

As accreditation is not mandatory at present, social workers who do not meet the entry requirements on 1 April 2009 can apply for accreditation at a later date when he/she is able to fulfill the requirements for accreditation. Applications for accreditation from social service practitioners had ceased with effect from 1 July 2012.

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18. How often is the accreditation status renewed and what are the requirements for renewal?

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.

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19. What if I am not able to meet the CPE requirements before my accreditation status expires?

You will be given the following extension periods during which you will not be accredited:

  1. One-year extension. This means you will be given another year to acquire the number of credits required; and
  2. 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 in future.

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Fee

20. Is there a fee chargeable for accreditation and renewal?

No fees will be levied for accreditation and renewal.

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Accreditation Secretariat, SASW
Tel: (65) 6778 7922    Fax: (65) 6778 0609
Blk 324 Clementi Ave 5   #01-209
Singapore 120324




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