AASW Skills Assessment

Australian Association of Social Workers is the professional representative body of social workers in Australia.

Australian Association of Social Workers Skills Assessment Authority

If you are migrating to Australia and seeking recognition as a qualified social worker for migration and/or employment purposes, AASW can assess your academic social work qualifications and post-qualifying work experience for migration purposes.

There are five Criteria which must all be met for a positive assessment for migration and employment purposes:

Criterion 1: The qualification must be a specific qualification in social work.
Criterion 2: The qualification must be regarded as a professional social work qualification in the country of training.
Criterion 3: The learning outcomes of the professional social work qualification is comparable to the learning outcomes that graduates of AASW accredited social work qualifications must demonstrate.
Criterion 4: At least 980 hours of field education in at least two placements and with two contrasting practice foci, with a requirement that one placement must be in direct practice.
Criterion 5: A high level English language skill (as per the AASW English language policy) is demonstrated.

AASW Skills Assessment Fees and Appeals Process

International Social Work Qualifications

Assessment fee if correspondence address is outside Australia: A$1800.00 and A$1980.00 within Australia.
(Optional) Skilled employment assessment for 1-3 positions if correspondence address is outside Australia: A$800.00 and A$880.0 within Australia.
(Optional) Skilled Employment fee per additional (4+) employment position if correspondence address is outside Australia: A$150.00 and A$165.00 within Australia.
(Optional) Doctorate Degree assessment if correspondence address is outside Australia: A$450.00 and A$495.00 within Australia.

AASW Accredited Social Work Qualifications

Assessment fee if correspondence address is outside Australia: A$363.64 and AU $400.00 within Australia.
Assessment fee for AASW student members if correspondence address is outside Australia: A$272.73 and A$300.00 within Australia.
(Optional) Skilled employment assessment for 1-3 positions if correspondence address is outside Australia: A$350.00 and A$385.00 within Australia.
(Optional) Skilled Employment fee per additional (4+) employment position if correspondence address is outside Australia: A$150.00 and A$165.00 within Australia.

AASW Accredited Social Work Qualifications for Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485)

Assessment fee for applicants wishing to apply for the Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) if correspondence address is outside Australia: A$200.00 and A$220.00 within Australia.

Assessment of New Zealand qualifications under Mutual Recognition Agreement

Assessment fee if correspondence address is outside Australia: A$363.64 and AU $400.00 within Australia.
Assessment fee for AASW student members if correspondence address is outside Australia: A$272.73 and A$300.00 within Australia.
(Optional) Skilled employment assessment for 1-3 positions if correspondence address is outside Australia: A$350.00 and A$385.00 within Australia.
(Optional) Skilled Employment fee per additional (4+) employment position if correspondence address is outside Australia: A$150.00 and A$165.00 within Australia.

Renewal of a Skills Assessment for Migration Purposes

Application to renew an expired skills assessment for migration purposes (if correspondence address is outside Australia): A$150.00 and A$165.00 within Australia.

Administration fee for Re-Issue of Migration/Membership Assessment Notices

Re-issue of misplaced migration/membership assessment notices (if correspondence address is outside Australia): A$75.00 and A$82.50 within Australia.

All Assessments

Additional document administration fee for initially incomplete applications if correspondence address is outside Australia: A$100.00 and A$110.00 within Australia.
Phone Consultation with Assessment officer prior to application being made if correspondence address is outside Australia: A$100.00 and A$110.00 within Australia.
Appeal of assessment decision (Informal review) if correspondence address is outside Australia: A$400.00 and A$440.00 within Australia.

AASW Skills Assessment Processing Times

Given the complexity of assessing applications, the times given below are an approximation.

- Mutual Recognition Agreements with New Zealand – 3 weeks.
- Migration applications for new graduates who have completed study at an accredited AASW social work course – 3 to 4 weeks.
- Temporary Graduate Visa (TGV) application – 3 to 4 weeks.
- International Qualifications Assessments (IQA) and/or Skilled Employment (SE) applications – approx 12 - 15 weeks.
- Skilled Employment (SE) applications – 3 to 4 weeks.
- Renewal of previous migration assessments – 2 weeks.
- Duplication of previous assessments for and/or eligibility for AASW membership for employment purposes – 2 weeks.

Criterion 1: Specific Qualification in Social Work

The AASW assessment process is by comparing the learning outcomes and standards of social work qualification/s obtained outside Australia, with an Australian Association of Social Workers accredited social work qualification.

Where there are deficits or gaps in the learning outcomes of the professional social work qualification and/or deficits in concurrent assessed supervised field work placement, relevant post qualification social work experience and/ or relevant post qualification study can be used to compensate for these shortfalls, if they evidence how the applicant meets the required learning outcomes.

