Issue 44 (10/2019)
The main functions of the Committee on Qualification Assessment and Registration ("the Committee") include drafting, formulating and reviewing the qualification standards for registration and conduct qualification recognition assessments for the respective qualifications (Degree or Diploma in Social Work). Besides me, the members of the Committee of this term include Ms. CHEUNG Lai-yi, Dr. LEUNG Chuen-suen, Dr. NG Yut-ming and Dr. TING Wai-fong.
Apart from the routine qualification recognition assessment, we would like to share with you that we have been working on a particularly important task in recent years, that is, carrying out a comprehensive review and revision for the current "Principles, Criteria and Standards for Recognizing Qualifications in Social Work for Registration of RSWs" ("PCS") (Version of 15 October 2014). During the Board's last term, the Committee has found that the current PCS have been in use for a long period, although several minor amendments have been made throughout the period, clients' needs on social work services having evolved due to the continual social changes, and in response to the developing trends of social work education at the local and international level, we felt the urge to undergo a more comprehensive review and revision.
To be honest, I would have missed out on the abundant information on the Board's website if I hadn't been preparing for this job application. The information does not only include the minutes of the Board and different committees, but it also has detailed procedures about the handling of discipline, qualification recognition and registration matters, as well as its legal basis. When friends of mine who are social workers found out about my new position on the Board, they took the opportunity to share their opinions to me on their attitudes and expectations towards the Board.
It has already been nearly two months since I joined the Board. I have gained a more holistic understanding about the role of the Board and its actual operation. As a registered social worker and a staff member of the Board office, I am sincerely looking forward to supporting the Board in enacting policies and handling affairs based on the law, providing my reasons and showing compassion. On top of that, I also hope that I can witness how the Board evolves in a changing social context while remaining committed to achieving its mission.
- The Concern over Inspection of Personal Data of Registered Social Workers by members of the Public
2. The Board adopts a rigorous procedure for inspection of the Register. A person who intends to inspect the Register should turn up at the office of the Board in person, no telephone or written enquiries will be entertained. The enquirers will be asked to go through a simple registration procedure, to read the code for inspection and when inspecting, they will be accompanied by a staff member of the Board. The means of downloading, copying, photo-taking, video-recording or photocopying so as to take away or forward or extract any information on the Register is strictly prohibited.
4. In order to facilitate a simple and quick access for identity verification of RSWs, enquirers may browse the list of RSWs maintained at the Board's website, which contains the RSW's Chinese and English names, registration number, and the expiry date of current registration. No one can access to information of the address and other personal data of RSWs via our website.
5. The number of public inspection of the Register has always been low, and there is no increase in recent months; The Board has examined the system and its operations, and it is obliged to point out that no members of the public can gain access to personal data of RSWs besides those specified by statute via the on-site inspection or the homepage of the Board.
- Payment of the renewal fee at the 7-11 convenience store is now available on the online registration system
From today onwards, where a RSW submits a renewal form through the online registration system and opts for payment to be made at 7-11 convenience stores, the online system will display a QR code for payment. Either the QR code can be printed out, or a clear capture of it can be taken, and then one can pay at any 7-11 convenience stores.
- SMS alert on renewal registration
Starting from late October, in addition to taking conventional approaches to remind RSWs to renew their registration, SMS serves as a new communication means in a bid to convey the message more effectively and to enhance communication. The name of the SMS sender will be shown as ‘SWRB', the content therein is only related to renewal matters and does not include any personal information (except the expiry date of the registration). If any RSW does not wish to receive such messages, they can login to the online registration system and delete the information in the mobile phone column.
- Nomination of the Disciplinary Committee Panel
The term of office of the current Disciplinary Committee Panel shall end on 15 January 2020. The Board has previously sent out letters and invited all RSWs and other professional bodies to nominate suitable candidates to join the Disciplinary Committee Panel. During the nomination period, the Board received 140 nominations in total. After consideration and confirmation, the Board will later submit the appointment list to the Labour and Welfare Bureau and it is set to be gazetted in early 2020. The three-year term of office for the new Panel shall be from 16 January 2020 to 15 January 2023.
- Nomination of Appointment of Co-opted Members for Committee on Qualification Assessment and Registration
To collect a wide number of opinions from the field, the Committee on Qualification Assessment and Registration is not merely consisted of Board Members, but also co-opted members from other parties for discussions and decisions regarding respective issues. We are grateful for the support we have received from our colleagues, as a total of 42 nominations were received by the Board during the open nomination process. After our thoughtful consideration, the list of the newly appointed members will be soon announced and the term of office for the new members will be until 15 January 2022.
- Social Work Qualification Assessment
During the period from April to September 2019, the Board has completed the following qualification assessments and qualification review exercises:
Joint World Conference on Regulators of Social Workers
After the Board having been invited to attend the Joint World Conference on Regulators of Social Workers held in Dublin last year, we are once again invited to attend a similar conference held in Vancouver, Canada. The Board delegated its Member, Dr. TING Wai-fong and its Registrar, Mr. LEE Wing-po, to attend on its behalf. At the conference, representatives from regions including Ireland, Canada, the United States, New Zealand and Hong Kong shared their experiences and thoughts in regulating the social work practice in their home countries and regions. As the only Asian representative invited, the Board treasured the privilege to participate in the conference, and to exchange thoughts with international representatives; for the purposes of drawing on overseas experiences and reviewing the local practices.
- Social Work Day (Hong Kong)
- Report on Promotional Work
During the period from April 2019 to October 2019, the Board has visited the following institutions to introduce the duties of the Board to social work students:
- Hong Kong Community College of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University（Final Year）：45
- School of Continuing and Professional Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong（Year 1/Final Year）：65
- Hong Kong Baptist University（Year 1/Final Year）：117
- Community College of City University（Final Year）：30
- City University of Hong Kong（Final Year）：50
- Hong Kong College of Technology（Final Year）：40
- Caritas Institute of Higher Education（Final Year）：120
- The University of Hong Kong（Year 1）：75
- Gratia Christian College（Year 1）：11
- Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Sha Tin) of the Vocational Training Council（Year 1）：60
- UOW College Hong Kong（Year 1）：105
- Hong Kong Nang Yan College of Higher Education（Year 1）：30
- Total Number of Participants：748
Note：As some cases are still in the preliminary stage or disciplinary proceedings, the above figures are not expressed in proportion.