International Assessment of Credentials

Before getting started, you should know:

· CASW does not assess degrees obtained through distance education or self-study/correspondence work.

· In Canada, social work is a profession, consequently degrees obtained in disciplines other than social work will not be considered for assessment.

· In Canada, the provincial and territorial social work regulatory bodies regulate the profession of social work. CASW’s assessment is accepted in all provinces/territories with the exception of British Columbia and Quebec.  For more information on requirements to practice social work in Canada please review the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials website.

· The assessment does not grant successful applicants a Canadian degree, rather it establishes if an applicant’s education is equivalent to a Canadian Social Work degree (Bachelor or Master).

· CASW assessments of equivalency to a Canadian Bachelor or Masters of Social Work are typically used by applicants for registration with one of the provincial or territorial social work regulatory bodies in Canada. To be clear, a CASW assessment does not guarantee applicants successful registration with a social work regulatory body or a social work position/job in Canada.

·The CASW assessment costs $339.00 (Canadian), and details on payment can be found in the Application Procedure below.

·CASW assessments are based on the Standards of Accreditation applied to all accredited Schools of Social Work in Canada as established by the Canadian Association of Social Work Education (CASW).

· CASW assessments consider only academic credentials: degrees, diplomas and certificates, but not work or volunteer experience.

· Applicants cannot send primary transcripts of Verification Form. These must be received directly from the educational institution attended. 

 

Application Procedure

Documents may be submitted in any order, or all at once, however CASW will not start the assessment until all necessary documents and payment have been received.

The time it takes to assess the file can vary greatly depending on demand, and CASW is unable to guarantee specific timelines in terms of completing evaluations. However once all the required documentation has been received, assessments generally take between 3-6 weeks.

After the completion of an assessment and at the request of an applicant, original documentation provided to CASW can be returned for a nominal fee of $20.00 (Canadian).
 

1. Download an Application Package
 

The Application Package includes an Application Form, a Letter to the Applicant, Common Questions and Answers, a Waiver Form, and an outline of the Assessment Procedure.

Click here to download and print an Application Package

for the assessment of international academic credentials

*Please e-mail casw@casw-acts.ca for questions regarding the Application Package for the assessment of international academic credentials.*

 

2. CASW Verification Form

CASW must receive the CASW Verification Form directly from the educational institution attended. CASW does not accept Verification forms electronically (e-mail attachments).

Click here to view or download the CASW Verification Form.


The CASW Verification form must be printed, signed, and sealed by Dean or Director of School/Faculty of Social Work at the applicable academic institution and sent by mail directly to the CASW offices, not to the applicant. The applicant cannot forward a sealed envelope. 
 

Canadian Association of Social Workers
383 Parkdale Avenue, Suite 402
Ottawa, Ontario K1Y 4R4

 

3. Official Credentials/Transcripts

Primary Credential/Degree to be assessed:

The official transcript of the primary credential/degree to be assessed must be received directly by mail at the CASW offices from the educational institution attended. CASW does not accept copies of transcripts electronically (e-mail attachments).
 

Canadian Association of Social Workers
383 Parkdale Avenue, Suite 402
Ottawa, Ontario K1Y 4R4
 

Official transcripts should include a record of all courses taken, as well as grades and credit hours received.

The primary credential/degree is considered the highest level of professional social work education completed by an applicant. If CASW receives the primary degree transcript from an applicant, whether in a sealed envelope or not, CASW will request that a new transcript be sent directly to CASW from the educational institution before proceeding with an evaluation. No exceptions.

Secondary Credentials:

CASW requires official transcripts of secondary credentials (degrees/diplomas) obtained even if the education completed is in an unrelated discipline.

Copies of secondary credentials may be sent to CASW directly by the applicant. However, please note that in the process of assessment, CASW assessors may request official transcripts of secondary credentials sent directly by the university to CASW to validate results.
 

Canadian Association of Social Workers
383 Parkdale Avenue, Suite 402
Ottawa, Ontario K1Y 4R4
 

Generally, secondary credentials are considered all post-secondary education completed by an applicant prior to the completion of their highest level of social work education. CASW does not require post graduate continuing education seminars, courses or diplomas. CASW does not assess Secondary School credentials.
 

Credential/Degree Translations:

If an applicant’s transcripts are not one of Canada’s two official languages (English or French), applicants are required to provide two copies of all official transcripts:

1.      One official transcript of the primary credential/degree to be assessed sent directly by mail to the CASW offices from the educational institution attended.

2.      One copy for you to provide to a certified translator. After translation is completed, attach the translation to your official transcript and mail both documents to CASW.

