This innovative, award-winning program is designed to assist internationally educated social work professionals to gain employment in the social service/human service sector in Ontario at levels that match their knowledge and experience. Since the program began in 2005, 89 percent of certificate program graduates have been hired into positions in the social work field within one year of graduation.

Offered part-time over a 13-month period (beginning in the Summer term), the program includes courses, mentorship, and work experience. The certificate is open only to internationally educated professionals with social service experience approved through the Internationally Educated Social Work Professionals (IESW) Program admissions process.

The program offers the following:

  • degree credit courses that comply with the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE) accreditation standards and are monitored by the Faculty of the School of Social Work at Ryerson University
  • a practicum placement and profession-specific communication and job search supports
  • integration of experiential and simulation based learning into the curriculum

Note: If you are considering applying for the Certificate in Canadian Social Work Practice, please contact us at the email address or phone number below to schedule a meeting with the IESW Bridging Program team or attend an information session. The meeting will help you to understand how we can support your career and education goals.

Phone: 416-979-5000, ext. 4095
Email: iesw@ryerson.ca

Tuition and Awards and Financial Aid

Tuition

The tuition fee for the Certificate in Canadian Social Work Practice for 2019–2020 is expected to be $6,000 plus taxes. This fee is subject to change.

Awards and Financial Aid

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If you are eligible for Ontario Works, EI, WSIB, or are currently receiving Ontario Works in Toronto, you may qualify for financial support. Contact your caseworker to learn more.

How to Apply

Step One

Print and complete an application form. (If you do not yet have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer, you must first download it.)

Note: You can also contact the IESW Program office to request an application form be mailed to you.

Step Two

Along with your completed application form, you must also submit all of the following:

  • current resumé or curriculum vitae
  • proof of English language proficiency
  • proof of Ontario residency
  • proof of eligibility to work in Canada

In addition, you must submit one of the following:

  • proof of assessment of BSW or MSW equivalency from the Canadian Association of Social Workers
  • proof of Canadian degree equivalency and course by course evaluation by World Education Services (WES)
  • proof of registration with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers

You can email, mail, fax, or drop off the completed application form along with the necessary documentation.

Email:

iesw@ryerson.ca

Mail to:

Program Assistant
Internationally Educated Social Work Professionals Bridging Program
The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education
Ryerson University
350 Victoria Street, Attn: VIC600
Toronto, ON M5B 2K3
Canada

Fax to:

416-979-5047
Attn: Program Assistant
Internationally Educated Social Work Professionals Bridging Program

Drop off to:

Victoria Building, 6th floor, room VIC600, 285 Victoria Street

Curriculum and Schedule

The Certificate in Canadian Social Work Practice will give you extensive and valuable knowledge about the Canadian social services sector. Your in-class courses and work placement will also further develop your theoretical and practical skills in the area of social work practice.

All courses are required and you must successfully pass each one. Classes are held from 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays from July until February. From March until June, classes are held one day a week from 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. In addition to class time, you will participate in an unpaid work experience placement for three to four days per week.

In a typical week, you will attend classes, read articles, write essays and/or tests, and be graded for your work. You’ll also attend sessions on language use and job search preparation, visit social service agencies, and typically spend a minimum of 25 to 30 hours per week on your class and related activities.

First-Term Courses

  • CVSW 900 - Foundations of Social Work
  • CSWP 917 - Special Topics I
    (Developing Your Professional Identity in Canadian Social Work Practice)

Second-Term Courses

  • CSWP 301 - Decolonizing and Anti-Oppression Practice
  • CSWP 402 - Social Policy and Social Inclusion
  • CSWP 918 - Special Topics II (Social Work Practices, Language and Communication)

Work Placement

Knowledge and Skills Development

The Certificate in Canadian Social Work Practice covers topics that are key to reaching your professional goals:

  • the Canadian social service system and its relation to law, health care, and education
  • legislation and policies guiding the social services sector
  • Ontario’s social work code of ethics and standards of practice
  • what Canadian employers, social work colleges, and professional bodies expect from social work professionals
  • English that’s appropriate for working in the social services sector
  • interaction and communication skills (for example, interviewing and counselling, case management, documentation)

Work Placement

In addition to your classroom education, the Certificate in Canadian Social Work Practice includes a meaningful, relevant, and challenging work placement.

Many social service employers want to reap the benefits of having an internationally educated social worker join their team.

Mentoring and Job Search Support

Chang School staff and instructors understand the unique needs of New Canadians and internationally educated professionals. The experienced staff and instructors you’ll meet will assist you with ongoing professional mentoring and, once the program is over, provide job search support to help you launch your career in Canada.

Additional Benefits

Beyond the direct education and career development opportunities the Certificate in Canadian Social Work Practice provides, there’s a range of additional benefits you should know about:

  • You’ll become a member of the Internationally Educated Social Workers Network (IESWN). As a member, you’ll be informed of professional development opportunities, events, workshops, announcements, and job postings for social workers.
  • You’ll receive additional employment support, including ongoing assessment and counselling from our on-site Coordinator of Field Programming.
  • You’ll be able to use Ryerson University’s Career Centre and Counselling and Referral Centre.
  • You’ll gain access to networking opportunities with social service employers, other social workers employed in the field, Ryerson’s School of Social Work, the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, and the Ontario Association of Social Workers.
  • You’ll be able to get reference from placement supervisor and instructors to strengthen your employment prospects.

Certificate Requirements

  • 5 required courses
  • 1 work placement*
  • Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 1.67+

*Refer to Work Placement above.