It is desirable that the level of qualification be a Bachelor's degree or higher in Australian terms. However the AASW recognises that social work and social work education has evolved and been shaped by relevant local, historical, economic and sociological factors, while there are identifiable core commonalities across the globe, there are some notable differences regarding how social work and social work education are operationalised. The AASW is committed to maintaining the professional standards in Australian social work but also recognises the value of internationally qualified social workers to Australia’s multicultural society.

Thus it is now possible for the AASW to assess international professional social work qualifications which are lower than bachelor degree level in combination with evidence as to how paid post qualifying social work experience, an assessed year or further relevant studies further meet the AASW learning outcomes.

Therefore, the qualification must be a specific qualification in social work. (Related qualifications such as Social Care, Sociology or Psychology for example will not be accepted unless they also include a professional qualification in social work).

You will need to provide: Certified copies of your qualifications such as Diploma, Degree or Masters; and Certified copies of academic transcript/s of your Diploma, Degree or Masters.

Criterion 2: The Qualification is a Professional Social Work Qualification

The qualification must be regarded as a professional social work qualification in the country of training, recognised by the official association which is responsible for accreditation of social workers and/or social work courses (where such an association exists). The qualification must enable eligibility for membership of the professional social work association of the country of training (where applicable), and where eligibility is conferred by formal qualification. The qualification must enable registration/licensing where such conditions exist in the country of training.

Documents and Information Required

- Certified copy of qualification papers (Diploma, Degree or Masters).
- Certified copy of academic transcript/s of (Diploma, Degree or Masters).
- If registration/licensing applies in the country of training or a country in which you currently work or have previously worked in please submit a certified copy of evidence of registration or registration number if there is a facility to verify registration online.
- If registration facilities exist but the social worker is not registered please provide evidence that the qualification is eligible for registration.
- If there is no registration facility but there is a professional social work body responsible for accrediting social work qualifications please provide evidence that the qualification is accredited.

Criterion 3: Social Work Qualification is Comparable to AASW Accredited Social Work Qualifications

The learning outcomes of the professional social work qualification should be comparable to the learning outcomes required to be demonstrated by graduates of AASW accredited social work qualifications. These learning outcomes are listed below as are the indicators of meeting each learning outcome.

1. Demonstrated sense of identity as a professional social worker

- Demonstrated understanding of the role and value of social work in the community.
- The ability to act in accordance with social work knowledge, values and ethics within a human rights framework.
- The ability to apply and transfer knowledge across different fields of social work practice.
- The ability to work for change to address inequalities at all levels.
- The ability to understand the context of social work practice at local, national and international levels.
- The ability to operate effectively in interdisciplinary teams.

2. Sound understanding of and commitment to social work values and ethics to guide professional practice

- Good knowledge of professional values and ethics.
- The ability to think through, recognise and explain ethical issues, and act ethically.
- The ability to think critically within a framework of commitment to ethical practice.

3. Ability to apply for social work knowledge and interventions to respond effectively in meeting the needs of individuals, groups and communities in diverse settings, client groups and geographic locations

- A coherent and sound knowledge of the underlying theories, principles, concepts and practice in social work.
- Knowledge of empowering and non-oppressive practice that is cognisant of the institutional context in which practice occurs.
- Knowledge of recent developments in social work.
- Understanding of frameworks and the purpose of professional supervision.
- Knowledge of mental health content directly relevant to beginning social work practitioner.
- Knowledge with regard to the needs of children, ability to promote their well being, identify when their well being is compromised and use a range of social work methods to respond to needs.
- Knowledge about social policy development, implementation and evaluation of social policy including policy theoretical frameworks.
- Knowledge of and commitment to the standards documents of the relevant country association or registration body where such a body exists.

4. Ability to apply knowledge of human behaviour and society, as well as the social, cultural, political, legal, economic and global contexts of practice to respond effectively within a human rights and social justice framework

- Knowledge of related disciplines including recent developments
- Demonstrated ability to apply this knowledge to practice
- Knowledge of an ability to critically analyse social, political, economic, historical, cultural and ecological systems as important considerations of governance
- The ability to apply knowledge of organisations, systems and processes and societal systems to identify and explain inequalities and to act to reduce social barriers, inequality and injustice
- The ability to utilise knowledge from a range or sources to inform practice
- Knowledge of disability, vulnerability and resilience and their social construction and the ability to analyse these factors to inform practice
- Knowledge of theories of trauma and its impact on functioning and an ability to utilise this knowledge in practice at the individual, family and community level.

5. Ability to review, critically analyse and synthesise knowledge and values and apply reflective thinking skills to inform professional judgement and practice

- Knowledge of frameworks of critical analysis and reflective practice
- The ability to critically analyse the structure of society with particular attention to dimensions of power and disadvantage and the influence of class, gender, age, intellectual and physical ability, sexuality, race and ethnicity.

