Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) serves as the regulatory body for the profession of social work in Alberta. Its regulatory obligations are legislated under the Health Professions Act (HPA) which came into force for social work on April 1, 2003. The HPA has requirements for mandatory registration, continuing competency activities, the practice of restricted activities and a specialty register for clinical social workers. It provides control of title and a broadly defined scope of practice.
Under the HPA mandated objectives of the ACSW are:
- to serve and protect the public interest
- to provide direction and to regulate the profession
- to establish, maintain and enforce standards for registration, continuing competence and standards of practice
- to establish, maintain and enforce a code of ethics
- to approve educational programs for registration purposes
The ACSW also represents the social work profession in Alberta. It supports membership activities that promote skilled and ethical social work practice such as annual conferences and regional events. Under its auspices, ACSW members are able to meet around areas of interest such as children’s issues, gerontology, health and private practice.
To complement its legislated obligations, the ACSW advocates for policies, programs and services that serve the public interest. Over the years, ACSW has established relationships with numerous external organizations involved in advancing social justice initiatives.
The ACSW is governed by a Council comprised of ten members elected by its membership, four public members appointed by the government and the chair of the Indigenous Social Work Committee. The ACSW maintains an office in Edmonton, Alberta.