 

      Canadian Association of Social Workers
      383 Parkdale Avenue, Suite 402
      Ottawa, Ontario K1Y 4R4
 

4. Additional Required Documentation

The following documentation is also required by CASW to proceed with an assessment and may be sent to CASW directly by an applicant:

·A completed Application Form found in your Application Package

·Course Descriptions:
Ideally Social Work course descriptions should come from an academic institution’s syllabus or other official document. Most academic institutions use course descriptions to help students decide which classes to take. Photocopies of the original course descriptions from the academic institution attended are acceptable.

If course descriptions are not available from the academic institution attended, CASW will accept two paragraphs stating the purpose, content and learning objectives of the classes summarized by the applicant.

·Social Work Field Practice Descriptions:
Ideally Field Work, Practicum, or Placement descriptions should come from your academic institution’s syllabus or other official document. Please ensure that you list the social service agency(s) from your field placement experiences, including an overview of the type of setting, hours of practicum per semester (as applicable) and a general description of your on-site experiences, including the methods of supervision and evaluation by the agency and by the university.

If Field Work, Practicum, or Placement descriptions are not available from the academic institution attended, CASW will accept an overview of the type of setting, hours of practicum per semester (as applicable) and a general description of your on-site experiences, including the methods of supervision and evaluation by the agency and by the university from the applicant directly.

·If your name has changed since you completed your education, CASW needs proof of the change of name.
For example, a copy of an applicant’s Marriage Certificate.

All additional required documentation should be mailed to CASW either by the applicant and/or academic institution attended:

Canadian Association of Social Workers
383 Parkdale Avenue, Suite 402
Ottawa, Ontario K1Y 4R4

Please note that CASW often accepts additional required documentation via e-mail (casw@casw-acts.ca). However CASW reserves the right to request a hard-copy of documentation be mailed by the applicant directly to CASW. CASW will not incur the time and cost to print large files and the responsibility remains with the applicant to provide the required documentation.
 

5. Supporting Documentation

Supporting documents are not mandatory, and need only be sent if applicable and support the assessment. Supporting documents might include:

·         A copy of Social work Certificate(s) or Diplomas(s) obtained

·         Proof of membership in professional social work associations(s) from another country

·         A copy of an applicant’s Thesis or Major Research Paper, if one was completed  
 

6. Pay the Application Fee

The fee is $339.00 ($300 plus 13% HST) and covers the professional assessment and administrative costs.

CASW accepts payment in Canadian funds only and the preferred payment options is by credit card through Paypal.  Include your email receipt with your complete application form.  If the credit card is in a name other than the applicant's, please specify the applicant's name under "Instructions for the Seller" on the PayPal form. Money order and certified cheques made payable to the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) are also accepted. (Receipt of personal cheques may delay the application process as CASW requires bank clearance of all deposits prior to proceeding with an evaluation).

 

 

Applications will be processed only after receipt and deposit of full payment. 

Money order and certified cheques made payable to the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) are also accepted, and should be mailed with your application form. Please be aware that CASW will not proceed with an assessment until confirmation is received from our banking institution that payment has cleared. This may delay the CASW assessment service. 

Canadian Association of Social Workers
383 Parkdale Avenue, Suite 402
Ottawa, Ontario K1Y 4R4

 

7. Waiver Form

Please complete the Waiver Form (found in the Application Package) and mail it in with the required additional and supporting documentation if you intend to practice social work in Canada.

If an applicant receives equivalency to a Canadian Bachelor or Masters of Social Work, CASW will send a letter to the provincial or territorial regulatory body designated in the Waiver Form.

A letter will not be sent to the designated provincial or territorial regulatory body if the applicant does not receive equivalency to a Canadian Bachelor or Masters of Social Work.

Applicants receive letters of assessment regardless of results.

 

How is the assessment completed?

Your international education is compared to the Canadian Standard:

The CASW assessment compares academic credentials only and it is based on the Standards of Accreditation as established by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE).  The first level professional degree (BSW) is generally a four-year undergraduate program which includes liberal arts courses (in the humanities and the natural and social sciences), social work professional courses and field practice. The general requirement is a minimum of sixty credits (Canadian Equivalency) in the following areas: social work intervention methods, social policy, field of practice and social problems, research methods and field work (a minimum of 700 hours).

Generally stated, the objectives are “the achievement by the graduate of a level of competence adequate for undertaking initial responsibility in general practice.”  Please be aware, CASW has experienced that individuals whom have completed the 3-year BSW program in the United Kingdom, without additional post-secondary education, are often deficient in Liberal Art and Social Work courses required to meet the Canadian 4-year BSW degree academic standards.

In Canada, the Masters of Social Work (MSW) is either a one-year graduate program following the BSW or a two-year graduate program that admits candidates who hold General Arts or other non-social work bachelor degrees. Field practice is an essential component of both models. In a one year graduate program after a B.S.W. the program must include 450 hours of field practice or the completion of a Thesis/Dissertation deemed worth 3 credits (Canadian Equivalency) or more by the University. In a two year graduate program after a Bachelor’s degree (non BSW), 900 hours of field practice are required. Although a thesis or research report is not an essential component except as described in the one year MSW program, it may be necessary for the total number of academic credits."

