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AR 82/2003 SOCIAL WORKERS PROFESSION REGULATION

(Consolidated up to 170/2012)

ALBERTA REGULATION 82/2003

Health Professions Act

SOCIAL WORKERS PROFESSION REGULATION

Table of Contents

                1       Interpretation

                2       Register categories

Registration

                3       General register

                4       Provisional register

                5       Equivalent jurisdiction

                6       Equivalent competence

                7       Courtesy register applications

                8       Good character, reputation

                9       Liability insurance

Titles and Abbreviations

              10       Authorization to use titles, etc.

Restricted Activities

       11, 12       Authorized activity

              13       Supervision of others


Continuing Competence

              14       Program credits

              15       Program rules

              16       Rule distribution

              17       Annual form

              18       Review and evaluation

              19       Practice visits

              20       Actions to be taken

Practice Permit Renewal

              21       Application requirements

Alternative Complaint Resolution

              22       Process conductor

              23       Agreement

              24       Confidentiality

              25       Leaving the process

Reinstatement

              26       Application

              27       Review of application

              28       Review of decision

              29       Access to decision

Information

              30       Providing information

              31       Correcting information

              32       Section 119 information

Transitional Provisions, Repeal and Coming into Force

              33       Transitional provisions

              34       Repeal

              35       Coming into force

Interpretation

1   In this Regulation,

                                 (a)    “College” means the Alberta College of Social Workers;

                                 (b)    “Competence Committee” means the competence committee of the College;

                                 (c)    “Complaints Director” means the complaints director of the College;

                                 (d)    “Council” means the council of the College;

                                 (e)    “courtesy register” means the courtesy category of the regulated members register;

                                 (f)    “general register” means the general register category of the regulated members register;

                                 (g)    “Hearing Tribunal” means the hearing tribunal of the College;

                                 (h)    “Hearings Director” means the hearings director of the College;

                                  (i)    “provisional register” means the provisional category of the regulated members register;

                                  (j)    “psychosocial intervention” means psychosocial intervention within the meaning of Schedule 7.1 to the Government Organization Act;

                                 (k)    “Registrar” means the registrar of the College;

                                  (l)    “Registration Committee” means the registration committee of the College.

Register categories

2   The regulated members register established by the Council under section 33(1)(a) of the Act has the following categories:

                                 (a)    general register;

                                 (b)    provisional register;

                                 (c)    courtesy register.

Registration

General register

3(1)  An applicant for registration as a regulated member on the general register must

                                 (a)    have a minimum of a baccalaureate degree in social work from a university program approved by the Council or a diploma in social work from a college program approved by the Council, and

                                 (b)    have completed 1500 hours of practical experience acceptable to the Council.

(2)  An applicant under subsection (1) must

                                 (a)    have completed the requirements set out in this section or have provided professional services within the practice of social work for a minimum of 500 hours within the 3 years prior to submitting a complete application for registration, or

                                 (b)    have completed refresher education satisfactory to the Council.

Provisional register

4(1)  An applicant who meets all the registration requirements of section 3 except the 1500 hours of practical experience may be registered on the provisional register.

(2)  If a regulated member registered for the purpose of completing 1500 hours of practical experience on the provisional register provides the Registrar with a practical assessment form satisfactory to the Registrar, completed by a regulated member registered on the general register who supervised that regulated member for 1500 hours or any part of the 1500 hours of practical experience, the Registrar may remove that regulated member’s name from the provisional register and enter it on the general register.

Equivalent jurisdiction

5   A person currently registered in good standing in another jurisdiction recognized by the Council under section 28(2)(b) of the Act as having substantially equivalent registration requirements may be registered on the appropriate category of the regulated members register.

Equivalent competence

6(1)  An applicant who does not meet the requirements under section 3 or 4 but whose qualifications have been determined by the Registrar to be substantially equivalent to the competence requirements set out in section 3 or 4 may be registered on the appropriate category of the regulated members register.

(2)  In determining under subsection (1) whether or not an applicant’s qualifications are substantially equivalent, the Registrar may require the applicant to undergo any examination, testing and other assessment activities to assist with the determination.

(3)  The Registrar may direct the applicant to undergo any education or training activities the Registrar may consider necessary in order for the applicant to be registered.

Courtesy register applications

7   A person who requires registration in Alberta on a temporary basis for a specified purpose approved by the Registrar and who satisfies the Registrar of the person’s competence to provide the services related to the specified purposes is eligible to be registered on the courtesy register of the regulated members register for up to one year.

