Social Workers in Australia: Association of Social Workers (AASW)

If you intend to apply for migration to Australia under one of the General Skilled Migration categories, you must have a nominated occupation which is on the Skilled Occupations List at the time you apply. In order to make a valid application, you must have obtained a skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority for your nominated occupation.

AASW is the assessing authority for the following occupation:

  • Social Workers

The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) has a commitment to the international social work community, and is a member of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW).

Social work in Australia is not a registered profession. However, the AASW is the standard setting body for the profession of social work in Australia. Graduation from an Australian AASW accredited Bachelor of Social Work degree confers eligibility for membership of the AASW.

If you have overseas qualifications in social work and you wish to apply for jobs which require eligibility for membership of the AASW OR if you wish to migrate to Australia under the Australian Government's Skilled Migration Program as a social worker, you will need to apply for an assessment of your qualifications to determine whether or not they do meet AASW membership eligibility requirements.

Social Workers in Australia Assessment

Assessment of all overseas educated applicants seeking membership of the AASW is undertaken individually by the AASW on a basis of comparison with the educational requirements of Australian social workers, using written materials. The assessments are not competency-based.

Please note that not all jobs in the social welfare field in Australia require eligibility for membership of the AASW, although many do. In addition, experience shows that many overseas-qualified social workers who may not meet the membership eligibility requirements of the AASW, may meet the membership eligibility requirements of other organisations like the Australian Institute of Welfare and Community Workers (AIWCW).

Assessment Criteria

The 5 essential criteria used in the assessment of overseas social work qualifications are as follows:

  • Criterion 1

    The qualification must be regarded as a professional social work qualification in the country of training, recognised by whichever official body is responsible for accreditation of social workers and/or social work courses where such a body exists. The qualification must enable eligibility for membership of the professional social work association of the country of training where such an association exists, and where eligibility is conferred by formal qualification.

  • Criterion 2

    The qualification must be a specific qualification in social work.

  • Criterion 3

    The level of qualification must be Bachelor degree or higher in Australian terms. AASW will make this assessment, using multiple sources, with the major reference point being the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition Country Education Profiles.

  • Criterion 4

    The curriculum must correspond sufficiently in all major areas to the AASW requirements for the BSW according to the AASW's Policy and Procedures for Establishing Eligibility of AASW.

  • Criterion 5

    The length of the qualification should be 4 years, but where all other above criteria have been met.


    The qualification is 3 years or longer and required evidence can be provided of at least a 3-year full time professional social work experience undertaken following completion of the professional social work degree and within 10 years of the completion of that degree, then the experience may be considered as a way of compensating for the shortfall of 1 year in the academic program.

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