Professional practice rights for social welfare professionals Main text
The Act on Social Welfare Professionals (Laki sosiaalihuollon ammattihenkilöistä, 817/2015) came into effect on 1 March 2016 – What changes has it brought?
The purpose of the new act is to improve customer safety and the right to good quality social welfare services for social welfare customers. In addition the act clarifies the rights and obligations of social welfare professionals.
The National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) grants, upon application, the right to practice social welfare profession as a licensed social welfare professional and, upon application, registers the right of social welfare professionals educated in Finland or abroad to use the protected professional title of social welfare professional.
Valvira may grant social welfare professionals three different rights to practice the profession:
the right to act as a licensed social welfare professional
the right to use a protected professional title
a restricted licence to practice a profession
Application for licensing or the registration of a protected professional title can be made after the relevant qualification has been obtained. This is why students won’t be able to register in the central register of social welfare professionals.
Licensed social welfare professionals are:
social service professionals (sosionomi in Finnish, socionom in Swedish)
elderly care professionals (geronomi in Finnish, geronom in Swedish)
Valvira grants, upon application, the right to the above professions.
Protected professional titles of social welfare professionals are:
home support worker
disability support worker
To be granted the right to use a protected professional title within social welfare, the person concerned must be registered as a person with a protected professional title in the central register of social welfare professionals. Professional practice rights decisions are subject to a fee, and the fee will be charged also fromthe rejected decisions. Half of the application processing fee will be charged for the cancelled application.
Central register of social welfare professionals
All licensed social welfare professionals and persons with a protected professional title are registered in the central register of social welfare professionals maintained by Valvira.
In matters relating to the right to practice as a social welfare professional: