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Social Worker's Registration Board Fees Gazetted

The Social Worker's Registration Board has recently had its fees gazetted.

The Schedule Fees Payable is as follows:
Application for registration with a New Zealand qualification $225.00
Application for registration with an overseas qualification and practising in New Zealand $393.75
Application for registration with an overseas qualification but not practising in New Zealand $562.50
Issue of practising certificate to 30 June 2005 $281.25
Disciplinary levy to 30 June 2005 $56.25
Applications for copies of certificates or entries,or for supplying documents for overseas registration purposes $45.00

Not mentioned in the Board's fees is any fee for the Competency Assessments undertaken by Registered Social Workers pursuant to Part 3 of the Social Workers Registration Act. It appear that prospective applicants for registration will also need to add a competency fee to the Registration Boards fees list above since it unlikely that the Registration Board's approved competency assessment providers will assess competency for free. One potential competency provider the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers according to its website currently charges $300 for an assessment (see-http://www.anzasw.org.nz/joining.htm).

The total cost involved is therefore $562.00 to the Board for a first time New Zealand qualified applicant plus perhaps $300 to a competency provider it looks like the initial layout for registration could be approximately $862 for someone who does not have ANZASW competency or other competency recognised by the Board as completed within the last five years and prior to 1 October 2004.

Once registered the Registered Social Work will pay $281.25 for an annual practising certificate plus the Disciplinary levy which is $56.25. This means the Board will receive annually $337.50 from each registered social worker until it changes it levy or annual certificate fee. The current fees only last to 30 June 2005.

The questions that remain unanswered are who will pay for this? Social Workers, Agencies, or the Public Purse? And will this compliance cost impact on the services delivered to clients or the number of social workers employed to service client needs?

Moreover, the outsourcing of the competency costs may result in it not being accepted as recoverable cost that is refunded to the social worker by their employer because it is not gazetted and therefore not a Registration Board fee. This will be of concern to social workers who according to the Kiwicareers website reporting of social workers income from census 2001, usually earn between 26, 000 and 42,000

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