Australian Community Workers Association Australian Community Workers Association


Your eligibility for membership will be based on several criteria which may include whether your qualification is relevant, or an ACWA accredited qualification, your industry experience and duration of employment in that role, whether you are a resident or citizen of Australia. 

If you graduated more than 10 years ago you will need show that you are current in your professional knowledge. You can do this by providing evidence of recent industry experience. 

Glossary of terms

ACWA accredited qualification

You are deemed to have graduated from an ACWA accredited course if the course and campus was ACWA accredited during the duration of your study. You can check our accredited course finder or previously accredited course lists. Where shortcomings are identified in fieldwork placements ACWA may ask an applicant to reapply after completing 3 months full time or part-time equivalent industry experience.

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, mental health, applied social science, community development, alcohol and other drugs, disability and counselling.

Please note:

  • Qualifications specialising in nursing, education and child care are not typically deemed relevant as they do not focus on community services.
  • Some courses do not contain the breadth of core content required to prepare graduates for practice e.g., graduate certificates and graduate diplomas. These qualifications must follow a relevant undergraduate or additional related qualification, otherwise they will not be considered sufficient.
  • ACWA will not accept qualifications which are unduly short. Unduly short qualifications do not provide students with sufficient time to gain the required skills and knowledge.
RPL policy

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

Industry experience

Industry experience is paid work in the community sector which is performed at the skill level commensurate with your qualification.

Application process

Please submit the online form via the link at the bottom of this page. You will need to upload documentation (see the document checklist below).

The standard fee is $300.

A discounted fee of $100 is available to students who have graduated from an ACWA accredited course within the last 2 years, and student members upgrading.

Applications take between 2-4 weeks to process.

If you are found suitable you will receive 12 months of membership. You will be asked to renew after this period.

Your profile will also be added to our public listing. This listing is designed to help people verify your professional standing – it is not a service directory. None of your contact information will be included. However, you can opt out of the public listing by emailing

If you pay the standard fee and are found unsuitable or withdraw, you will receive a $200 refund. You can also request an appeal or review. Read the Membership-review-and-appeal-policy carefully before submitting the form: Membership-review-and-appeal-form.


Document checklist

You will need to upload supporting documents with the form. They must be high resolution colour scans of original documents. Photos and low-quality, blurry or cropped scans will not be accepted.

  • Colour scan of qualification certificate (or letter of completion). This is the document that shows that the qualification has been awarded and the date of completion.
  • Colour scan of transcripts of results. This is the document that shows the subjects studied and the results for each unit.
  • If applicable, colour scan of credit/RPL transcript for over 25% RPL
Industry experience
  • Resume with 2 referees with contact details
  • Position description for most recent industry experience
  • Letter from most recent relevant employer showing details of the position including title, type, whether part-time or full-time, and start and end dates.
Other supporting documents