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Licensing Information

NASWVA provides value to its members by offering consultation regarding licensure and as well as Continuing Education trainings.  


Recent changes by the Virginia Board of Social Work require annual licensure renewal.  In 2010, the Board introduced changes to the Regulations Governing the Practice of Social Work to require licensees to renew their license on an annual basis, rather than a biannual basis. The amended Regulations became effective on December 30, 2015. The Regulations now require that CE hours are completed prior to licensure renewal in even years beginning with the 2017 renewals. The chart below provides clarification as to the number of CE hours required for each renewal period. Note: this information is presented as a courtesy; please see the Board of Social Work website for the official information.

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NASWVA Page last update 3/2022

Laws last updated on board of social work website July 1, 2021

Fees chart last revised by the board of social work 3/2021

Register now for continuing education trainings offered by NASWVA to ensure you have the hours necessary to renew your license and to ensure you are equipped with the latest best practices and techniques. 


Questions?  Call 804-204-1339 or email to contact an NASWVA staff member today!


Debra Riggs, Executive Director, is happy to speak with you about the license renewal process and your continuing education hours. 


NASWVA's Professional Development Manager can assist you in registration for CE Trainings and is happy to answer all your questions regarding your NASWVA CE’s.

Licensure FAQs

Q: How many Continuing Education contact hours must I earn in order to renew my license?

A: You must earn 30 contact hours over the course of two years. The 30 hours are broken down into two categories:

  • Category I: Formally Organized Learning Activities - These include approved workshops, conferences, seminars and college/university courses.

  • Category II: Individual Professional Activities (no more than 10 hours each biennium for LCSW's and no more than 5 hours for LSW's) - These include authoring articles or publications, field instruction, serving as an officer or member of a national professional association (such as NASW), participating in an item-writing workshop for the national licensing exam, and self-study courses including audiotapes, videotapes and computer-based learning.


Q: Is there a requirement for a course in ethics?


A: Yes, a minimum of six hours must pertain to the standards of practice and laws governing the profession of social work in Virginia or to the Code of Ethics of one of the other social work professional associations.

Q: How do I know if a workshop or seminar is approved for credit by the VA Board of Social Work?

A:  You know that when you participate in a workshop offered by NASWVA that the continuing education contact hours that you earn are counted towards the minimum 30 that you need every two years.


Q: But what about the continuing education workshops which aren't offered by NASWVA? Do they count? 


A: They do if they're offered by anyone approved by any of the groups that the Virginia Board of Social Work authorizes to certify continuing education programs:

  • The National Association of Social Workers and its state and local affiliates

  • The Child Welfare League of America and its state and local affiliates

  • The Association of Black Social Workers and its state and local affiliates

  • The Family Service Association of America and its state and local affiliates

  • The National Federation of Societies for Clinical Social Work, Inc. and its state and local affiliate

  • Individuals or organizations who have been approved as continuing education sponsors by the Association of Social Work Boards or any state social work board

You may also obtain Category I contact hours through:

  • Regionally accredited university or college academic courses in a behavioral health discipline (Maximum, 15 hours for each academic course)

  • Social work-related continuing education programs offered by colleges or universities accredited by the Council on Social Work Education

  • Workshops, seminars, conferences or courses in the behavioral health field offered by federal, state, or local service agencies, public school systems, or licensed health facilities and licensed hospitals


Remember, if you have questions as to whether or not the continuing education event counts towards your required Contact Hours, call the organizer and ask them who certified their program.

Q: The list of Category II activities is very broad. How many hours can I earn for the different activities?

