Fair Registration Practices Report

Social Workers (2017)

The answers seen below were submitted to the OFC by the regulated professions.

This Fair Registration Practices Report was produced as required by:

  • the Fair Access to Regulated Professions and Compulsory Trades Act (FARPACTA) s. 20 and 23(1), for regulated professions named in Schedule 1 of FARPACTA
  • the Health Professions Procedural Code set out in Schedule 2 of the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) s. 22.7 (1) and 22.9(1), for health colleges.

Index

  1. Qualitative Information
  2. Quantitative Information
  3. Submission

1. Qualitative Information

a) Requirements for registration, including acceptable alternatives
i. Describe any improvements / changes implemented in the last year.

In December 2017, College Council approved the Registration Policy of the College Regarding Academic Qualifications and Experience Performing the Role Determined to be Substantially Equivalent to a Degree in Social Work (also known as the "Equivalency" Policy). As described in previous Fair Registration Practices Reports, a task group began to meet in 2015 with a mandate to review this policy. The work of the task group concluded in 2017 with the approval of the new policy.

ii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on applicants.

The policy approved in December 2017 replaces a policy that had been in effect since July 2000 and is in line with the most recent accreditation standards set by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education for social work programs in Canada. The impact on applicants will be nominal, but to their benefit. Under the new policy, the experience requirements and the requirements with respect to course content, which have been revised and re-grouped, are similar to the previous policy. However, the substitution of work experience for academic coursework has been expanded under the new policy to a maximum of two full courses, from 1.5 courses, under the previous policy. 

iii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on your organization.

The policy update requires changes to the website, application forms, registration guides, correspondence with applicants (including decisions), and the assessment criteria used by staff in the evaluation process.

b) Assessment of qualifications
i. Describe any improvements / changes implemented in the last year.

As described in section a) of this report, the "Equivalency" registration policy was revised in December 2017. Assessment of qualifications under the new policy will begin in 2018.

ii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on applicants.

As described in section a) of this report, the impact on applicants will be nominal, but to their benefit.

iii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on your organization.

As described in section a) of this report, changes to the website, application forms, registration guides, correspondence with applicants (including decisions), and the assessment criteria used by staff in the evaluation process are required.

c) Provision of timely decisions, responses, and reasons
i. Describe any improvements / changes implemented in the last year.

No changes this year

ii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on applicants.

No changes this year

iii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on your organization.

No changes this year

d) Fees
i. Describe any improvements / changes implemented in the last year.

Effective January 1, 2017, the registration fee increased by $20 to $200 (for applicants who apply for registration before December 31 of the year in which they graduate from a social work program) and to $300 for all other applicants. As in previous years, the registration fee continues to be pro-rated on a quarterly basis depending on the date of registration, resulting in applicants, who are registered in the second, third and fourth quarter of the calendar year, receiving a partial refund of the registration fee.

ii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on applicants.

This is a moderate increase which appears to have had a minimal impact on applicants.

iii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on your organization.

An increase of the registration (and annual) fee was necessary; in order for the College to effectively fulfill its public protection mandate, member fees must reflect actual operating costs. Any fee increase requires changes to multiple forms of communication with applicants, including application forms, registration guides, the College website, correspondence as well as programming changes in the database.

e) Timelines
i. Describe any improvements / changes implemented in the last year.

No changes this year

ii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on applicants.

No changes this year

iii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on your organization.

No changes this year

f) Policies, procedures and/or processes, including by-laws
i. Describe any improvements / changes implemented in the last year.

As described in section a) of this report, the "Equivalency" registration policy was revised in December 2017. 

ii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on applicants.

As described in section a) of this report, the impact on applicants will be nominal, but to their benefit.

iii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on your organization.

As described in section a) of this report, changes to the website, application forms, registration guides, correspondence with applicants (including decisions), and the assessment criteria used by staff in the evaluation process are required.

g) Resources for applicants
i. Describe any improvements / changes implemented in the last year.

The College has continued to update our website, using plain language, to ensure that prospective and current applicants are able to navigate the website with ease. A general email address (registration@ocswssw.org) is provided throughout the registration section of the website so that visitors can contact College staff with questions. This email address is monitored by staff in the registration department and responses are provided in a timely manner (typically 2-3 business days).

ii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on applicants.

The objective of any revisions/updates to the website is to ensure a more user-friendly experience, where applicants are able to clearly understand the application process and the requirements for registration.

iii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on your organization.

Clear, simple and easy to understand navigation helps to ensure that applicants find the correct information, complete the correct application form, and understand the application process and requirements. The result is that staff are able to process applications in a timely manner with less follow up required.

h) Review or appeal processes
i. Describe any improvements / changes implemented in the last year.

