Alberta College of Social Workers

Best Practices

Best Practices Statement for Social Workers on the Private Practice Roster

Requirements to maintain membership on the Private Practice Roster include:

  • Members of the Private Practice Roster should identify their practice specialty, and demonstrate their expertise through direct study at the post-graduate level combined with practice experience.
  • A member of the Private Practice Roster must identify herself/himself as a professional Social Worker to clients, associates, referral agents and the public by way of the RSW designation. Members of the roster must also be prepared to identify their academic and professional qualifications to their clients and to the general public.
  • Roster members are expected to manage their practices in a manner that reflects the Outline for Business Methods for Private Practice.
  • Continuing Education: The Health Professions Act places increased emphasis on the role of health care professionals in maintaining and improving their competence to practice. “Competence is defined as the integration of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and judgment required for effective and ethical Social Work intervention within a designated field of practice. Competence is a process and not a destination, and it is a journey that most Registered Social Workers take continuously.” The ACSW regulations specify that each registered social worker in Alberta must complete 40 professional development credits per year (50 professional development credits for those on the clinical registry) in order to have an annual Practice Permit issued. See Appendix for further details. These hours can be credited towards the requirements for Private Practice Roster (40 credits are required). It is recommended that members keep a copy of their activity log for their Continuing Competency Credits, and make a photocopy of the these documents to be submitted for the Private Practice Roster membership renewal, which takes place on an annual basis separately from the RSW renewal process.
  • All members of the Private Practice roster must submit the ‘Annual Update’ roster renewal form annually in order to retain their membership on the roster. It is the members’ responsibility to ensure that this form is completed and sent in to the ACSW office.
  • Roster members shall commit to the use of a minimum of 10 hours annually of professional consultation, structured supervision or peer review as consultee/supervisee or consultant/supervisor. A minimum of 5 hours as a consultee/supervisee or formal peer review are required.
  • Members will be currently active in private practice. A member can take up to a two year sabbatical and be inactive in private practice yet remain on the roster.


  • Information about Fees
    • In accordance with the Health Profession’s Act ACSW does not set any fee schedule. This policy is to be regarded as guidance on ethical and practice considerations.
    • The Private Practice Committee collects information as to the current range of fees appropriate to the kinds of services offered in private (independent) practice.
    • The practitioner's own fee schedule must be available and discussed in the initial contact with clients. Sliding fees may be arranged in special circumstances.
    • Payment for professional fees should generally follow the service except for services such as custody/bilateral assessments, research projects, etc., where advance payment, at least in part, is recommended. Retainers may also be utilized as part of the contract.
  • Fee Practices (General):
    • The ACSW expects that all social workers in private practice will conduct their financial matters in an ethical fashion in accordance with the Social Workers Code of Ethics.


Private Practice Roster Continuing Education Criteria

Continuing competency requirements apply to all RSWs. Members of the Private Practice Roster are required to focus on continuing education activities related to their area of practice.

Activities eligible for credit hours are listed in the following categories. All such activities are to be recorded on an Activity Log and submitted at time of Private Practice Roster annual membership renewal. Keep documentation of all activities in your ACSW Continuing Competency Portfolio.

CATEGORIES: Minimum of 20 Hours in Group A as required by ACSW Continuing Competency (excluding ACSW Council or regulatory committee participation).

For Example:

    • Presenter or Participant Activity* In:
      • Lectures
      • Workshops
      • Panel Discussions
        • Training
        • Seminars
        • Certificate Programs (credit or noncredit)
        • Grand Rounds (If not part of your employment)
        As presenter, hours of preparation are allowable for initial presentation only.
    • Distance Learning (training/seminars/workshops) Through Mediums: Maximum of 10 Hours in Group B. Such As:
      • On-Line courses
      • On-Line Internet Professional Resources
      • Teleconferencing
      • Correspondence courses
      • Educational television programming (e.g. Series on Brain Development).
    • Additional Continuing Education Options: Maximum of 10 hours of self-directed learning or research
      • Research that contributes and enhances practitioner's clinical or community practice. * It can be read, reviewed, written or applied.
      • To The Social Worker will have either conducted or participated in the research.
        *A practitioner whose private practice is research cannot use their research as part of the hours for continuing education
      • Readings relevant and applicable to your specific private practice focus to a maximum of 10 hours per year.
      • Audiovisual review or video tape material
        Re: ACTIVITY LOG
        Private practitioners are required to maintain a Log of Continuing Education Activities which is on the annual renewal form and needs to be submitted to continue membership on the Private Practice Roster.

Private Practice Roster Annual Continuing Education Requirements (40 credits/year)

Note: These differ slightly from the general continuing competence requirements for RSWs.
Maximum Credits
Credits Per Category
Examples of Activities
Group A
20 per activity
Up to 40 may be credited, a minimum of 20 required
University/college courses, certificate programs, credited seminars etc (no ACSW Council or Regulatory Committee work accepted)
Group B
10 per activity
Maximum of 10 Hours
Distance Learning (training/seminars/workshops) Through on-line, teleconferencing, correspondence courses, educational television programming
Group C
5 per activity
Maximum of 10 Hours
Self-directed Learning or research. Research that contributes and enhances practitioner’s clinical or community practice. Research practitioners may not use their research for credit. Readings , audiovisual or video review.

In addition, 10 hours annually of consultation or supervision or are expected. These hours will be itemized in the annual update renewal form.