A: According to the Virginia Board of Social Work Regulations Governing the Practice of Social Work, Category II activities include:

  • Participation in an Association of Social Work Board's item-writing workshop (Maximum 2 hours)

  • Publication of a professional social work-related book or initial preparation/presentation of a social work related-course (Maximum 10 hours)

  • Publication of a professional social work-related article of chapter of a book, or initial preparation/presentation of a social work-related in-service training, seminar or workshop (Maximum 5 hours)

  • Provision of a continuing education program sponsored or approved by an organization listed under Category I above (Maximum 2 hours, and will only be accepted one time for a specific program)

  • Field instruction of graduate students in a Council of Social Work Education-accredited school (Maximum 2 hours)

  • Serving as an officer or committee member of one of the national professional social work associations listed above (Maximum 2 hours)

  • Attendance at formal staffings at federal, state or local social service agencies, public school systems, or licenses health facilities and licensed hospitals (Maximum 5 hours)

  • Independent or group study, including listening to audiotapes, viewing videotapes, reading professional books or articles (Maximum 5 hours)


Q: Where can I go for a complete list of laws and regulations from the Board of Social Work? Where can I find applications and forms concerning Licensure in the Commonwealth of Virginia?

A: The Virginia Board of Social Work has a complete list of laws and regulations affected Social Workers online. Click here to be directed to the Board of Social Work Laws and Regulations site.


Q: What about Supervision?

A: Important Changes in Regulations - Virginia Board of Social Work Implements New Regulations Regarding Supervision


Effective November 26, 2008, the following changes in examination and supervision requirements for social work licensure shall become effective:

  1. All NEW registrations of supervision must be submitted by applicants to the Board of Social Work before applicants are permitted to begin supervision towards licensure REGARDLESS of the setting. (Previously, supervision in an EXEMPT setting did not have to be registered with the Board.)

  2. For LCSW applicants, the supervisor must hold an active, unrestricted license as a LCSW in the jurisdiction in which the clinical services are being rendered and have at least 3 years of post licensure clinical social work experience. (Previously, the supervisor was required to hold an LCSW license and have no less than 5 years post-MSW clinical experience.)

  3. For bachelors education (BSW) candidates for LSW, the supervisor must hold an active unrestricted license as an LSW with a master’s degree, or an LSW with a bachelor’s degree and at least 3 years of post licensure social work experience, or an LCSW in the jurisdiction in which the social work services are being rendered. (Previously, only an LSW with a master’s degree or an LCSW could serve as a supervisor for BSW candidates.)

  4. For persons who have not served as supervisors for LCSW candidates prior to November 26, 2008, the supervisor will be required to have completed a three credit hour graduate course in Supervision, or, receive at least 14 hours of continuing education in Supervision by a board approved provider. (NASWVA is a Board approved provider) See regulation 18VAC140-20-105 for the complete list of board approved providers of continuing education. (Previously, no supervision coursework was required.)

  5. If a supervisor is currently supervising an applicant for licensure, the supervisor may continue with this trainee. Persons who have provided supervision prior to November 26, 2008 have until November 26, 2012 to complete the coursework or continuing education requirement to continue providing supervision.

  6. Face-to-Face Supervision will mean the physical presence of the individuals involved in the supervisory relationship during either individual or group supervision. No more than 50 of the 100 hours of face-to-face supervision may be obtained in group supervision, nor may there be more than 6 persons being supervised in a group unless approved in advance by the Board. (Previously only individual face-to-face supervision was allowed.)

  7. Bachelors education (BSW) applicants are now permitted to take the Basic level examination for Licensed Social Worker (LSW) designation prior to completion of the 3,000 hours of post-bachelor’s experience. (Previously, the applicant could not take the examination until the supervision was completed.)


For more information and to see the regulations, please go to the Virginia Board of Social Work. The Regulations will reflect these changes and will be posted on the Board’s website along with new forms and Frequently Asked Questions at


Please note that NASWVA Chapter offers a variety of 14-hour Supervision Certification Training options, which meet the requirement for item #4. The courses are offered in various districts around the Commonwealth several times throughout the year. For more information and to register for one of the trainings, please go to the Calendar of Events or call the Chapter Office at (804) 204-1339.

NASWVA members with questions or comments are welcome to call the Chapter Office (804) 204-1339 and speak with Debra Riggs, Executive Director. Please Note: Licensure Consultation with the Executive Director is a complimentary benefit of membership.



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