The general objective of programs at the Master’s level is stated as follows: to contribute to the preparation of graduates who possess an advanced level of competence with respect to a particular social problem area, professional service sector, social work methodology, professional role or function or in a combination of these.
 

Documents are evaluated with the aid of various resources:

· The CASW Evaluators review all the documentation provided to determine authenticity and congruency between the documentation received directly by the academic institution (Primary Credential/Transcript and Verification form) and the Applicant supplied documentation as well as the University website if available. If there are discrepancies, the applicant is contacted for clarification of information.

The CASW Evaluators determine the number of credits the academic institution has awarded based on information concerning direct classroom hours per course, preparation work time and other types of relevant course work. The CASW Evaluators review supporting academic credential information and the field practice information.

·European countries have determined credit equivalencies through the European Credit Transfer system (ECTS) and the Credits Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS). 

The prior experience and ongoing updating of CASW’s database of academic institutions provides the CASW Evaluators with documented background knowledge for most institutions applicants have graduated from. However all applicants have differing academic credentials consequently graduates from the same program often receive differing assessment results. 
 

How will I know when the assessment is complete, and how will I receive my results?

 

When the assessment is complete, you will receive written notification of the evaluation and of the equivalency rating assigned.
Regardless of the outcome of the assessment, all applicants will receive written notification of results.

Applicants successful in obtaining equivalency to a Canadian BSW or MSW are provided with a personal letter, as well as a "To Whom It May Concern" letter, stating the equivalency of his/her credentials to the Canadian standard.

CASW assessments of equivalency to a Canadian Bachelor or Masters of Social Work are typically used by applicants for registration with one of the provincial or territorial social work regulatory in Canada. To be clear a CASW assessment does not guarantee applicants successful registration with a social work regulatory body or a social work position/job in Canada.

If you receive a Canadian equivalency rating (BSW or MSW), and have completed a Waiver Form (found in the Application Package), a letter will be forwarded to the designated regulatory body.

A letter will not be sent if the applicant does not receive equivalency. A copy of this letter will also be e-mailed to you.

If you are not granted Canadian equivalency, you will receive a letter outlining the reasons justifying the decision.
Included in this letter will also be instructions on how to begin a review or appeal process, should you wish to do so. 
 

My assessment is complete, but I do not agree with my results.

I received BSW equivalency, but believe I should have been given MSW equivalency. What can I do?

Applicants who received equivalence to a Canadian BSW and who feel they have equivalency to a Canadian MSW may ask for a review of this decision within 6 months of being informed.

The request for this review should be submitted in writing to CASW Executive Director, and should provide additional information or new perspectives to justify the review.  The CASW Executive Director may ask the CASW Evaluators to review the rating taking into consideration the additional information provided, or request a review by a third party. The CASW Executive Director reserves the right to refuse the request for a review if no substantial new information is provided to justify the review.

Within the first six months after the completion of the initial evaluation, this review process has no charge.

After six months, CASW considers the file a new assessment, subject once again to the $339 application fee.
 

I was not granted Canadian equivalency. What can I do? 

Applicants who are not granted equivalence to a Canadian Social Work degree may appeal this decision in writing to the CASW President. The applicant should state the basis for the appeal and should provide additional information or new perspectives to justify the appeal. For example, that information provided was overlooked or misunderstood in the evaluation.

The CASW President (or designate) will review the file, the reason for not granting equivalence, and determine if an assessment by a third party assessment of the complaint is necessary. The CASW President reserves the right to refuse the request for an appeal if no substantial new information or explanation is provided to justify an appeal.

Regardless on the outcome of an appeal, the applicant will receive feedback on the process followed including any involvement of a third party assessment of the appeal.

Within the first six months after the completion of the initial evaluation, this appeal process has no charge. After six months, CASW considers the file a new assessment, subject once again to the $339 application fee.
 

Is there any way I can build on my education so that it meets Canadian standards?

CASW is not a University, and consequently cannot advise an educational path to bring education to the standard of Canadian equivalency.

That being said, the option exists that applicants may directly apply to a provincial social work regulatory body in Canada to determine if they have an alternative assessment service for those whom do not receive equivalency from the CASW assessment service.  As well, applicants may consider approaching an accredited Canadian School of Social Work to determine what classes may be required to be completes in order to receive a BSW or MSW from their institution.
 

I have a question that is not answered by the FAQ provided in the Application Package or by the information above.

You can call or e-mail CASW with any other questions.

Telephone: 1-613.729.6668

Toll Free Number in North America
1.855.729.CASW (2279)

E-mail: casw@casw-acts.ca