Good character, reputation

8   All applicants for registration as regulated members must provide evidence of having good character and reputation by submitting the following on the request of the Registrar:

                                 (a)    written references from colleagues and, where applicable, from another jurisdiction in which the applicant is  currently registered;

                                 (b)    a statement by the applicant as to whether the applicant is currently undergoing an unprofessional conduct process or has previously been disciplined by another regulatory body responsible for the regulation of social work or of another profession that provides a professional service;

                                 (c)    the results of a criminal records check;

                                 (d)    a declaration from the applicant that information provided is true and that the applicant agrees to abide by the code of ethics and standards for the practice of social work adopted by Council in accordance with section 133 of the Act.

Liability insurance

9   All applicants for registration as regulated members must provide evidence of having the type and amount of professional liability insurance required by the Council.

Titles and Abbreviations

Authorization to use titles, etc.

10(1)  All regulated members may use the titles social worker, registered social worker, and the abbreviations S.W., R.S.W. and Soc. Wkr.

(2)  A regulated member may use the title clinical social worker if the Registrar is satisfied that the regulated member

                                 (a)    has a minimum of a masters degree in social work from a university program approved by the Council,

                                 (b)    has been registered for at least 2 years on the general register or has been previously registered for at least 2 years under the Social Work Profession Act or has been registered on a substantially equivalent register in another jurisdiction,

                                 (c)    has 2 years of post‑masters degree clinical work experience that includes 1600 client contact hours under the supervision of a clinical social worker or a practitioner from another profession as approved by Council,

                                 (d)    has successfully completed a written examination on clinical social work practice approved by Council, and

                                 (e)    provides 2 letters of reference from a clinical social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist or other provider of health services who has direct knowledge of the applicant’s practice, but at least one letter must be from a clinical social worker.

Restricted Activities

Authorized activity

11   A regulated member may be authorized by the Registrar to perform the restricted activity of psychosocial intervention if the regulated member has completed a program approved by the Council that provides specific content on working with individuals with a substantial mental disorder and the regulated member has training in the following areas:

                                 (a)    instruction in understanding human behaviour and social environment systems that includes specific content on the assessment and understanding of providing professional services to individuals with substantial mental health disorders and impairments in social functioning;

                                 (b)    instruction in the ethics of social work that specifically addresses the competence and ethical obligations pertaining to providing professional services to individuals with substantial mental health disorders and impairment in social functioning;

                                 (c)    instruction in the use of a social work assessment system that specifically addresses substantial mental disorders and their impact on mental health functioning and potential to interfere with the capacity to perform social roles and meet social functioning expectations;

                                 (d)    instruction in the use of social work methods that specifically includes psychosocial interventions to treat individuals with substantial mental health disorders and gross impairments in social functioning.

Authorized activity

12   Despite section 11, regulated members are permitted to provide psychosocial intervention using traditional aboriginal practices if the member has received training and guidance in the use of traditional aboriginal approaches and is recognized by an aboriginal community as being competent in the use of traditional aboriginal practices.

Supervision of others

13(1)  A student who is enrolled in a social work program approved by Council and is completing a student field placement may perform psychosocial intervention under the supervision of a regulated member who is authorized under section 11 to perform psychosocial intervention.

(2)  A person not authorized under section 11 may perform psychosocial intervention under the supervision of a regulated member who is authorized under section 11 to perform it if the regulated member is satisfied that the person is competent to perform it.

(3)  The supervision to be provided by a regulated member for a student authorized under subsection (1) or a person authorized under subsection (2) to perform psychosocial intervention must include the following:

                                 (a)    reviews of documentation prepared by the student or person of specific cases and specific interventions;

                                 (b)    direct observation or indirect observation through audio or video recording of sessions with clients where the psychosocial intervention is performed by the student or person;

                                 (c)    in the case of

                                           (i)    a student authorized under subsection (1), a minimum of one hour each week of discussion regarding clients and the proposed psychosocial interventions that have been used or are proposed to be used, and

                                          (ii)    a person authorized under subsection (2), a minimum of one hour every 2 weeks of discussion regarding clients and the proposed psychosocial interventions that have been used or are proposed to be used.

Continuing Competence

Program credits

14(1)  On and after the July 1 immediately following the coming into force of this Regulation regulated members must obtain 40 continuing competence program credits in a one‑year period.

(2)  Despite subsection (1), the Competence Committee on receipt of an application from a regulated member may extend time to complete continuing competence program credits by up to one year if in the opinion of the Competence Committee the regulated member cannot complete the required credit hours within the time required in subsection (1) because of prolonged absence from work, health leave from work, the remote location of the member or other circumstances satisfactory to the Competence Committee.

