National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Credentials

The NASW offers social workers two different types of credentials and nine different specialty credentials. NASW social work credentials indicate that individuals possess additional professional training and experience and that they follow the NASW Code of Conduct. NASW credentials cannot take the place of state licenses, which register and authorize individuals to work as professional social workers.

Fees and information for the NASW Credentials below have been updated as of January 2020. For most up-to-date fees, be sure to check with the appropriate NASW page.

Depending on where a social worker is at in their careers, NASW membership begins at $74 for retired members to $236 for master’s in social work (MSW), doctorate in social work (MSW) and PhD full membership annual dues.

Learn more about the following type of social worker credentials and certifications offered by the NASW:

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Professional Social Work Credentials

Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW)

  • Education Requirement: Master’s degree in social work from a school accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and 20 hours of relevant continuing education.
  • Field Requirement: Two years of postgraduate social work employment and professional supervision by a credentialed supervisor
  • Additional Requirements: Current NASW membership, professional evaluations from an MSW supervisor and two social work colleagues
  • Fees: $140 for application
  • Benefits: Identification and recognition by the public, employers, and colleagues as having demonstrated knowledge and experience beyond the entry level into the profession, acceptance by many insurance companies as eligible for third-party reimbursement, and satisfaction of one criterion for being listed in the NASW Register of Clinical Social Workers

Diplomate in Clinical Social Work (DCSW)

  • Education Requirement: MSW from a CSWE accredited school with 20 hours of clinical coursework
  • Field Requirement: 4,500 hours and three years of additional clinical work experience occurred within the past 10 years
  • Additional Requirements: NASW Membership, current state clinical social work licensure, adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics, Standards for Continuing Professional Education, and Standards for the Practice of Clinical Social Work
  • Fees: $450
  • Benefits: Recognition for as an advanced practitioner, having met national standards of social work, possible employer incentive, and reimbursement eligibility by insurers.

Advanced Practice Specialty Credentials - Master of Social Work

Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Social Worker (ACHP-SW)

  • Education Requirement: MSW from a CSWE accredited school and 20 or more continuing education units related to hospice and palliative care.
  • Field Requirement: At least 2 years of postgraduate supervised clinical experience in an agency or organized setting related to hospice and palliative care.
  • Additional Requirements: Current license as a professional social worker, adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and NASW Standards for End of Life Care.
  • Fees: $165 for NASW or National Council of Hospice and Palliative Professionals (NCHPP) members; $450 for non-members
  • Benefits: Identification and recognition for the unique skills and abilities of social workers in hospice and palliative care, recognition by peers and employers

Clinical Social Worker in Gerontology (CSW-G) and Advanced Social Worker in Gerontology (ASW-G)

  • Education Requirement: MSW from a CSWE accredited school and
    • CSW-G; 30 contact hours for CSW-G of continuing education on bio-psychosocial issues, interventions, or dynamics of working with the aging, their families and caregivers.
    • ASW-G; 20 contact hours for ASW-G of continuing education related to working with older adults.
  • Field Requirement:
    • CSW-G; Two years of paid supervised, post-degree employment providing mental health assessment and treatment to the aging population
    • ASW-G; Two years of experience working with older adults
  • Additional Requirements: Adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and Standards for Continuing Professional Education and
    • CSW-G; Current state clinical social work license
    • ASW-G; Current state MSW-level license of ASWB MSW-level passing exam score
  • Fees: $165 for NASW members; $450 for non-members
  • Benefits: Recognition for the unique skills and abilities of social workers in gerontology

Certified Advanced Children, Youth, and Family Social Worker (C-ACYFSW)

  • Education Requirement: MSW from a CSWE accredited school and 20 contact hours with child, youth, and family population
  • Field Requirement: Two years of postgraduate, paid, supervised youth, children, and family social work experience in an agency or organized setting.
  • Additional Requirements: Adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and Standards for Continuing Professional Education, evaluation from an approved supervisor, a reference from an MSW colleague, one of the following: ACSW, DCSW, and/or current state MSW-level license or an ASWB MSW-level exam passing score
  • Fees: $165 for NASWmembers; $350 for non-members
  • Benefits: Recognition for the unique skills and abilities of social workers focused on children, youth, and families

Certified Social Worker in Health Care (C-SWHC)

  • Education Requirement: MSW from a CSWE accredited school
  • Field Requirement: Two years of paid supervised experience in an agency or organization in an agency or organization providing treatment to individuals and families affected by medical conditions or physical limitations
  • Additional Requirements: Adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and Standards for Continuing Professional Education, evaluation from an approved supervisor, a reference from an MSW colleague, one of the following: ACSW, DCSW, and/or current state MSW-level license or an ASWB MSW-level exam passing score
  • Fees: $165 for NASW members; $350 for non-members
  • Benefits: Recognition for the unique skills and abilities of social workers in health care

