Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Proposed Text


Changes to supervision requirements
Stage: Fast-Track
18VAC140-20-10 Definitions

A. The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the meanings ascribed to them in § 54.1-3700 of the Code of Virginia:

Baccalaureate social worker



Casework management and supportive services

Clinical social worker

Master's social worker

Practice of social work

Social worker

B. The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Accredited school of social work" means a school of social work accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

"Active practice" means post-licensure practice at the level of licensure for which an applicant is seeking licensure in Virginia and shall include at least 360 hours of practice in a 12-month period.

"Ancillary services" means activities such as case management, recordkeeping, referral, and coordination of services.

"Clinical course of study" means graduate course work that includes specialized advanced courses in human behavior and the social environment, social justice and policy, psychopathology, and diversity issues; research; clinical practice with individuals, families, and groups; and a clinical practicum that focuses on diagnostic, prevention, and treatment services.

"Clinical social work services" include the application of social work principles and methods in performing assessments and diagnoses based on a recognized manual of mental and emotional disorders or recognized system of problem definition, preventive and early intervention services, and treatment services, including psychosocial interventions, psychotherapy, and counseling for mental disorders, substance abuse, marriage and family dysfunction, and problems caused by social and psychological stress or health impairment.

"Exempt practice" is that which meets the conditions of exemption from the requirements of licensure as defined in § 54.1-3701 of the Code of Virginia.

"Face-to-face supervision" means the physical presence of the individuals involved in the supervisory relationship during either individual or group supervision or in the delivery of clinical social work services by a supervisee and may include the use of technology that provides real-time, visual interactive contact among the individuals involved.

"LBSW" means a licensed baccalaureate social worker.

"LMSW" means a licensed master's social worker.

"Nonexempt practice" is that which does not meet the conditions of exemption from the requirements of licensure as defined in § 54.1-3701 of the Code of Virginia.

"Supervisee" means an individual who has submitted a supervisory contract and has received board approval to provide clinical services in social work under supervision.

"Supervision" means a professional relationship between a supervisor and supervisee in which the supervisor directs, monitors and evaluates the supervisee's social work practice while promoting development of the supervisee's knowledge, skills and abilities to provide social work services in an ethical and competent manner.

“Supervisory contract” means an agreement that outlines the expectations and responsibilities of the supervisor and supervisee in accordance with regulations of the board.

18VAC140-20-50 Experience requirements for a licensed clinical social worker

A. 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.

1. 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 supervised practice, a supervisor, clinical social work services or location:

a. Register on a form provided by the board and;

b. Submit a copy of a supervisory contract completed by the supervisor and the supervised individual supervisee;

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

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

2. 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.

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

b. 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.

3. 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.

B. Requirements for supervisors.

1. 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.

2. 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.

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

4. 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.

C. Responsibilities of supervisors. The supervisor shall:

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.

D. 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.