Social work is an exciting field, and it is both challenging and rewarding to help members of a community function and prosper. In Ireland, social workers must be highly qualified, through degrees in higher education and through certification with The National Social Work Qualifications Board (NSWQB). The NSWQB has been around since 1961, and it has strict guidelines for social workers in Ireland. The following paragraphs explain how to become a social worker in Ireland.

Working with The National Social Work Qualifications Board (NSWQB)

It is only possible to receive the NQSW Award if you've already completed four years of undergraduate study in social work, leading to a degree, and two years of post-graduate work, leading to a masters of social work (MSW).

If you are not qualified as a social worker yet, you can obtain your degrees in Ireland. University College Cork, University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin and University College Galway all offer postgraduate degrees in social work. Only Trinity College Dublin and University College Cork offer undegraduate degrees in social studies and social work.

To become a social worker in Ireland, your degree must be recognized by The National Social Work Qualifications Board (NSWQB). There is a Handbook of Standards and Procedures for Courses, which outlines the requirements for a degree in social work in Ireland. Before you can gain employment, you must have fulfilled all of these requirements and received a National Qualification in Social Work (NQSW) Award.

If you have a degree in social work from outside Ireland, you must apply to the NSWQB to become an accredited social worker in the Republic. There is a 200 euro fee to process this application, payable only through electronic transfer, and the process can take 8 to 16 weeks to process, so plan ahead.

Below are the bank details for electronic transfer:

NSC: 901490 Branch Address: Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2, Ireland. A/C No.: 93113425 IBAN No.: IE85 BOFI 9014 9093 1134 25 BIC No.: BOFIIE2D

To complete your application, you must present official copies of your passport, birth certificate and proof that you've completed your degrees and have an MSW. You must also enclose evidence that your qualification is recognized in your home country. You can prove this by showing your registration with a nationally recognized social work organization.