The Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (MWFCD), with the cooperation of the Department of Social Welfare (DSW), the Malaysian Association of Social Workers (MASW) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is introducing a new era of professionalism in social work premised on competency-based international best practices. This initiative aims to achieve a positive effect in the management of increasingly complex social problems arising from rapid global changes.

The Cabinet has approved several proposals from the MWFCD on 23rd April 2010:

  • Establish National Competency Standards for Social Work Practice;
  • Enact a Social Workers Act to implement the social work competency standards;
  • Establish a Social Work Council under the Act to regulate social work practitioners and educators;
  • Standardise programmes for social work education in institutions of higher learning;
  • The Public Service Department (PSD) to recruit qualified social workers into the public sector;
  • Upgrade the Social Institute of Malaysia and establish other accredited training institutes to offer social work courses at certificate and diploma levels
A Draft of the Social Workers Act has been prepared and consultations with stakeholders are on-going since the first draft in 2010. The following FAQs have been developed to provide an understanding of the concept and purpose of the Draft Bill.

Prepared by: Technical Committee Enhancing Professionalism in Social Work Practice for Delivery of Quality Welfare Services Updated: 24 December 2012


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National Competency Standards
for Social Work Practice

  1. Enhancing Social Work Professionalism
  2. Joint Statement


  • Be an active advocate for professional competencyin social work practice, education and research
  • To be a relevant forum for assessing, identifying and managing social problems
  • To be an effective resource of professional support to its members
  • To participate dynamically in networkingwith government and non-government agencies locally and internationallyin the pursuit of professional competency in all areas of social work.


  • To seek professional competency in social work practice, education and research.