Please note: In Utah, and many other jurisdictions, you must apply for a license with ASWB or your licensing department before scheduling your exam. In Utah, the entity responsible for licensing is the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL). Licensing exams are administered throughout the United States by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB).
How do I schedule my exam?
Licensing exams are administered by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). In Utah, the following steps must be taken in order to schedule your exam:
- Go to the ASWB licensing portal
- Complete the application for pre-approval and submit it to ASWB along with the fee
- Submit your transcript and other required documentation to ASWB as instructed
- Once you have received the ASWB approval letter, follow the instructions to register for the appropriate ASWB exam
Which exams are required for licensing?
ASWB develops and maintains four social work licensing examinations: Bachelor's, Master's, Advanced Generalist, and Clinical. Not every state uses all four categories, so candidates must be sure to check with individual licensing boards to find out which examinations are appropriate for the state in which they are seeking licensure. Utah uses the Bachelor's exam (SSW license), Master's exam (CSW license), and Clinical exam (CSW OR LCSW license).
How many questions are on the exam?
Each examination contains 170 four-option multiple-choice questions designed to measure minimum competencies at four categories of practice. Only 150 of the 170 items are scored; the remaining 20 questions are "pretest" items included to measure their effectiveness as items on future examinations.
How much time do I have to complete the exam?
Candidates have four hours to complete the test, which is administered electronically. In Utah, ESL social workers and those who have an ADA-recognized disability may request extra time on the exam.
When can I take the exam?
There are no fixed administration dates; instead, registered candidates schedule a time to take the test. Examinations are administered by appointment at ACT test centers throughout the U.S. Testing centers are typically open all year long with testing time available throughout the week.
Am I able to get special accommodations, if needed?
Special accommodations are available for candidates with disabilities. Additionally, many jurisdictions, including Utah, offer arrangements for candidates whose first language is not English. In Utah, test-takers who speak English as a second language are allowed two extra hours to complete their exams. These accommodations must be made in advance.
Is the exam the same in each state?
Yes, these are national exams. However, some states, like California, may have an additional state exam. You must call your licensing board to confirm the requirements.
Can I transfer my license from one state to another?
Licensing requirements are established by each state. There are some states that have reciprocity and some states that will not accept a license from another state. You must call the state board in which you wish to reside to learn about transferring your license. Utah does not have direct reciprocity with other states. However, if you are licensed as the equivalent to an LCSW in another state (master's degree, passing score on ASWB's clinical exam, 4,000 documented supervised hours), you may apply for licensure by endorsement in Utah. Directions on this process can be found in the application for a license as an LCSW on the DOPL website.
What is the passing score?
The passing score varies from state to state. In Utah, for example, the passing score is 70. In Arizona, the passing score is 75. However, scores are weighted so that the tests are comparable. In other words, it is just as difficult to pass the exam in Utah as it is in Arizona.
Is the same test administered all year?
No. There are multiple versions, or forms, of each level of the ASWB examination, and within those forms, the order of items is changed frequently. Some items will be the same from one administration to the next, but all items are reordered as part of the new examination.
How can I find my state licensing board?
In Utah, The Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing is in Salt Lake City and the number is 801.530.6628. Their Website is dopl.utah.gov. To find information on other states' departments of licensing, search with the keywords: "social work licensing board” (plus your state name).
I've passed my exam and am now licensed as a CSW. I have found a job, but my employer doesn't provide me with an LCSW to supervise my hours. Can I hire my own supervisor?
In the state of Utah, a CSW working towards LCSW licensure MAY NOT hire their own supervisor. However, your employer may contract with a licensed mental health professional to provide supervision for your hours.
Who can supervise me while I am a CSW earning the 4,000 hours needed for LCSW licensure?
Beginning May 15, 2019, supervision may be provided by a licensed mental health professional (LCSW, LCMHC, Psychologist, LMFT) who meets the requirements as set out in rules. As of this writing, DOPL rules are still being drafted. Please contact DOPL with any questions.
Can I earn supervised hours as a CSW if I am working as a contract employee?
Not in Utah. The CSW must be a W-2 employee to receive supervision and may not work as an independent contractor.