NASW-UT Continuing Education Criteria for Application Approval 

Social workers practice at the macro, mezzo and micro level in various settings and have the ability to influence policy change and development at local, state, and federal levels and within their systems of care. Because social workers should consider the connectivity and range of physical, emotional, and environmental factors that influence the well-being of individuals and communities, continuing education can focus on relevant micro, mezzo and macro practices. All social workers engage, to some extent, in all three levels, though they may give major attention to only one or two levels. Because of this, social worker continuing education can focus on the micro, mezzo and macro levels of functioning.


Clinical Social Work: Clinical social work is the professional application of social work theory and methods to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of psychosocial dysfunction, disability, or impairment, including emotional, mental, and behavioral disorders. (Baker, 2003).

Clinical social work is broadly based and addresses the needs of individuals, families, couples, and groups affected by life changes and challenges, including mental disorders and other behavioral disturbance. Clinical social workers seek to provide essential services in the environments, communities, and social systems that affect the lives of the people they serve (NASW, 2012).

Clinical social work services consist of assessment; diagnosis; treatment, including psychotherapy and counseling; client-centered advocacy; consultation; and evaluation. The process of clinical social work is undertaken within the objectives of social work and the principles and values contained in the NASW Code of Ethics.

Macro Practice: Macro social work involves the ability to see and intervene in the big picture, specifically with larger systems in the political and socioeconomic environment. Macro social work practice can include collaboration with consumers to strengthen and maximize opportunities for people at the organizational, community, societal, and global levels. Activities may include political action, community organization, public education campaigning, and the administration of broad-based social service organizations.

Mezzo Practice: Mezzo social work involves working with small groups and families. Activities may include facilitating communication, mediation, and negotiation; educating, and bringing people together.

Continuing Education: Continuing education is defined as planned educational activities intended to further the education and training of licensed social workers for the enhancement of social work practice, education, administration, and research.

Content areas appropriate for continuing education include: methods of intervention, such as individual counseling, psychotherapy, family treatment, group work, and community organization; administration, management and supervision; consultation; planning and policy development; teaching and educational methods; research; social problems; advocacy, social change and social action; cultural diversity and ethics; and specialized services and treatment. (Taken from NASW Standards for Continuing Professional Education).


In accordance with Section 58-60-105 of the Mental Health Professional Practice Act Rule (December 15, 2021), an individual licensed under Title 58, Chapter 60 shall complete at least 40 CE hours for LCSW or 20 hours for SSW or CSW for each two-year renewal cycle commencing on October 1 of each even-numbered year, including six hours of education in ethics, law, or technology and two hours of training in suicide prevention.

Continuing Education shall include the following criteria:

1.  The program shall be relevant to the licensee’s scope of practice. The program shall have identified social work educational objectives.  As an example, a program dealing with clinical issues shall have an outline of theoretical and clinical outcomes that the participant is expected to have learned at the conclusion of the activity.

2.  The activity shall have meaningful and current theory and practical content so as to increase the participant’s professional competence as a social worker.

3.  The activity shall be clearly planned and shall constitute an organized program of learning dealing with matters directly related to the practice of social work, professional responsibility, and ethical obligations of social workers.

4. Instructors for the program or activity shall be academically qualified mental health trained professionals and be experienced in mental health fields.  [“Mental health trained professionals” shall hold at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, and/or be licensed or certified, as well as experienced, in a mental health field of practice.]  If the instructor is not a mental health professional, workshop sponsors will be asked to describe on the application how this person is qualified to teach the subject to mental health professionals. The instructors shall also be qualified in terms of their knowledge of the subject matter being presented and their ability to convey material successfully.  Workshop presenters who do not meet the above qualifications shall have present in their training sessions an academically qualified facilitator who relates the information to Social Work practice.

5.  The activity shall be prepared and presented by individuals who are qualified by education, training, and experience to present the information on a post-graduate level.

6.   The activity must adhere to the Social Work Code of Ethics.

7.  The program or activity must be presented in blocks of time of not less than fifty minutes in duration. Continuing education credit may be recognized in the following forms of education:

a. lectures;
b. seminars;
c. conferences:
d. training sessions;
e. real-time, interactive distance learning courses that are clearly documented as real-time and interactive
f. specialty certifications

8.  The suicide prevention training shall meet the requirements of this section. The course provider shall be one of the following:

a. a recognized accredited college or university;
b. a county, state, or federal agency;
c. a professional association or similar body involved in mental health therapy.

The content of the course shall be relevant to mental health therapy, consistent with the laws of this state, and include one or more of the following components:

a. suicide concepts and facts;
b. suicide risk assessment, crisis intervention, and first aid;
c. evidence-based intervention for suicide risk;
d. continuity of care and follow-up services for suicide risk;
e. therapeutic alliances for intervention in suicide risk.

9.  The activity shall have a method of verification of attendance and completion.

10.  Documentation of attendance at the activity must be maintained by the sponsoring entity.

11.  Home study courses and distance learning courses that are not real-time and interactive shall contain the following:

a. materials shall be prepared by qualified individuals, including content 
and/or test-preparation experts
b. content must pertain directly to the Social Worker’s professional practice
c. the course shall have identified social work educational objectives
d. the evaluation shall relate to the above criteria

12.  Workshop or conference sponsors may advertise that the event offers continuing education credit for social workers only after approval is given by NASW.

13.  The Appeals Procedure shall be:

a. workshop applicants may appeal to the NASW Continuing Education Committee in writing, and/or
b. workshop applicants may meet in person with the NASW Continuing Education Committee
c. if workshop applicants are not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting with the Continuing Education Committee, then the workshop applicants may meet with the NASW Board to appeal the decision of the Continuing Education Committee.