Community Welfare Workers

English Language Requirements for Welfare Workers – Update 1st July 2009

The Welfare Work English Language Requirement Project has been completed and the Project Report has been accepted. AIWCW has endorsed the following recommendations. The first four recommendations will apply to applications received after the 30th September 2009 for recognition as a welfare worker under the General Skilled Migration program.

1. An overall score of 7.0 on the IELTS is required, with no band having a score less than 7.0.

2. The score of 7.0 for each band may be obtained at any test over a period of 12 months prior to the application for recognition being received. This may apply, even if scores in other bands at that particular test are less than 7.0.

3. Either the general or the academic form of the IELTS test be recognised until 1st February 2012 by which time currently enrolled students will have graduated. Thereafter, only results from the academic IELTS test will be recognised. Provision 2. will still apply.

4. Exemptions will apply to those who were fully educated (for at least 10 years in formal schooling) in a country with English as the main or official language, as already allowed by other relevant professions. Included among these countries are: Australia, United Kingdom, Ireland, USA, Canada, New Zealand.

5. AIWCW will review these language requirements by 30th June 2011.

6. As part of that review, an empirical study of welfare worker communication skills be considered to include both international and domestic graduates and students, and including representation from across urban, provincial and rural centres in Australia. Also included should be equity issues raised by this study.

7. Within that review, consideration be given to exemptions applying to those who are continuously employed for at least 30 hours per week during the three years prior to application, in a community welfare work position in Australia that is recognised by the AIWCW.