Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Proposed Text


Clinical course of study
Stage: Proposed

Part II
Requirements for Licensure

18VAC140-20-40. Requirements for licensure by examination as a licensed 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 in one package to the board office:

a. A completed notarized application;

b. 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;

c. The application fee prescribed in 18VAC140-20-30;

d. Official transcript or transcripts in the original sealed envelope submitted from the appropriate institutions of higher education directly to the applicant; and

e. Documentation of applicant's out-of-state licensure where applicable.


18VAC140-20-45. Requirements for licensure by endorsement.

Every applicant for licensure by endorsement shall submit in one package:

1. A completed application and the application fee prescribed in 18VAC140-20-30.

2. Documentation of social work licensure in good standing obtained by standards substantially equivalent to those outlined in 18VAC140-20-49 and 18VAC140-20-50 and for a licensed clinical social worker or 18VAC140-20-60 for a licensed social worker, as verified by the out-of-state licensing agency on a board-approved form.

3. Verification of a passing score as established by the board on a board-approved national exam.

4. Official transcript or transcripts in the school's original sealed envelope.

5. Verification of active practice in another jurisdiction for 36 out of the past 60 months.

6. Certification that the applicant is not the respondent in any pending or unresolved board action in another jurisdiction or in a malpractice claim.


18VAC140-20-49. Educational requirements for a licensed clinical social worker.

A. The applicant shall be a graduate of a Master or Doctor of Social Work Program in a clinical course of study. An applicant with a nonclinical concentration shall complete additional graduate level academic course work and field placement/practicum to meet all requirements for a clinical course of study.

B. The minimum course requirements for a clinical course of study shall include graduate level courses consisting of:

1. Twelve credit hours of explanatory theory;

2. Twelve credit hours of practice theory;

3. Three credit hours of psychopathology including assessment, diagnosis, and treatment;

4. Three credit hours of social work practice research; and

5. Coursework in diversity issues, social justice, culture, and at-risk populations.

C. The requirement for a supervised field placement/practicum in clinical social work services 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.

D. Graduates of a bachelor of social work program who earn advanced standing in the masters program shall meet all minimum course requirements for a clinical course of study, except advanced standing students may count up to six hours of explanatory theory and up to six hours of practice theory completed during the bachelor degree program towards meeting the requirements.

E. A master of social work program shall (i) include foundation course work common for all social work students, (ii) include advanced course work for student specialization, and (iii) be accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. A doctor of social work program shall at a minimum: (i) meet all requirements for the advanced course requirements for a clinical course of study, and (ii) be accredited by the appropriate regional academic accrediting body (e.g., Southern Association of Colleges and Schools).


18VAC140-20-50. Education and experience Experience requirements for a licensed clinical social worker.

A. Education. The applicant shall hold a minimum of a master's degree from an accredited school of social work. Graduates of foreign institutions shall establish the equivalency of their education to this requirement through the Foreign Equivalency Determination Service of the Council of Social Work Education.

1. The degree program shall have included a graduate clinical course of study; or

2. The applicant shall provide documentation of having completed specialized experience, course work or training acceptable to the board as equivalent to a clinical course of study.

B. A. Supervised experience. Supervised experience in all settings obtained in Virginia without prior written board approval will not be accepted toward licensure. Supervision begun before November 26, 2008, that met the requirements of this section in effect prior to that date will be accepted until November 26, 2012.

1. Registration. An individual who proposes to obtain supervised post-master's degree experience in Virginia shall, prior to the onset of such supervision:

a. Register on a form provided by the board and completed by the supervisor and the supervised individual; and

b. 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. A minimum of one hour of face-to-face supervision shall be provided each week 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. Experience shall be acquired in no less than two nor more than four years.

b. Supervisees shall average no less than 15 hours per week in face-to-face client contact for a minimum of 1,380 hours. The remaining hours may be spent in ancillary duties and activities supporting the delivery of clinical services.

3. An individual who does not complete the supervision requirement after four years of supervised experience shall submit evidence to the board showing why the training should be allowed to continue.

C. 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 three years of postlicensure 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.

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 member of his immediate family or provide supervision for anyone with whom he has a dual relationship.

D. 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, and implementing a professional and ethical relationship with clients;

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

7. Maintain documentation, for five years postsupervision, of which clients were the subject of supervision.