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Licensing

2024 Renewal

The deadline to submit all renewal information is June 30, 2024.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

30 hours of Continuing Education (CE) from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2024 with a minimum of 6 of those hours pertaining to ethics, standards of practice or laws governing the practice of social work in Virginia.

Fee: 90$

Licensed Master's Social Worker (LMSW)

15 hours of CE from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2024 with a minimum of 3 of those hours pertaining to ethics, standards of practice or laws governing the practice of social work in Virginia.

Fee: 65$

Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW)

15 hours of CE from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2024 with a minimum of 3 of those hours pertaining to ethics, standards of practice or laws governing the practice of social work in Virginia.

Fee: 55$

Registered Social Worker

No CE requirements.

Fee: 25$

Associate Social Worker

No CE requirements.

Fee: 25$

Requirements for Licensure

18VAC140-20-40. Requirements for licensure by examination as a clinical social worker.

 

Every applicant for examination for licensure as a licensed clinical social worker shall:

  1. Meet the education requirements prescribed in 18VAC140-20-49 and experience requirements prescribed in 18VAC140-20-50.

  2. Submit a completed application to the board office within two years of completion of supervised experience to include:

    • Documentation, on the appropriate forms, of the successful completion of the supervised experience requirements of 18VAC140-20-50 along with documentation of the supervisor's out-of-state license where applicable. Applicants whose former supervisor is deceased, or whose whereabouts is unknown, shall submit to the board a notarized affidavit from the present chief executive officer of the agency, corporation or partnership in which the applicant was supervised. The affidavit shall specify dates of employment, job responsibilities, supervisor's name and last known address, and the total number of hours spent by the applicant with the supervisor in face-to-face supervision;

    • The application fee prescribed in 18VAC140-20-30;

    • Official transcript or documentation submitted from the appropriate institutions of higher education that verifies successful completion of educational requirements set forth in 18VAC140-20-49;

    • Documentation of any other health or mental health licensure or certification, if applicable; and

    • A current report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB).

  3. Provide evidence of passage of the examination prescribed in 18VAC140-20-70.

Experience Requirements for a Licensed Clinical Social Worker

18VAC140-20-50

  1. Supervised experience. Supervised post-master's degree experience without prior written board approval will not be accepted toward licensure, except supervision obtained in another United States jurisdiction may be accepted if it met the requirements of that jurisdiction. Prior to registration for supervised experience, a person shall satisfactorily complete the educational requirements of 18VAC140-20-49.

    • Registration. An individual who proposes to obtain supervised post-master's degree experience in Virginia shall, prior to the onset of such supervision, or whenever there is an addition or change of a supervisor:

      • Register on a form provided by the board

      • Submit a copy of a supervisory contract completed by the supervisor and the supervisee;

      • Submit an official transcript documenting a graduate degree and clinical practicum as specified in 18VAC140-20-49; and

      • Pay the registration of supervision fee set forth in 18VAC140-20-30.

    • Hours. The applicant shall have completed a minimum of 3,000 hours of supervised post-master's degree experience in the delivery of clinical social work services and in ancillary services that support such delivery. A minimum of one hour and a maximum of four hours of face-to-face supervision shall be provided per 40 hours of work experience for a total of at least 100 hours. No more than 50 of the 100 hours may be obtained in group supervision, nor shall there be more than six persons being supervised in a group unless approved in advance by the board. The board may consider alternatives to face-to-face supervision if the applicant can demonstrate an undue burden due to hardship, disability or geography.

      • Supervised experience shall be acquired in no less than two nor more than four consecutive years.

      • Supervisees shall obtain throughout their hours of supervision a minimum of 1,380 hours of supervised experience in face-to-face client contact in the delivery of clinical social work services. The remaining hours may be spent in ancillary services supporting the delivery of clinical social work services.

    • An individual who does not complete the supervision requirement after four consecutive years of supervised experience may request an extension of up to 12 months. The request for an extension shall include evidence that demonstrates extenuating circumstances that prevented completion of the supervised experience within four consecutive years.

  2. Requirements for Supervisors.

    • The supervisor shall hold an active, unrestricted license as a licensed clinical social worker in the jurisdiction in which the clinical services are being rendered with at least two years of post-licensure clinical social work experience. The board may consider supervisors with commensurate qualifications if the applicant can demonstrate an undue burden due to geography or disability or if supervision was obtained in another United States jurisdiction.

    • The supervisor shall have received professional training in supervision, consisting of a three credit-hour graduate course in supervision or at least 14 hours of continuing education offered by a provider approved under 18VAC140-20-105. The graduate course or hours of continuing education in supervision shall be obtained by a supervisor within five years immediately preceding registration of supervision.

    • The supervisor shall not provide supervision for a family member or provide supervision for anyone with whom he has a dual relationship.

    • The board may consider supervisors from jurisdictions outside of Virginia who provided clinical social work supervision if they have commensurate qualifications but were either (i) not licensed because their jurisdiction did not require licensure or (ii) were not designated as clinical social workers because the jurisdiction did not require such designation.