Certified Clinical Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs Social Worker (C-CATODSW)

  • Education Requirement: MSW from a CSWE accredited school and 180 hours of relevant continuing education
  • Field Requirement: Two years of paid supervised, post-MSW experience in an agency or organization providing treatment to individuals and families affected by substance use disorders.
  • Additional Requirements: Adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and Standards for Continuing Professional Education, evaluation from an approved supervisor, a reference from an MSW colleague, one of the following: current ACSW, DCSW, and/or current highest-level state clinical social work license
  • Fees: $165 for NASW members; $450 for non-members
  • Benefits: Recognition for the unique skills and abilities of social workers focused on ATOD

Certified Advanced Social Work Case Manager (C-ASWCM)

  • Education Requirement: MSW from a CSWE accredited school
  • Field Requirement: Two years of paid supervised post-MSW case management experience
  • Additional Requirements: Adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and Standards for Continuing Professional Education, evaluation from an approved supervisor, a reference from an MSW colleague, current state MSW-level license or certification or passing score on ASWB MSW-level exam
  • Fees:$165 for NASW members; $210 for non-members
  • Benefits: Recognition for the unique skills and abilities of social worker case managers

Certified School Social Work Specialist (C-SSWS)

  • Education Requirement: MSW from a CSWE accredited school
  • Field Requirement: Two years of supervised, paid, post-MSW experience as a school social worker in a school setting
  • Additional Requirements: Adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and Standards for Continuing Professional Education, evaluation from an approved supervisor, a reference from an MSW colleague, one of the following: current ACSW or DCSW for current active-duty military personnel residing in foreign countries, current state issued, exam-based MSW-level license, passing clinical ASWB exam score, state issued school social work license or certification
  • Fees: $165 for NASW members; $450 for non-members
  • Benefits: Recognition for the unique skills and abilities of social workers in school settings

Qualified Clinical Social Worker (QCSW)

  • Education Requirement: MSW from a CSWE accredited school with 20 hours of clinical social work coursework and 30 contact hours of post-graduate continuing education specific to clinical social work within the last two years
  • Field Requirement: At least three years of paid postgraduate supervised clinical experience in an agency or organization.
  • Additional Requirements: A current state clinical social work license, adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and NASW Standards for Continuing Professional Education, and three reference evaluations
  • Fees: $165 for NASW members or $450 for non-members
  • Benefits: Recognition for as an advanced practitioner, having met national standards of social work, possible employer incentive, and reimbursement eligibility by insurers.

Advanced Practice Specialty Credentials - Bachelor of Social Work

Certified Hospice and Palliative Social Worker (CHP-SW)

  • Education Requirement: BSW from a CSWE accredited school and 20 continuing education units related to hospice and palliative care
  • Field Requirement: Three years of supervised experience in hospice and palliative care
  • Additional Requirements: Adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and Standards for End of Life Care, state license to practice as a professional social worker
  • Fees: $140 for NASW or NCHPP members; $350 for non-members

Social Worker in Gerontology (SW-G)

  • Education Requirement: BSW from a CSWE accredited school and 20 contact hours of continuing education related to working with older adults, or proof of an aging/gerontology concentration through transcript or certification
  • Field Requirement: Three years of experience working with older adults under supervision
  • Additional Requirements: Adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics, Standards for Social Work Services in Long-Term Care Facilities and Standards for Continuing Professional Education, ACBSW, current BSW-level license, ASWB BSW-level passing exam score, or one year of additional experience and 10 additional hours of continuing education
  • Fees: $140 NASW for members; $350 for non-members

Certified Children, Youth, and Family Social Worker (C-CYFSW)

  • Education Requirement: BSW from a CSWE accredited school and 20 hours of post-degree continuing education on bio-psycho-social issues, interventions, or dynamics of working with children, youth, and family
  • Field Requirement: One year and 1,500 hours of paid supervised, post-BSW experience with children, youth, and families.
  • Additional Requirements: Adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and Standards for Continuing Professional Education, evaluation from an approved supervisor, a reference from a BSW or MSW colleague, current exam-based BSW-level license or certification, passing ASWB BSW-level exam score or one additional year of experience with 20 continuing education units
  • Fees: $140 NASW for members; $350 for non-members

Certified Social Work Case Manager (C-SWCM)

  • Education Requirement: BSW from a CSWE accredited school
  • Field Requirement: Three years and 4,500 hours of paid supervised, post-BSW experience in an agency or organization providing case management services
  • Additional Requirements: Adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and Standards for Continuing Professional Education, evaluation from an approved supervisor, a reference from a BSW or MSW colleague, current BSW-level license of ASWB BSW-level exam passing score or one additional year of experience with 20 continuing education units
  • Fees: $165 for NASW members; $210 for non-members