The Board of Examiners and Council of the College are temporarily amending the Professional Development Requirements policy for 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This policy change is outlined in detail at

Self Directed Learning Activities

The Nova Scotia College of Social Workers recognizes the broad scope of the social work profession. There are many methods of learning new skills and knowledge. NSCSW encourages Registered Social Workers to seek opportunities that combine professional development with contributing to the field of social work and the quality of life for the residents of Nova Scotia.

Social Work Ethics Professional Development:

Ethical behaviour is at the core of social work practice. It is a part of our everyday decision making and paramount to guiding our actions.

All social workers associated with the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers must complete 5 hours of Social Work Ethics professional development over a 5 year period in addition to their annual 40 hours.

Examples of Ethics Hours

  • Free State Social Work: The Evolution of Social Work Ethics
  • Free State Social Work: Ethics Do Matter, But Where?
  • The Social Work Podcast
  • National Association of Social Workers Ethics Education and Training

Formal Professional Development

Formal Professional Development activities should be recorded annually in social workers NSCSW profile. They can be recorded by submitting

  • A syllabus or general outline of the course provided at the beginning.
  • Written educational goals and specific, measurable learning objectives.
  • Clear evaluation procedures.
  • Web site security for registration, payment and online course.

For active members, a minimum of 20 professional development hours must be formal activities, and all 40 hours can be in this category.

Formal Professional Development Activities

  • University courses.
  • Seminars.
  • Continuing Education workshops.
  • In-service sessions.
  • Online course work.
  • Journal clubs, conferences.
  • Webinars.
  • Presenting at any of the above.

Informal Professional Development

Informal professional development activities and independent learning which enhances social work can be counted for a maximum of 20 hours.

  • Reading (Books, Peer reviewed Journals, etc).
  • Videos and Webcasts.
  • Attending Community Presentations.
  • Networking activities.
  • Participating in organized discussion groups.
  • Developing a new program or procedure.
  • First Aid / CPR Training.
  • Information Technology Skills Training.

Other Activities


Social workers can count activities for a maximum of 20 hours.

  • Mentoring a social work candidate.
  • Supervising a social work student.

Volunteer Work

Social workers can count volunteer work related to social work for a maximum of 20 hours.

  • Member of NSCSW Committee (12 hours maximum per committee).
  • Committee Support / Consultation (12 hours maximum).
  • Attendance at NSCSW Annual General Meeting.
  • Direct service in a social service agency.
  • Board and / or Committee work in a social service agency.
  • Writing an article that relates to social work practice.
  • Public Education Service about social work and social issue.
  • International Volunteer Social Service Projects.
  • Conducting social work research.


Social workers can count Personal Activities for a maximum of 5 hours.

  • Reflection on the learning experiences by keeping a journal.
  • Developing and maintaining a professional portfolio.
  • Self-care activities.