If you are one of the many thousands of qualified community work practitioners or community services students, you may be eligible to join ACWA. By joining you will become a valued member of a well-respected community of professionals, each of whom has committed to ethical practice and life-long development.

Your connection with us can bring many benefits both in terms of professional growth and career progression. We look forward to welcoming you.

Quick links to forms

Please read all relevant information before applying.

Membership assessment application - for diploma (or higher) qualified workers, or for an eligibility assessment only
Student membership form - for those studying a relevant course with more than one month until completion
Registration - Practicing Level 3 - for those with a certificate level qualification


Categories of registration with ACWA cover different practicing levels and stages of a community worker’s career. The type you will be eligible for depends on factors such as your qualification and work history.

Regardless, when registering with ACWA you must agree to abide by ACWA’s code of ethics for community workers. This is fundamental as your work is often with the most vulnerable and marginalised groups in society.

Provisional and full members are also required to maintain their professional currency by undertaking 20 hours of CPD each year.


You must either be studying a community-services related course or already hold a relevant qualification.

A relevant qualification is one which adequately prepares graduates to perform community work in Australia. It should specialise in community or human services, or a specific service field. Fields of practice include youth work, aged care, applied social science, community development, alcohol and other drugs, disability and counselling.

Note: Qualifications specialising in nursing, education and child care are not normally deemed sufficiently relevant.

Some students use their prior work experience to gain recognition of prior learning (RPL) towards their qualification. In these instances, ACWA will only accept up to 40% RPL otherwise the qualification will not be recognised.

Registration categories

If you meet the above criteria you can register with ACWA. Below is a table summary of the registration categories and you can click on the links underneath for further details.

As you can see, students can become members but will not appear on the public register until they are qualified. Certificate level qualified workers will appear on the register but will not receive all the benefits of membership straightaway.

We have devised these categories to ensure tailored support to community workers as they progress in their careers and to minimise confusion and risk for potential clients, employers and the public.

 Professional Level 
 Full member 
 Diploma or higher 
 1  ✔  ✔
 Provisional member
 Diploma or higher
 2  ✔  ✔
 Registered Community 
 Certificate IV
 3  ✖  ✔
 Student member
 Enrolled  n/a  ✔  ✖

If you have a relevant qualification at a diploma level or above, you should read the information regarding membership assessment. If suitable, you will be awarded either provisional or full membership based on the information you provide with your application.

If you have a certificate IV qualification only, you should apply for registration. Being connected to ACWA will help you develop your long-term career path.

If you are still studying your course, and have more than one month left, you should submit the online student membership form. This is a great way to start your path to a career with the support of your professional association. You will need to provide your student number or student email as evidence of enrollment.