Social Workers Registration Board (the Board) was established on 16 January 1998. It is a statutory body established under the Social Worker Registration Ordinance (the Ordinance) which has been put into effect since 6 June 1997. The Board is financially independent. Its mandate is strictly governed by the Ordinance.
The enactment of the Ordinance is aimed at setting up a regulatory system to monitor the quality of social workers and ultimately protect the interests of service users and the general public. Under the Ordinance, a person whose name does not appear on the Register of registered social workers shall not be entitled to use the title of "social worker" or its related descriptions.
The Social Workers Registration Board consists of 15 members of whom 8 are elected from among registered social workers, 6 are appointed by the Chief Executive, and 1 is the Director of Social Welfare or his/her representative. The tenure of office of members for each term is 3 years. All 15 members are non-remunerated by statute for their office in the Board. Their service to the Board is voluntary.
The functions of the Board are set out under Section 7 of the Ordinance. In summary, they include the following:
- to set and review the qualification standards for registration as a registered social worker and related registration matters;
- to deal with matters in relation to registration and renewal of registration;
- to deal with matters in relation to disciplinary offences of registered social workers; and
- to establish and maintain a register of registered social workers.