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Candidates and mentors collaboratively write the learning objectives.

Candidates must normally begin their candidacy mentorship process within 6 months of becoming registered as a social worker candidate.
Candidates must seek the approval of Executive Director/Registrar of their mentor selection.
Candidates and mentors collaboratively write the learning objectives. Learning objectives must be signed off by your mentor and approved by the Executive Director/Registrar before proceeding with the candidacy process; please see the writing learning agreement page. Once inputted, your mentor and the Executive Director/Registrar will provide comments, questions, and/or approval.
Candidates are responsible for tracking their practice hours on a monthly basis. Candidates can count all paid hours that fall within the social worker scope of practice. In addition, 500 hours can be tracked from a volunteer role; if the position falls within the social worker scope of practice.
Candidates must normally complete the 2500 hours within a 5-year period.

Mentorship Training

Mentorship training is provided through the NSCSW, and is free for all current and prospective mentors. This training is provided through an online format and is eligible towards the 20 hours of required yearly professional development for social worker registration. A completion certificate will be provided to all RSWs who complete the mentorship training course.


The role of candidacy mentor is highly valued. Candidacy mentors are an important link in the model for professional development within the membership of the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers. In recognition of their contribution:

Candidacy mentors can count (20) hours of their combined orientation training and candidate mentorship hours towards the required 40 hours of annual formal professional development.
Candidacy mentors will be acknowledged in writing for their participation at the commencement and completion of the mentorship period, in Connection Magazine.
Candidacy mentors can have a letter of appreciation sent to their employer from NSCSW. Request to be made upon submitting final candidacy report.


The Board of Examiners encourages mentors to provide their services at no charge to the candidate as part of their general responsibility to the profession. (See Chapter 9, Code of Ethics). However, there is no policy prohibiting payment of mentors. In cases where mentors are being paid, the Board of Examiners must be informed and the details of the arrangement should be clearly spelled out in a contract between the mentor and the candidate.