NASW Bylaws Amendment Process

The NASW Bylaws are the written rules and regulations of the Association that provide a framework for the Association’s governance and operation.


Bylaws amendments are changes in the governing document that guide and direct the actions of the Association in such areas as organizational purpose, structure, authority and responsibility, membership categories and privileges and chapter structure and responsibilities.

NASW Bylaws Article XV states the authority of the NASW Board of Directors is to amend the Bylaws at anytime with two exceptions. Article XV provides that matters related to Delegate Assembly and the NASW National/Chapter dues allocation be submitted to the Delegate Assembly for consideration. All other Bylaws amendments are within the authority of the NASW Board of Directors. Except for matters requiring emergency action, the Board will schedule Bylaws amendments for consideration once during the fiscal year at a regularly scheduled meeting. 

Regular Bylaws Amendment Process


  • Proposals for Bylaws amendments must be submitted to the NASW Board of Directors by September 1.
  • Proposals may be submitted by individual members in good standing, by the NASW CEO and Chapter Executive Directors and by National and Chapter Boards, Board Committees and Task Forces.

Board Review

  • Each proposed amendment will be reviewed by the Bylaws Committee, which will make recommendations to the NASW Board at its next regular meeting (usually in September or October). At this meeting, my majority vote, the Board may act to accept or reject each proposed amendment for posting and further consideration, or to delay action pending further information or modifications.  Proponents will be informed of the action taken on their proposals, and those who are asked to provide information or modifications will have 30 day in which to respond.  
  • The Bylaws Committee will review the additional materials, if any, and report its recommendations at the Board's next regular meeting (usually in January or February).  The Board will decide whether each of these proposed amendments should be posted for comment and further consideration.  A letter communicating the Board’s rationale for each amendment not accepted for the spring agenda will be sent to the proponent(s).
  • The Board has the right during its review and discussion to make changes/revisions to a proposed amendment, provided that any such changes are germane, (i.e., closely related) to the amendment as initially proposed.

Posting for Member Comment

Each amendment accepted for consideration must be posted on the NASW website for member review and comment for at least ninety (90) days before the Board may take final action.

Final Adoption

  • At the next regular Board meeting after the 90-day posting period (usually April or May), the Board will give final consideration to the posted amendments, taking member comments into account.
  • The Board's decision to adopt or reject each posted amendment will be reported along with other actions taken by the Board, and the proponent(s) will be notified directly. 
  • Bylaws amendments adopted by the Board will be implemented on July 1 following the Board vote, unless an alternative implementation date is incorporated in the motion as approved or in the amendment itself.

Format for Submitting Proposed Amendments

A form outlining the required elements for submitting proposed Bylaws amendments may be accessed through the link below and is available from the National Office upon request.

  Online Proposed Bylaws Amendment Form

A printable Proposed Bylaws Amendment Form is also available.

Proponents of proposed Bylaws amendments must submit a completed form for each proposed amendment no later than September 1.

Emergency Bylaws Amendment Process 

  • Emergency Bylaws changes may be initiated solely by the NASW Board.
  • The Board may, by vote of a two-thirds (2/3) majority, determine that an amendment to the Bylaws is an emergency and requires expedited consideration. 
  • After designation as an emergency amendment, the amendment must be posted on the NASW website for member review and comment for at least thirty (30) days before the Board may take final action. 
  • Final adoption of an emergency Bylaws amendment requires the approval of a simple majority of Board members present and voting at a properly scheduled meeting.  

Regular Bylaws Amendment Process - Timeline

  • September 1: Proposed Bylaws amendments forms are due
  • Mid-September: Bylaws Committee holds first meeting; prepares initial report to Board.
  • Fall (September/October):  Board receives and reviews Bylaws Committee report; Board could vote to stop further consideration of a proposed amendment (with explanation to proponents).
  • Mid-October/November: Bylaws Committee sends any Board comments and/or questions to proponents of proposed amendments.  Proponents may answer questions or (if requested) submit revised proposals to the Committee.  
  • December/January: Bylaws Committee meets and develops recommendations for the Board's winter meeting
  • January/February: Board considers the recommendations of the Bylaws Committee; votes to accept or reject proposals for further consideration.  Per the Bylaws, accepted proposed amendments are posted for comment; posting will continue for a 90-day period preceding the next Board meeting.
  • March-April: Board considers member comments and the Bylaws Committee recommendation, and takes the final vote on proposed amendments. 
  • July 1: Approved Bylaws amendments go into effect, unless an alternative implementation date was incorporated in the Board resolution adopting the amendment, or in the amendment itself.


Reminder: Annual NASW Bylaws Amendment Deadline

Proposed bylaws amendments for consideration by the NASW Board of Directors must be submitted by September 1

For information about the amendment process or to submit a proposed amendment for consideration, review the Bylaws Amendment Process. 

Proposed amendments related to Delegate Assembly (DA) and the National/Chapter dues allocation must follow the DA process and timeline. All other bylaws amendments may be considered by the NASW Board.

  Online Proposed Bylaws Amendment Form