(3)  An extension under subsection (2) does not affect the requirement to complete 40 credit hours in the subsequent one‑year period when completing credit hours during the same time pursuant to the extension.

(4)  To obtain continuing competence program credits, a regulated member may undertake the following professional development activities in accordance with the rules approved under section 15:

                                 (a)    attendance at university or college courses or lectures, or at conferences or seminars;

                                 (b)    providing a presentation as part of a university or college course or lecture, conference or seminar;

                                 (c)    providing social work mentoring or supervision;

                                 (d)    providing or attending workplace in‑service training;

                                 (e)    publication of research results;

                                 (f)    volunteering with community social service organizations in a direct service capacity;

                                 (g)    volunteering as a board or committee member for a community agency or attending meetings of the board or a committee;

                                 (h)    participating in organized group discussion;

                                  (i)    undertaking individualized learning activities;

                                  (j)    participating as a member of the Council of the College or a committee established by Council;

                                 (k)    attending the annual general meeting of the College.

Program rules

15(1)  The Registrar or the Competence Committee may recommend to the Council

                                 (a)    rules governing the program credits that may be earned for each professional activity,

                                 (b)    rules governing the type and category of professional activities that a regulated member must undertake in a one‑year period,

                                 (c)    rules limiting the number of professional development activities within a specific category for which a member may earn credits, and

                                 (d)    other rules as required governing the continuing competence program.

(2)  The rules recommended under subsection (1) and any recommended amendments to those rules must be distributed by the Registrar to all regulated members for their review.

(3)  The Council may approve rules and amendments to the rules that have been distributed for review under subsection (2).

Rule distribution

16   The rules and any amendments to the rules approved under section 15 must be made available by the Registrar to the public, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Human Services, regional health authorities, child and family services authorities and to any other person on request.

AR 82/2003 s16;68/2008;31/2012;170/2012

Annual form

17(1)  As part of the continuing competence program regulated members must complete on an annual basis the following in a form satisfactory to the Registrar or Competence Committee:

                                 (a)    a self‑assessment;

                                 (b)    a learning plan;

                                 (c)    a list of continuing competence activities undertaken and supporting documentation.

(2)  A regulated member must, on the request of the Registrar or Competence Committee, submit anything referred to in subsection (1) to the Registrar or Competence Committee.

Review and evaluation

18   The Registrar or Competence Committee must periodically select regulated members in accordance with criteria established by the Council for a review and evaluation of all or part of the member’s continuing competence program.

Practice visits

19(1)  The Competence Committee is authorized to carry out practice visits and may, for the purpose of assessing continuing competence, select individual regulated members or groups of regulated members  for a practice visit who are not employees of the Government of Alberta, the Government of Canada, a municipality or a Metis settlement.

(2)  The criteria for selecting members for review are the criteria developed by the Competence Committee and approved by the Council.

Actions to be taken

20   If the results of a practice visit are unsatisfactory, the Competence Committee may direct a regulated member or a group of regulated members to undertake one or more of the following within a specified time period:

                                 (a)    to complete specific continuing competence requirements or professional development activities;

                                 (b)    to complete specific examinations, testing, assessment, training, education or counselling to enhance competence in specified areas;

                                 (c)    to practise under the supervision of another regulated member for a specified period of time;

                                 (d)    to limit the practice of the regulated member or group of regulated members to specified procedures or practice settings;

                                 (e)    to report to the Competence Committee on specified matters;

                                 (f)    not to supervise other regulated members or students providing professional services;

                                 (g)    to correct any problems identified in the practice visit;

                                 (h)    to demonstrate competence gained in a specific area.

Practice Permit Renewal

Application requirements

21(1)  Regulated members applying for renewal of their practice permit must state whether they have been convicted of a criminal offence since their most recent practice permit was issued and must

                                 (a)    have been employed in the practice of social work for a minimum of 1000 hours in the 5 years immediately preceding application for the practice permit renewal, of which 500 must be in the 3 years immediately preceding the application for practice permit renewal, and

                                 (b)    have obtained a minimum of 40 credits under the continuing competence program during the previous year.

(2)  In addition to the requirements in subsection (1), regulated members applying for renewal of their practice permit must also provide evidence of having the type and amount of liability insurance required by Council.

Alternative Complaint Resolution

Process conductor

22   When a complainant and an investigated person have agreed to enter into an alternative complaint resolution process, the Complaints Director must appoint an individual to conduct the alternative complaint resolution process.

