ANZASW Discontinues Competence Assessment Service

The ANZASW Board after much consideration has made the decision that from 1 July 2018 the Association will no longer provide a competency and recertification assessment service.

This decision has been reached after considering a number of issues.

  1. The Social Workers Registration Legislation Bill is proposing to remove the requirement for New Zealand qualified social workers to complete a competence assessment at the time of registration and to repeal the requirement for social workers to recertify every five years. It is anticipated that the Bill will be enacted in the later part of 2018.
  2. Another influencing factor is that since the Social Workers Registration Board began providing competence and recertification assessments in 2010 the ANZASW competence assessment business has become an increasingly smaller component of the ANZASW services and has become an increased financial liability.
  3. Exiting the competence assessment service will enable ANZASW to focus on developing more services for members. (Please refer to Reasons for Renewing your Membership with ANZASW>>)

Please Note:

  • Members who have paid for an initial assessment that falls due prior to 30 June 2018 but have not yet completed their assessment are encouraged to submit their portfolio prior to 15 June 2018. National Office will individually communicate with members who have paid for an initial assessment due after 1 July 2018 and not completed prior to 30 June 2018.
  • Members who are due for recertification prior to 30 June 2018 are also encouraged to submit their portfolio by 15 June. If recertification is due after 1 July 2018 ANZASW can complete the assessment providing the portfolio is submitted by 15 June 2018.
  • Members who are not currently registered, with a New Zealand qualification listed on Schedule 1 or 2 (recognised by the SWRB for the purposes of registration under the Social Workers Registration Act 2003) and for whom there is no pressure to register, could opt not to complete their initial assessment and wait until the amended legislation is in place, at which time a certificate of competence is not likely to be required unless a concern about competence has been raised.
  • Registered Social Workers with recertification falling due prior to the enactment of the legislation will need to complete their assessment because until the Bill is enacted registered social workers will continue to be required to hold a current Certificate of Competence in order to have a valid Annual Practicing Certificate.
  • Members with a recognised New Zealand qualification who are not required to register immediately may opt not to complete their recertification assessment and register once the certificate of competence requirements are repealed.

 

SOCIAL WORKERS REGISTRATION BOARD

SWRB recommends submitting your competence assessment portfolio at least 4 – 6 weeks prior to your current competence expiry date. From 1 April 2018, SWRB will not assess portfolios until they are paid in full. Competency portfolios can be emailed to the SWRB in a PDF format to comp@swrb.govt.nz

All competence assessment portfolios are sent to SWRB assessors on a Friday. If your portfolio and payment are received by the SWRB after 5.00 pm on a Thursday, it will not be processed until the following week.

BACKGROUND

The competence assessment service was developed by the ANZASW in 1989. Members were required to complete an initial competence assessment as a criterion for membership and were required to recertify competence every five years thereafter.

When the Social Workers Registration Act was being developed the ANZASW competence assessment and recertification requirements were included in the Act as a requirement for holding an Annual Practicing Certificate.

From 2003 until 2010 ANZASW was a significant provider of competence and recertification assessments. During the period 2006-2008 Te Ara Aromatawai provided competence and recertification assessments.

In January 2010 the Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB) began offering competence and recertification services. At this point social workers could opt to complete assessments with either ANZASW or SWRB.

SOCIAL WORKERS REGISTRATION LEGISLATION BILL

The Social Services and Community Select Committee has completed the report on the Social Workers Registration Legislation Bill which is tabled in Parliament 30 April 2018. While it is difficult to predict when the legislative process will be completed, it is anticipated that the Bill will be enacted in the latter part of 2018.

The Bill has two clauses which specifically relate to competence and recertification.

  1. Clause 9 amends the requirement for New Zealand qualified social workers to complete a competence assessment. At the time of registration, a certificate of competence will only be required if information received by SWRB raises doubts about the competence of the applicant.
  2. Clause 24 repeals the requirement for social workers to recertify competence every five years.

Social Workers with an overseas qualification will continue to require an Overseas Competence Assessment and a full assessment at the end of their 2,000 hours supervised practice in New Zealand.

CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

The requirement to undertake professional development once the Social Workers Registration Act is amended will continue. At this stage the requirement to complete 20 hours per annum is likely to continue. Social Workers will need to continue to record their CPD in a Log. A revised CPD Log is now available. The Supervisor’s comment is no longer a requirement but the Supervisor still needs to sign and date the declaration on the last page of the Log.

Please refer to: https://anzasw.nz/competency-and-recertification-information/

It is expected that social workers will complete CPD relevant to the 10 SWRB Core Competencies over a 5-year period. It is possible that SWRB may introduce a programme of random audits of a sample of CPD Logs once the requirement to have a Certificate of Competence is repealed. Members are encouraged to keep their CPD Logs up to date. A useful tip – put an appointment in your calendar every 2-3 months reminding you to update your CPD Log.

We will be keeping you up to date as the this CPD Policy is further refined and developed.