This Policy on Professional Suitability is aimed at meeting the Standards for Accreditation (2021) (PDF, 438 KB) of the Board of Accreditation of the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE).

The Association is responsible for the accreditation of our Honours Bachelor's Degree in Social Work (2011) and the Master's Degree in Social Work (1996, 2003, 2010). The standards for a policy on professional suitability require that the academic unit:

  • Has a policy requiring that the performance of professional responsibilities of social work students be in accordance with the relevant social work codes of ethics.
  • Has a policy regarding the professional suitability of the student for the profession of social work. Students are made aware that serious or repeated violations of the Code of Ethics put them at risk of exclusion from the program on the basis of professional unsuitability.

The accreditation standard states the following:

SB/M       1.3.2    

The academic unit describes how it informs students, faculty members, field education personnel, sessional instructors, and professional and administrative staff of existing academic unit and university policies and procedures including but not limited to accessibility; assessment; appeals; codes of conduct; confidentiality; data storage; disability accommodation; equity; harassment; liability coverage; professional readiness and suitability; and use of social media (CASWE-ACFTS Educational Policies and Accreditation Standards - March 2021).

The core learning objectives regarding professional identity state that "social work students have opportunities to foster effective professional attributes such as caring, humility, honesty, integrity, passion and empathy" (CASWE, 2021, p. 13).


Professional Suitability:

  • Respect for the Inherent Dignity and Worth of People
  • Pursuit of Social Justice
  • Service to Humanity
  • Integrity in Professional Practice
  • Confidentiality in Professional Practice
  • Competence in Professional Practice

(Canadian Association of Social Workers, 2005)

This version is dated October 18, 2023.

First version approved by the Senate of University of Ottawa on November 28, 2016.

Modifications approved by the Departmental Assembly on May 16, 2023.

New modifications approved by the Departmental Assembly on September 19, 2023.

Approved by Council of the Faculty of Social Sciences on October 13, 2023.

Approved (with minor modifications) by the Executive Committee of the Senate of University of Ottawa on January 30, 2024.