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Before proceeding with an Assessment of International Credentials, please read this page carefully.
Why complete a CASW Assessment of International Credentials?
CASW assessments of equivalency to a Canadian Bachelor or Masters of Social Work are typically used by applicants as part of registration with one of the provincial or territorial social work regulatory bodies in Canada.
What is a provincial or territorial Social Work Regulatory Body?
In Canada, regulation of the social work profession is based on provincial legislation and is thus the responsibility of provincial social work regulatory bodies: http://www.casw-acts.ca/en/node/21/policy-and-regulations/regulatory-bodies. We would advise you to contact the regulatory body in the province or territory where you wish to practice for registration requirements before proceeding with a CASW Assessment. (Note: CASW's assessments are accepted in all provinces/territories with the exception of British Columbia and Quebec).
CASW does not assess degrees obtained through distance education or self-study/correspondence work.
Unfortunately, CASW is unable to evaluate education obtained by distance. CASW recognizes this is a gap in service for those obtaining education outside of Canada. In this regard, the Canadian Standards of Accreditation for social work education, established by the Canadian Association of Schools for Social Work Education (CASWE), do not provide consistent direction for CASW to apply to all assessments.
The CASW Standards of Accreditation are the foundation of the CASW assessment service. Consequently, CASW cannot equitably assess distance education degrees to Canadian equivalency as the range of delivery in Canada itself is not consistent.
CASW cannot assess degrees in disciplines other than social work
If you do not have a Bachelor or Master degree in Social Work from a country other than Canada, the Assessment of International Credentials from CASW is not the correct next step for you.
In order for a degree to be found equivalent to a Canadian Social Work degree (MSW or BSW) it must contain all the elements included in the Standards of Accreditation. For this reason degrees obtained in disciplines other than social work cannot be considered for assessment.
CASW assessments consider only academic credentials: degrees, diplomas and certificates, but not work or volunteer experience.
I have completed an assessment from another Education Credential Service - am I still required to complete a CASW Assessment?
Whether a CASW Assessment is required is solely the decision of the provincial or territorial regulatory body.
Given that CASW applies the CASWE Standards of Accreditation (http://caswe-acfts.ca/commission-on-accreditation/coa-standards/) in its assessment, it is a different service than WES provides. Therefore, CASW cannot take results of a WES assessment into consideration when completing an evaluation. CASW assessments of equivalency to a Canadian Bachelor or Masters of Social Work are typically used by applicants as part of registration with one of the provincial or territorial social work regulatory bodies in Canada. Whereas, other ECA’s such as WES, IQAS, or ICAS are used for immigration purposes.
How will my degree be assessed?
The CASW assessment compares the program completed by an applicant in terms of the number of credits in the areas of social work intervention methods, social policy, field of practice and social problems, research methods, and field work, to Canadian standards to determine equivalence to a Canadian social work degree. These Canadian standards are based on the accreditation standards of the Canadian Association of Schools for Social Work Education (CASWE) and information in this respect can be found on the CASWE website by clicking this link, (http://caswe-acfts.ca/commission-on-accreditation/coa-standards/). Note that the evaluation is purely academic in nature, and does not consider work or volunteer experience.
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 the completion of a 4 year, full time university degree with credits 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 who 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 much does the CASW Assessment Cost?
The CASW assessment costs $339.00 (Canadian). You will find details on how to make the payment in the application procedures.
Applicants may make the payment at any point during the assessment process, however, a file will not move forward to the evaluation stage until a payment has been received.
The CASW refund policy can be found here.
Document Return: After the completion of an assessment and at the request of an applicant, original documentation provided to CASW can be returned for a fee of $40.00 CAD (effective October 1, 2019). Please note: Photocopies of the original documents are acceptable with the exception of the Transcript and the Verification Form relating to the primary degree to be assessed.
How long will the assessment take?
Documents may be submitted in any order, or all at once, however a file will not move forward to the evaluation stage until CASW has received all the necessary documents and payment.
CASW opens a file in the applicant’s name when we receive their first document. All subsequent documents are added to this file as they arrive at our offices. Unfortunately, due to the volume of mail received, CASW is unable to provide proactive updates regarding the receipt of mail, or status updates. Applicants may inquire about the status of assessments at any point in the process by email or by phone.
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 6-12 weeks.
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 via email.
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 Procedure page), 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 (information on this procedure will be sent to you with your personal result letter).
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 can not 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 completed in order to receive a BSW or MSW from their institution.
If you have questions not answered on this page, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 613-617-8452.
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