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Admission Criteria

Required:

  • A social work degree awarded outside of Canada and registration with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW)
    • And a minimum of 1 year of paid accumulated employment in the social service field (abroad and/or in Canada)

OR

  • A social work degree awarded outside of Canada assessed as equivalent to a BSW or an MSW by the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW)
    • And a minimum of 1 year of paid accumulated employment in the social service field (abroad and/or in Canada)

OR

  • A baccalaureate degree awarded outside of Canada (minimum of 3 years of university study) in the humanities or social sciences, and equivalent to a Canadian degree
    • And a minimum of 2 years’ paid accumulated employment in the social service field (abroad and/or in Canada)

AND

  • proof of English proficiency at the required level
  • proof of Ontario residency
  • proof of eligibility to work in Canada

Students seeking admission to this program are also required to complete an application form and participate in a pre-assessment. Refer to How to Apply above.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the Certificate in Canadian Social Work Practice?
The Certificate in Canadian Social Work Practice is a part time program offered from June to July the following year (13 months) and includes credit courses, social work skills-based workshops, job search supports, mentorship, and unpaid work experience. The program facilitates intensive job search support sessions in July and August.

What will the courses in Certificate in Canadian Social Work Practice cover?
All the courses in the Certificate in Canadian Social Work Practice comply with Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE) accreditation standards. They are developed and monitored by the School of Social Work at Ryerson University. They cover topics such as current legislation and policies, Codes of Ethics, standards of practice, current theoretical and practice approaches, and communication skills for the workplace.

What does the Certificate in Canadian Social Work Practice cost?
The tuition fee for the Certificate in Canadian Social Work Practice for 2019–2020 is expected to be $6,000. Please note that the fee is subject to change.

In addition to the fee you will incur other expenses such as transportation costs, books, etc. Financial assistance may be available through awards and bursaries.

When will I be asked to pay my tuition fees?
At the time of your acceptance into the Certificate in Canadian Social Work Practice, a payment schedule and instructions will be provided to you by the program team.

Note: If you are considering applying for the Certificate in Canadian Social Work Practice for 2019–2020, please contact us at the email address or phone number below to schedule a meeting with the IESW Bridging Program team or attend an information session. The meeting will help you to understand how we can support your career and education goals.

Phone: 416-979-5000, ext. 4095
Email: iesw@ryerson.ca

Can I work during the certificate program?
The program team strongly recommends not working outside of school so that you can fully engage with rigorous learning opportunities available to you, obtain good grades, and feel prepared for workplace. Please keep in mind that the certificate program requires you to be in class from 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., twice a week on weekdays from June until March. From March until early June, the classes are held one day a week from 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. In addition to class time, students participate in an unpaid work experience placement for 3–4 days per week.

In a typical week, students attend classes, read articles, write essays and/or tests, and are graded for their work. They also attend sessions on language use and job search preparation, visit social service agencies, and typically spend a minimum of 25 hours per week on their classes and related activities.

What will I receive when I complete the Certificate in Canadian Social Work Practice?
When you successfully complete the program, you will graduate with a Certificate in Canadian Social Work Practice.

What is the Certificate in Canadian Social Work Practice application deadline?
The deadline to apply for the Certificate in Canadian Social Work Practice for 2019–2020 was Friday, April 5, 2019.

What kind of documentation do I need to prove my Ontario residency?
Proof of Ontario residency includes a copy of your Ontario health insurance card or an Ontario driver’s licence.

What kind of documentation do I need to prove my eligibility to work in Canada?

  • Proof of Canadian citizenship
    or
  • Landed immigrant status
    or
  • Open Employment Authorization

How do I have my international degree/credentials assessed by the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW)?
If you have a social work degree then you can find information about how to have your international degree/credentials assessed by the Canadian Association of Social Workers by visiting the CASW website.

However, if your degree is not in social work but in humanities or social sciences and you meet all the eligibility criteria, your degree should be assessed by WES on a course by course basis.

What are Canadian Language Benchmarking (CLB) based assessments? Do I have to pay for this assessment? Can I submit language scores from another language assessment such as TOEFL, MELAB, and IELTS instead of CLB based assessments?
Your test scores from Canadian Language Benchmarking (CLB) based assessment, Instructor Assigned CLBs, Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB), CLBA (Canadian Language Benchmark Assessment), or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are accepted by the IESW Bridging Program as proof of language proficiency.

To find more about the centres that conduct the language assessments, please visit the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks website.

Why are the language requirements for the IESW program so rigorous?
Social work professionals require well-developed verbal and written English language skills to be able to counsel clients, discuss sensitive personal matters, keep detailed case records, prepare written reports, and make professional presentations.

If I am eligible for the Certificate in Canadian Social Work Practice but unable to participate, must I reapply for the following year?
Yes; however, you will not be asked to resubmit all of your documents. Please contact us at iesw@ryerson.ca or 416-979-5000, ext. 4095 to seek further clarification.

Pathways for Internationally Educated Social Work Professionals (IESW)

Whether you reside in Ontario or you are planning to immigrate to Ontario, there is information and services and support you can access through the Internationally Educated Social Work Professionals (IESW) Bridging Program.

Employers

Employers in the social services sector can enhance their capacity to utilize the knowledge and skills of IESWs in their organization or get engaged with the program as mentors, guest speakers, mock interviewers.

Contact Us

Questions? Contact Tej Wadhwa, Program Manager.

Phone: 416-979-5000, ext. 4095
Email:  iesw@ryerson.ca

Additional Details

Courses

CSWP 36A is a multi-term course. If you enrol in CSWP 36A for the selected term, you will automatically be enrolled in CSWP 36B for the subsequent term. The automatic enrolment usually occurs near the completion of “A” term, and therefore the “B” term will not appear on your schedule of classes until that time.