Agreement

23   The person conducting the alternative complaint resolution process must, in consultation with the complainant and the investigated person, establish the procedures for and objectives of the alternative complaint resolution process, which must be set out in writing and signed by the complainant, the investigated person and the representative of the College.

Confidentiality

24   The complainant and the investigated person must, subject to section 59 of the Act, agree to treat all information shared during the process as confidential.

Leaving the process

25   The complainant and the investigated person may withdraw from the alternative complaint resolution process at any time.

Reinstatement

Application

26(1)  A person whose registration and practice permit have been cancelled under Part 4 of the Act may apply in writing to the Registrar to have the registration and practice permit reinstated.

(2)  An application under subsection (1) may not be made earlier than

                                 (a)    5 years after the cancellation, or

                                 (b)    one year after the refusal of an application under clause (a).

(3)  An applicant under subsection (1) must provide evidence to the Registration Committee of qualifications for registration.

Review of application

27(1)  An application under section 26 must be reviewed by the Registration Committee in accordance with the application for registration process set out in sections 28 to 30 of the Act.

(2)  On reviewing an application in accordance with subsection (1), the Registration Committee must

                                 (a)    consider

                                           (i)    the record of the hearing at which the applicant’s registration and practice permit were cancelled, and

                                          (ii)    the evidence presented at the hearing,

                                     and

                                 (b)    be satisfied that

                                           (i)    the applicant meets the current requirements for registration,

                                          (ii)    any conditions imposed at the time the applicant’s permit and registration were cancelled have been met, and

                                         (iii)    the applicant is fit to practice social work and does not pose a risk to public safety.

(3)  The Registration Committee on reviewing an application may make one or more of the following orders:

                                 (a)    an order denying the application;

                                 (b)    an order directing the Registrar to reinstate the person’s registration and practice permit;

                                 (c)    an order directing the Registrar to impose specified terms and conditions on the person’s practice permit.

Review of decision

28   An applicant whose application is denied or on whose practice permit terms and conditions have been imposed under section 27 may apply to the Council for a review of the decision of the Registration Committee in accordance with section 31(3) of the Act.

Access to decision

29(1)  The Registration Committee may order that its decision be publicized in a manner it considers appropriate.

(2)  The College must make the decision of the Registration Committee available for 5 years to a member of the public on request.

Information

Providing information

30(1)  A regulated member must provide the following information in addition to that required under section 33(3) of the Act when there is a change to the information or at the request of the Registrar:

                                 (a)    home and business mailing address, e‑mail address, phone numbers and fax numbers;

                                 (b)    full name and previous names as applicable;

                                 (c)    year of registration;

                                 (d)    degrees and other qualifications, including specialization;

                                 (e)    schools from which the regulated member has graduated;

                                 (f)    years of graduation;

                                 (g)    date of birth and gender;

                                 (h)    languages spoken or understood;

                                  (i)    employer’s name or place of business;

                                  (j)    job title and position description;

                                 (k)    employment status, whether part‑time or full time status or unemployed;

                                  (l)    areas of practice or specialization;

                               (m)    commencement date of current employment;

                                 (n)    languages in which professional services are provided;

                                 (o)    names of other jurisdictions in which the member may be registered;

                                 (p)    the name of any other college of a profession that provides health services in which the member is registered and whether the member is a practising member of that college;

                                 (q)    whether the member provides any restricted activities.

(2)  Subject to section 34(1) of the Act, the College may release the information collected under subsection (1) only

                                 (a)    with the consent of the regulated member whose information it is, or

                                 (b)    in a summarized or statistical form so that it is not possible to relate the information to any particular identifiable person.

Correcting information

31   The Registrar may correct or remove any information on the register of regulated members if the Registrar determines it is incorrect or inaccurate.

Section 119 information

32   The Council must provide, under section 119 of the Act, the information referred to in section 119(4) of the Act for 10 years following the date that the information was filed in the record or in the case of

                                 (a)    a suspension, the date on which the suspension terminates,

                                 (b)    a condition imposed on a practice permit, the date the condition was removed, and

                                 (c)    a reprimand or other sanction, the date the reprimand or sanction is imposed.

Transitional Provisions, Repeal and Coming into Force

Transitional provisions

33   On the coming into force of this Regulation, a registered member described in section 6 of Schedule 27 to the Act is deemed to be entered on the regulated member register in the category that the Registrar considers appropriate.

Repeal

34   The Exemption Regulation (AR 43/99) and Social Work Profession Regulation (AR 230/95) are repealed.

Coming into force

35   This Regulation comes into force on the coming into force of Schedule 27 to the Health Professions Act.