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Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers

The Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW) is the governing body for social workers and social service workers in Ontario. The Office of the Fairness Commissioner (OFC) oversees the registration practices of the college to ensure that they are transparent, objective, impartial and fair for anyone who wants to practise as a social worker or a social service worker in this province.

Registration Practices Assessment Report

(Social Workers, 2014) (Social Service Workers, 2014)

Reports / Applications

2014

Fair Registration Practices (FRP) Report, 2014 (Social Workers)

Fair Registration Practices (FRP) Report, 2014 (Social Service Workers)

Applications to Practise as Social Workers Processed by the OCSWSSW in 2014
Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 Jurisdiction Where Applicants Received Their Training Total
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown
New applications received1,1701249184281,497
Applicants who became members1,1471289679231,473
Applications to Practise as Social Service Workers Processed by the OCSWSSW in 2014
Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 Jurisdiction Where Applicants Received Their Training Total
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown
New applications received4320100433
Applicants who became members4250000425

2013

Fair Registration Practices (FRP) Report, 2013 (Social Workers)

Fair Registration Practices (FRP) Report, 2013 (Social Service Workers)

Applications to Practise as Social Workers Processed by the OCSWSSW in 2013
Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 Jurisdiction Where Applicants Received Their Training Total
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown
New applications received1,12011379110201,442
Applicants who became members1,0319765120271,340
Applications to Practise as Social Service Workers Processed by the OCSWSSW in 2013
Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 Jurisdiction Where Applicants Received Their Training Total
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown
New applications received3724020378
Applicants who became members3490100350

2012

Fair Registration Practices (FRP) Report, 2012 (Social Workers)

Fair Registration Practices (FRP) Report, 2012 (Social Service Workers)

Registration Practices Assessment Report — Summary (Social Workers)

Registration Practices Assessment Report — Summary (Social Service Workers)

Applications to Practise as Social Workers Processed by the OCSWSSW in 2012
Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 Jurisdiction Where Applicants Received Their Training Total
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown
New applications received1,00510376124291,337
Applicants who became members96210274107301,275
Applications to Practise as Social Service Workers Processed by the OCSWSSW in 2012
Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 Jurisdiction Where Applicants Received Their Training Total
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown
New applications received4003100404
Applicants who became members4032000405

2011

Fair Registration Practices (FRP) Report, 2011 (Social Workers)

Fair Registration Practices (FRP) Report, 2011 (Social Service Workers)

Report on Entry-to-Practice Review, 2011

Applications to Practise as Social Workers Processed by the OCSWSSW in 2011
Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 Jurisdiction Where Applicants Received Their Training Total
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown
New applications received9491027964211,215
Applicants who became members918898157151,160
Applications to Practise as Social Service Workers Processed by the OCSWSSW in 2011
Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 Jurisdiction Where Applicants Received Their Training Total
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown
New applications received3991200402
Applicants who became members3640100365

2010

Fair Registration Practices (FRP) Report, 2010 (Social Workers)

Fair Registration Practices (FRP) Report, 2010 (Social Service Workers)

Audit Report

For a description of all OFC-monitored developments for this profession for 2010, see the 2009-2010 Annual Report.

Applications to Practise as Social Workers Processed by the OCSWSSW in 2010
Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 Jurisdiction Where Applicants Received Their Training Total
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown
New applications received94399874511,175
Applicants who became members87390744101,078
Applications to Practise as Social Service Workers Processed by the OCSWSSW in 2010
Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 Jurisdiction Where Applicants Received Their Training Total
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown
New applications received3431010345
Applicants who became members3102030315

2009

Fair Registration Practices (FRP) Report, 2009 (Social Workers)

Fair Registration Practices (FRP) Report, 2009 (Social Service Workers)

For a description of all OFC-monitored developments for this profession for 2009, see the 2009-2010 Annual Report.

Applications to Practise as Social Workers Processed by the OCSWSSW in 2009
Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 Jurisdiction Where Applicants Received Their Training Total
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown
New applications received85289755901,075
Applicants who became members82778845101,040
Applications to Practise as Social Service Workers Processed by the OCSWSSW in 2009
Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 Jurisdiction Where Applicants Received Their Training Total
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown
New applications received2731010275
Applicants who became members2620010263

2008

Fair Registration Practices (FRP) Report, 2008 (Social Workers)

Fair Registration Practices (FRP) Report, 2008 (Social Service Workers)

In January 2009, the OCSWSSW's council approved a reduction in the college's annual membership fee, its registration fee and its annual fees for new graduates.

Internationally educated social workers can obtain a Certificate in Canadian Social Work Practice through the one-year internationally educated social work professionals bridging program at Ryerson University's G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education. Taking this program is not a requirement to work as a social worker in Ontario; rather, it provides an introduction to social services in Canada and includes training, mentorship, employment and career support, and supervised work placements for qualified social work professionals educated outside of Canada.

From 2005 to 2008, the membership of registered social workers in the college has steadily increased, at an average rate of 13 per cent. Almost 90 per cent of new members received their training in Ontario.

Applications to Practise as Social Workers Processed by the OCSWSSW in 2008
Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 Jurisdiction Where Applicants Received Their Training Total
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown
New applications received81194793701,021
Applicants who became members80193733301,000
Applications to Practise as Social Service Workers Processed by the OCSWSSW in 2008
Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 Jurisdiction Where Applicants Received Their Training Total
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown
New applications received2210010222
Applicants who became members2171000218

2007


During the fall and winter of 2007-2008, the OFC undertook a study of the OCSWSSW to understand its 2007 registration practices and establish baseline data and information. PDF

Exemplary Practices

The OFC gathers regulatory bodies' exemplary licensing practices so that they may learn from one another. Practices for the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers are listed below.

  1. Enabling new graduates to initiate registration before convocation

    This practice offers ways to streamline registration...

  2. Explaining requirements for translation of documents

    This practice may interest regulators who want to inform...


Quick Facts

Social WorkersSocial Service Workers
Number of Social Workers / Social Service Workers15,4792,055
Number of Internationally Trained Social Workers / Social Service Workers1,63225

You may find information about exam requirements and Canadian work experience requirements elsewhere on this site.


Location of Training, 2014

Social WorkersSocial Service Workers
Ontario13,6922,024
Other Canadian ProvincesN/AN/A
USA98612
Other International64613
Unknown1567
Total15,4792,055
Proportion of Internationally Trained Members (includes USA)11%1%

The Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Community and Social Services. The OFC does not assess credentials, handle complaints or intervene in particular cases. Our mandate is one of systemic change. Please contact the OCSWSSW for further information about your ability to practise as a social worker or a social service worker in Ontario.