No changes this year

ii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on applicants.

No changes this year

iii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on your organization.

No changes this year

i) Access to applicant records
i. Describe any improvements / changes implemented in the last year.

No changes this year

ii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on applicants.

No changes this year

iii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on your organization.

No changes this year

j) Training and resources for registration staff, Council, and committee members
i. Describe any improvements / changes implemented in the last year.

In December 2017, the Registration Appeals Committee members received a thorough orientation session which included:

  • an overview of the legislative framework of the Committee;
  • the role of the Committee within the College's framework;
  • the review and decision-making process of the Committee, including its scope of powers;
  • the duties of the Committee and administrative law principles;
  • confidentiality;
  • the College's duties under FARPACTA and the powers of the Fairness Commissioner; and,
  • College registration policies.

Registration staff completed various training sessions including workshops on Managing Cultural Differences offered through ORAC (Ontario Regulators for Access Consortium) and a number of lunch and learn webinars. Staff were also trained on the new database, launched in July 2017.

ii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on applicants.

The focus of the training provided to both registration staff and the Registration Appeals Committee is to ensure that our practices and processes are transparent, objective, impartial and fair to applicants. There is an emphasis on providing clear, consistent and timely responses to all applicants.

iii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on your organization.

Registration staff and the Registration Appeals Committee have access to the knowledge and resources they require to respond to inquiries and to consistently provide correct and clear information to applicants.

k) Mutual recognition agreements
i. Describe any improvements / changes implemented in the last year.

No changes this year

ii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on applicants.

No changes this year

iii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on your organization.

No changes this year

l) Other (include as many items as applicable)
i. Describe any improvements / changes implemented in the last year.

In July 2017, the College launched an updated database.

ii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on applicants.

Given the infancy of the database, the impact on applicants has been minimal. However, it is anticipated that efficiencies will be created in the processing of applications (i.e. database entry; easy and effective tracking of the status of applications; electronic communication with applicants) which may result in reduced processing times for applications.

iii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on your organization.

As registration staff increase their comfort and knowledge with the database efficiencies will be realized and productivity will increase.

Describe any registration-related improvements/changes to your enabling legislation and/or regulations in the last year

No changes this year

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2. Quantitative Information

a) Languages
Indicate the languages in which application information materials were available in the reporting year.
Language Yes/No
English Yes
French Yes
Other (please specify)
Additional comments:
 
b) Gender of applicants
Indicate the number of applicants in each category as applicable.
Gender Number of Applicants
Male 218
Female 1383
None of the above 13
Additional comments:
 
c) Gender of members
Indicate the number of members in each category as applicable. Select the option that best corresponds to the terminology used by your organization.
Gender Number of Members
Male 2570
Female 15150
None of the above 13
Additional comments:

NOTE: The above number reflects 198 members who are registered in both categories of membership (Social Work and Social Service Work).

d) Jurisdiction where applicants obtained their initial education
Indicate the number of applicants by the jurisdiction where they obtained their initial education1 in the profession or trade.
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown Total
1319 127 70
Australia
6
Bangladesh
1
Chile
1
Guyana
1
Hong Kong
3
India
29
Ireland
2
Israel
3
Jamaica
2
Pakistan
1
Philippines
1
Portugal
1
Sweden
1
S. Africa
1
Uganda
1
U.K.
4
Total
58
40
1614

1 Recognizing that applicants may receive their education in multiple jurisdictions, for the purpose of this question, include only the jurisdiction in which an entry-level degree, diploma or other certification required to practice the profession or trade was obtained.

Additional comments:
 
e) Jurisdiction where applicants who became registered members obtained their initial education
Indicate the number of applicants who became registered members in the reporting year by the jurisdiction where they obtained their initial education1 in the profession or trade.
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown Total
1173 106 60
Australia
3
Bangladesh
1
Chile
1
Hong Kong
3
India
25
Ireland
2
Israel
1
Jamaica
2
Portugal
1
U.K.
3
Total
42
22
1403

1 Recognizing that applicants may receive their education in multiple jurisdictions, for the purpose of this question, include only the jurisdiction in which an entry-level degree, diploma or other certification required to practice the profession or trade was obtained.

Additional comments:
 
f) Jurisdiction where members were initially trained
Indicate the total number of registered members by jurisdiction where they obtained their initial education1 in the profession or trade.
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown Total
14444 1400 998
Albania
9
Argentina
2
Australia
12
Bangladesh
9
Belgium
2
Burundi
1
Chile
3
Colombia
6
Denmark
1
Dominican Republic
1
Egypt
4
El Salvador
1
Finland
1
France
1
Germany
5
Guyana
3
Hong Kong
75
India
382
Iran
5
Ireland
14
Israel
22
Jamaica
11
Korea, Republic Of
3
Lebanon
2
Lithuania
1
Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic Of
2
Malta
1
Mauritius
2
Mexico
1
Moldova, Republic Of
1
Nepal
1
Netherlands
2
New Zealand
1
Nigeria
2
Norway
1
Pakistan
6
Palestinian Territory, Occupied
1
Peru
3
Philippines
26
Poland
3
Portugal
2
Romania
9
Russia
3
Scotland
11
S. Africa
18
Sweden
2
Switzerland
1
Taiwan, Province Of China
2
Uganda
1
Ukraine
1
United Arab Emirates
1
U.K.
52
Zimbabwe
2
Total
734
157
17733

1 Recognizing that applicants may receive their education in multiple jurisdictions, for the purpose of this question, include only the jurisdiction in which an entry-level degree, diploma or other certification required to practice the profession or trade was obtained.

Additional comments:

NOTE: The above number reflects 198 members who are registered in both categories of membership (Social Work and Social Service Work).

g) Applications processed
Indicate the number of applications your organization processed in the reporting year:
Jurisdiction where applicants were initially trained in the profession (before they were granted use of the protected title or professional designation in Ontario)
from January 1st to December 31st of the reporting year Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown Total
New applications received 1319 127 70 58 40
1614
Applicants actively pursuing licensing (applicants who had some contact with your organization in the reporting year) 136 18 3 16 0
173
Inactive applicants (applicants who had no contact with your organization in the reporting year) 0 0 0 0 0
0
Applicants who met all requirements and were authorized to become members but did not become members 0 0 0 0 0
0
Applicants who became FULLY registered members 1173 106 60 42 22
1403
Applicants who were authorized to receive an alternative class of licence3 but were not issued a licence 0 0 0 0 0
0
Applicants who were issued an alternative class of licence3 0 0 0 0 0
0

1 An alternative class of licence enables its holder to practice with limitations, but additional requirements must be met in order for the member to be fully licensed.

Additional comments:

APPLICANTS ACTIVELY PURSUING LICENSING: This includes applicants who applied for registration in 2017, but did not become registered in 2017 and remained applicants as of December 31, 2017. It also includes applicants who applied for registration in 2017, but withdrew their application or were refused a certificate of registration in the same year.

 

The field "Unknown" above includes applicants who applied for registration under the terms of the Ontario Labour Mobility Act and are not required to provide verification of their academic qualifications.

h) Classes of certificate/license
Inidcate and provide a description of the classes of certificate/license offered by your organization.

You must specify and describe at least one class of certificate/license (on line a) in order for this step to be complete.

# Certification Description
a) General Certificate Description (a)

The only class of certificate issued to individuals who meet the requirements for registration as set out in O.Reg. 383/00 (as of December 31, 2017).

Additional comments:
 
i) Reviews and appeals processed
State the number of reviews and appeals your organization processed in the reporting year (use only whole numbers; do not enter commas or decimals).
Jurisdiction where applicants were initially trained in the profession (before they were granted use of the protected title or professional designation in Ontario)
from January 1st to December 31st of the reporting year Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown Total
Applications that were subject to an internal review or that were referred to a statutory committee of your governing council, such as a Registration Committee 0 0 0 0 0
0
Applicants who initiated an appeal of a registration decision 4 1 1 0 0
6
Appeals heard 7 1 1 0 0
9
Registration decisions changed following an appeal 1 0 0 0 0
1
Additional comments:

APPEALS HEARD: This includes one withdrawn request for review and one request for an extension of time to request a review.

j) Paid staff
In the table below, enter the number of paid staff employed by your organization in the categories shown, on December 31 of the reporting year.

When providing information for each of the categories in this section, you may want to use decimals if you count your staff using half units. For example, one full-time employee and one part-time employee might be equivalent to 1.5 employees.

You can enter decimals to the tenths position only. For example, you can enter 1.5 or 7.5 but not 1.55 or 7.52.

Category Staff
Total staff employed by the regulatory body 34.5
Staff involved in appeals process 2
Staff involved in registration process 8.5
Additional comments:
 

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3. Submission

Submission
I hereby certify that:
Name of individual with authority to sign on behalf of the organization:
Laura Sheehan
Title:
Deputy Registrar
Date:
2018/02/28

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