The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) is the professional representative body of social workers, and the professional accreditor of social work programs, in Australia. Professional accreditation is vital to maintaining the integrity and accountability of the social work profession, ensuring that social work graduates are equipped with the professional competencies and learning outcomes necessary for entry into professional practice.
The Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work (Qualifying) are AASW-accredited qualifications. Both are entry qualifications into the social work profession and have been determined to meet the Australian Social Work Education and Accreditation Standards (ASWEAS). This document is based on the ASWEAS and has been prepared as a guide for students regarding the essential requirements of these courses.
Inherent requirements include the abilities, skills and behaviours needed to participate, progress and graduate from the social work program. These fall into three domains of capacity: personal, interpersonal, and cognitive.
This domain encompasses personal integrity, self-awareness and self-management.
This domain incorporates the capacities for communicating and relating to others.
This domain incorporates the skills of literacy and cognition.
Students who do not meet, or anticipate that they might find it difficult to meet, the inherent requirements of the social work program are encouraged to discuss their concerns with the relevant (BSW or MSW) Course Coordinator.
Students can also arrange a confidential appointment with a Disability Advisor to determine whether reasonable adjustments can be made that will enable them to meet these inherent requirements.
Final determination of inherent requirements remains, however, a matter for Flinders academic judgment, in line with the accreditation standards set by the Australian Association of Social Workers.
Field education is central to the social work curriculum. Students should be aware that social work placements are a significant undertaking, with 2 x 500-hour placements (totalling 1000 hours) to be undertaken over the course of the degree. Many students will face challenges in terms of their finances, balancing work, family and other commitments, and so on. For example, students are expected to organise and pay for their own travel to/from their placement - and because many placements are in agencies located in the outer suburbs of SA - may have to travel considerable distances.
The Australian Association of Social Workers, as the accrediting body, further requires that:
Please note that students must successful complete both field education topics in order to progress in the social work degree.
Flinders University is committed to providing an environment in which people with a disability are valued, supported and encouraged, and are able to, as far as practicably possible, participate fully and independently in the life of the University. To this end, and as long as academic standards are maintained and the inherent requirements are met, reasonable adjustments to the usual policy, practice, study environment, teaching method / mode or method of assessment will be made to meet the needs of a person with a disability1.
 Please note that while every effort will be made to accommodate student needs, there may be instances in which the required adjustments cannot be assured (for example, in the case of field placements).
If you are considering the Bachelor of Social Work and anticipate that you might experience challenges in meeting the inherent requirements for social work practice (detailed below), you may wish to consider enrolling in a Bachelor of Arts.
If you are considering the Master of Social Work you may wish to consider completing the Graduate Certificate in Loss, Grief and Trauma Counselling. Note that some core topics in this graduate certificate contain social work knowledge and skills as part of their assessment requirements and the inherent requirements may still apply.
However, it is important to note that these degrees do not provide graduates with the necessary qualification to be eligible for membership with the AASW and practice as a social worker.
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