6. Ability to apply research knowledge and skills to understand, evaluate and use research to inform practice and to develop, execute and disseminate research informed by practice

- The ability to undertake research to further inform and influence organisational goals and social policy
- The ability to undertake evidence informed practice in all interventions
- The ability to plan and execute project work and/or a piece of research and scholarship with some independence
- The ability to apply research knowledge and skills to undertake research congruent with social work values and ethics
- The ability to utilise research in practice to address the needs and aspirations of individuals, groups and communities in society in particular vulnerable populations
- The ability to explore complex and sensitive social issues and problems to achieve socially just outcomes.

7. Demonstration of effective communication and interpersonal skills

- Demonstrated practice skills in all methods of social work intervention and understanding of the theories/evidence of which they are based
- Demonstrated oral communication skills for all intervention methods and demonstrated written communication skills for case noting, report writing, research and policy
- Skills of advocacy, negotiation and mediation at micro and macro levels of practice
- The ability to present a clear and coherent exposition of knowledge and ideas to a variety of audiences in both oral and written form.

8. Ability to work with diversity and demonstrate respect for cultural difference

- Cross-cultural practice refers to practice where there is a diversity of traditions and intergenerational issues; ideologies’ beliefs and religions; and races and ethnicities. Cross-cultural practice encompasses the basic attitudes and values, knowledge and practice skills needed by an entry-level social worker in any practice setting to promote competence in cross cultural practice.

9. Understanding of the importance of and commitment to ongoing professional development

- Understanding of the value and use of supervision to achieve highly skilled professional practice, accountability and further learning
- The ability to articulate how to integrate knowledge and practice to enable contribution to further knowledge development
- Demonstrated commitment to lifelong learning
- Ongoing engagement as an active participant in learning to advance knowledge of social work practice.

Criterion 4: At Least 980 Hours of Field Education in at Least Two Placements

An applicant must have completed at least 980 hours of field education in at least two field placements and with two contrasting practice foci at least one of which was in direct practice. Field education placements are required to cover a range of social work methods of intervention. Field education placements must be taken over two academic years in conjunction with the professional social work program of study.

Where the field education placement of the social work qualifying program is less than 500 hours a positive assessment cannot be provided. The applicant will be advised to complete a further fieldwork placement.

Where the field education placement is less than 980 hours but greater than 500 hours the social worker may submit evidence of at least one year's full time paid post qualifying social work experience or the part time equivalent.

Documentary Evidence

The social worker must prepare a statement linking their post qualifying work experience or assessed year to the AASW learning outcomes which relate to their work, this should be a minimum of 2000 words up to a maximum of 3000 words.

Where there is a shortfall in field education hours in the social work qualifying program and the social worker has completed a fieldwork placement in a relevant formal academic course then they may provide evidence relating to this relevant qualification and its field education experience.

Criterion 5: A High Level English Language Skill

High-level English language skills are essential to the practice of social work in Australia. All applicants applying to have their qualifications assessed must provide evidence with their application that they have sufficient English language skills to work as a social worker in an English language environment.

English Language Evidence

Demonstration of evidence of English language proficiency in the International English Testing System (IELTS) Academic Test through two test sittings in a six (6) month period, where a minimum score of 7.0 is achieved in either one or two settings; and a minimum score of 7.0 is achieved in each of the four components (listening, reading, writing and speaking) in a maximum of two sittings in a six-month period, and no component score is below 6.5. Where a component score falls below 6.5, the test would not be acceptable.

Exemption from English Requirements

Completed all secondary education, that was taught and assessed in English, in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, United Kingdom or United States of America; and successfully completed (with a pass grade or higher) the equivalent of three years or more full-time tertiary study (at Bachelor Degree level or higher), that was taught and assessed in English, in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, United Kingdom or United States of America.

Documentary Evidence for English language proficiency

Submission of certified Academic IELTS test results; or
If eligible for the exemption above:
- Submission of certified copies of secondary results or a letter from your secondary school or the relevant department of education in the country of study which states that your secondary education was completed, taught and assessed in the English language, and submission of certified copies of tertiary results evidencing that they were successfully completed, taught and assessed in the English language.
- Where certified copies of secondary and/or tertiary results cannot be supplied, a Statutory Declaration certifying that the education was successfully completed, taught and assessed in the English language may also be acceptable, include name of school/s, years studied and country in which studied.

Overseas Students Studying an AASW Accredited Social Work Course in Australia

If you have completed an AASW accredited Bachelor of Social Work or Master of Social Work in Australia, you are eligible to apply for a skills assessment through the AASW. The AASW must be able to verify that you met all the higher education provider requirements and have or are eligible to graduate with a Bachelor of Social Work or a Master of Social Work. The AASW must also see evidence that all applicants for migration skills assessment purposes meet the AASW English language requirements.

Assessment of AASW Accredited Social Work Qualification for Subclass 485

If you have completed an AASW accredited Bachelor of Social Work or Master of Social Work, you are eligible to apply for a skills assessment for the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) through the AASW. The AASW must be able to verify that you met all the higher education provider requirements and have or are eligible to graduate with a Bachelor of Social Work or a qualifying master‟s degree in social work.

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