LAW 53/1977

(December 23)

Regulating the practice of the profession of social worker, and other regulations

The Congress of Colombia


Article 1. The practice of the professional social work is to be regulated in accordance with the regime of this law.

Article 2. Only professional social workers will be known for the purposes of this law as "Social Workers", and they may perform the functions established for that profession, in private or public activity. Paragraph. In addition to the academic requirements set by the Government, the practice of the professional Social Worker will require that the individual provide one year of work which may be performed in entities designated by the Government, in urban or rural areas.

Article 3. State and private enterprises that require the services of Social Workers may only contract professionals with university qualifications.

Article 4. For companies which have a large number of workers – a classification to be made by the Government -. it will be mandatory to contract Social Workers to provide them with services, who will collaborate with them in the development of policies for employment, pay and investment.

Article 5. For the purposes of this law, the following are recognized as professionals in social work:

a) Those qualified now or in the future be a degree of Licentiate or Doctor of Social Work, issued by a State-recognized university.

b) Those qualified prior to the effective date of this law, by a licentiate in social service, issued by a State- recognized university.

c) Those who have obtained, prior to the effective date of the small, the title of social assistant, issued by a state had recognized "superior school".

d) Those who obtain graduate in the qualifications in social work, issued by a State-recognized university, subject to the provisions of this law;

e) Those qualified now or in the future by an equivalent to a licentiate or doctorate in social work, in other countries with which Colombia has made treaties or agreements of reciprocity of university qualifications; and

f) Those who have obtained qualifications in countries with which Colombia has not made any treaty or agreement for reciprocity of university qualifications, provided that the interested party agrees to submit to the regulations which the Ministry of Education may establish for the validation or confirmation of such qualifications.

Paragraph. Those who obtain graduate specialist studies in social work, under subsection d) above, and wish to practice the profession of Social Worker, must comply with the requirements of one of subsections a) or b), above.

Qualifications acquired by correspondence, or merely honorary qualifications, will not be valid to practice the profession of social work.

Article 6. In order to practice the profession of social work, the individual must be registered with the National Social Work Council, which will issue a document to certify this.

Paragraph. Professionals in social work referred to in Article 3 must register their qualifications with the National Social Work Council, within 12 months of the effective date of this law.

Article 7. The National Social Work Council is hereby created, to be formed by the following:The Minister of Education or his delegate.The Minister of Health or his delegate.The Minister of Labor or his delegate.The President of the National Council for Education in Social Work, or his delegate.The president of the FECTS (National Social Worker's Federation) or his delegate.A delegate of the National Assembly of social work faculties.

Article 8. The National Social Work Council will have the following functions

a) To process denunciations made for breaches of professional ethics, and to sanction them;

b) To decide, within 30 days of presentation, on applications for registration of Social Workers as referred to in Article 3 above;

c) To decide on suspension or cancellation of registrations, as provided for in this law;

d) To denounce proven breaches of the law which regulate the professional practice of social work to the competent authorities, and to request those authorities to impose sanctions on them;

e) To issue the internal regulations of the Council ; and

f) Other functions as indicated by Law or Government Decree.

Article 9. Social work faculties established now or in the future in Colombia for the formation of professional Social Workers will function within a State-authorized and State-recognized university, and under the inspection and supervision of the Ministry of Education, in accordance with the law in force with respect to University education.

Article 10. This law takes effect from the date of its sanction.

Given in Bogotá, on December 23, 1977

The President of the Senate,
Edmundo Lopez

The President of the Chamber of Representatives,
Alberto Santofimio

The Secretary to the Senate,
Amaury Guerrero

The Secretary to the Chamber of Representatives,
Ignacio Laguado

Republic of Colombia, Government

Bogotá, December 23, 1977
Be this published and executed

Alfonso Lopez

Minister of Labor and Social Security,
Oscar Montoya

Minister of Health,
Raul Orejuela

Minister of Education,
Rafael Rivas

Taken from Diario Oficial Issue 34940, Thursday, January 26, 1978, page 68

Textual transcription


Law 790/2002 merged the Ministry of Labor and Social Security with the Ministry of Health, to form the Ministry of Social Protection. The new Ministry delegated representation of that Ministry on the Council to the Director-General of Social Promotion

As of Law 962 /2005 (July 8), with reference to the rationalization of the role of the Ministry of Education or its representative or delegate in boards and councils, the participation of the Ministry of Education was suppressed, along with that of the representative or delegate, in the National Social Work Council.