Australian Community Workers Association Australian Community Workers Association

Become a member

If you are a qualified community worker or a community services student, you can join ACWA.

Your connection with us can bring many benefits both in terms of professional growth and career progression. 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.

We have categories of membership to cover the different stages of a community worker’s career. Our members are either studying or hold a relevant diploma (or higher) qualification. The category for which you will be eligible is determined by your qualification and work history, as well as your country of residency/citizenship.

Regardless, you must agree to abide by ACWA’s Code of ethics. We take standards of behaviour very seriously and expect members to meet professional requirements. This is fundamental as community work is often with the most vulnerable and marginalised groups in society.

Registered members must undertake 20 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) each year.

All registered members are given a profile on the public register.


To be eligible for membership you must be either studying or hold a relevant diploma or higher 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, mental health, applied social science, community development, alcohol and other drugs, disability services and counselling.

Qualifications specialising in nursing, education, and child care are not typically deemed relevant.

Please note: Some students use their prior work experience to gain recognition of prior learning (RPL) towards their qualification. ACWA only accepts a maximum of 40% RPL otherwise a qualification will not be recognised.

Membership categories

Our categories ensure you receive tailored support as you progress in your career and to minimise confusion and risk for potential clients, employers and the public.

Full registered members

These members are qualified and experienced professionals who hold a relevant diploma or higher and have completed adequate fieldwork or industry experience. Full members of ACWA have voting rights and therefore these practitioners must also be residing in Australia or an Australian citizen.

Provisional registered members

These members are typically recent graduates or professionals returning to the sector after an extended absence. They hold a relevant diploma or higher qualification but are building up their industry experience or currency. Provisional members of ACWA do not have voting rights and therefore these members may also be practitioners who are residing overseas or not currently citizens of Australia.

Student members

These members are aspiring community workers currently enrolled in a relevant diploma (or higher) qualification.