New 2014 California Licensing Requirement

Effective January 1, 2014, all ASW applicants must have completed training or coursework in California law and professional ethics for clinical social workers PRIOR to registering as an associate social worker (ASW) with the Board of Behavioral Sciences.

ASW applicants who earned an MSW degree from a California University

The Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) is contacting California accredited MSW degree programs to confirm compliance that this requirement has been embedded in the program’s curriculum. For questions about a program’s compliance, applicants with California MSW degrees should check with their school programs.

ASW applicants who earned an MSW degree from outside California

All out-of-state applicants who register as an associate social worker (ASW) with the board must meet the California law and professional ethics requirement prior to submitting the ASW application. This can be done by taking 18 hours of coursework in California law and professional ethics through a BBS approved provider.

**Details can be found on the BBS webpage for ASW/LCSW Applicants

www.bbs.ca.gov/app-reg/lcs_requirement.shtml

Out-of-State LCSWs

For applicants who already hold a valid LCSW in another state, it is not required that they register as an associate social worker (ASW) with the board, UNLESS they wish to be employed to provide psychotherapy while working to obtain a California LCSW license.

All out-of-state LCSWs — who do not register as an ASW — must meet the 18-hour California law and professional ethics requirement PRIOR to submitting the LCSW application.

**Details can be found on the BBS webpage for Out-of-State LCSW Applicants

www.bbs.ca.gov/app-reg/outofstate_lcs.shtml

NASW-California Licensing Documents 

  • Steps to a California LCSW for MSW Applicants (PDF)

www.naswca.org/associations/7989/files/StepstoLCSWforMSWs.pdf

 NASW-California is a BBS Approved Provider (PCE-44) 

For live courses, visit www.naswca.org under “Education 

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