  3. Responsibilities of Supervisors:

    1. Be responsible for the social work activities of the supervisee as set forth in this subsection once the supervisory arrangement is accepted;

    2. Review and approve the diagnostic assessment and treatment plan of a representative sample of the clients assigned to the applicant during the course of supervision. The sample should be representative of the variables of gender, age, diagnosis, length of treatment and treatment method within the client population seen by the applicant. It is the applicant's responsibility to assure the representativeness of the sample that is presented to the supervisor;

    3. Provide supervision only for those social work activities for which the supervisor has determined the applicant is competent to provide to clients;

    4. Provide supervision only for those activities for which the supervisor is qualified by education, training and experience;

    5. Evaluate the supervisee's knowledge and document minimal competencies in the areas of an identified theory base, application of a differential diagnosis, establishing and monitoring a treatment plan, development and appropriate use of the professional relationship, assessing the client for risk of imminent danger, understanding the requirements of law for reporting any harm or risk of harm to self or others, and implementing a professional and ethical relationship with clients;

    6. Be available to the applicant on a regularly scheduled basis for supervision;

    7. Maintain documentation, for five years post-supervision, of which clients were the subject of supervision; and

    8. Ensure that the board is notified of any change in supervision or if supervision has ended or been terminated by the supervisor.

  4. Responsibilities of Supervisees

    1. Supervisees may not directly bill for services rendered or in any way represent themselves as independent, autonomous practitioners, or licensed clinical social workers.

    2. During the supervised experience, supervisees shall use their names and the initials of their degree, and the title "Supervisee in Social Work" in all written communications.

    3. Clients shall be informed in writing of the supervisee's status and the supervisor's name, professional address, and phone number.

    4. Supervisees shall not supervise the provision of clinical social work services provided by another person.

    5. While providing clinical social work services, a supervisee shall remain under board approved supervision until licensed in Virginia as a licensed clinical social worker.

Fees Associated with Licensure

18VAC140-20-30 The board has established fees for the following

  1. Registration of supervision $50

    • Addition to or change in registration of supervision $25

  2. Application processing

    • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) $165

    • b. LBSW $100

    • c. LMSW $115

  3. Annual license renewal

    • ​Registered social worker $25

    • Associate social worker $25

    • LBSW $55

    • LMSW $65

    • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) $90

  4. Penalty for late renewal

    • Registered social worker $10

    • Associate social worker $10

    • LBSW $20

    • LMSW $20

    • Licensed clinical social worker $30

  5. Verification of license to another jurisdiction $25

  6. Additional or replacement licenses $15

  7. Additional or replacement wall certificates $25

  8. Handling fee for returned check or dishonored credit or debit card $50

  9. Reinstatement following disciplinary action $500

Educational requirements for a Licensed Clinical Social Worker

18VAC140-20-49

  1. The applicant for licensure as a clinical social worker shall document successful completion of one of the following: (i) a master's degree in social work with a clinical course of study from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, (ii) a master's degree in social work with a nonclinical concentration from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education together with successful completion of the educational requirements for a clinical course of study through a graduate program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, or (iii) a program of education and training in social work at an educational institution outside the United States recognized by the Council on Social Work Education.

  2. The requirement for a clinical practicum in a clinical course of study shall be a minimum of 600 hours, which shall be integrated with clinical course of study coursework and supervised by a person who is a licensed clinical social worker or who holds a master's or doctor's degree in social work and has a minimum of three years of experience in clinical social work services after earning the graduate degree. An applicant who has otherwise met the requirements for a clinical course of study but who did not have a minimum of 600 hours in a supervised field placement/practicum in clinical social work services may meet the requirement by obtaining an equivalent number of hours of supervised practice in clinical social work services in addition to the experience required in 18VAC140-20-50.

Examination Requirements

18VAC140-20-70

  1. An applicant for licensure by the board as an LBSW, an LMSW, or clinical social worker shall pass a written examination prescribed by the board.

    • The examination prescribed for licensure as a clinical social worker shall be the licensing examination of the Association of Social Work Boards at the clinical level.

    • The examination prescribed for licensure as an LBSW shall be the licensing examination of the Association of Social Work Boards at the bachelor's level.

    • The examination prescribed for licensure as an LMSW shall be the licensing examination of the Association of Social Work Boards at the master's level.

  2. An applicant approved by the board to sit for an examination shall take that examination within two years of the date of the initial board approval. If the applicant has not passed the examination by the end of the two-year period here prescribed, the applicant shall reapply according to the requirements of the regulations in effect at that time in order to be approved for another two years in which to pass the examination.

  3.  If an applicant for clinical social work licensure has not passed the examination within the second two-year approval period, the applicant shall be required to register for supervision and complete one additional year as a supervisee before approval for another two-year period in which to re-take the examination may be granted.

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:

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  • 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:

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  • 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:

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  • 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:

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  • 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 www.dhp.virginia.gov/social

 

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.

Please note that NASWVA Chapter offers a variety of 14-hour Supervision Certification Training options, which meet the requirement for item #4. He courses are offered virtually 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.

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