Competence Certification Commission

Authorization and Accountability

The Commissioners shall have the authority to establish criteria for credentialing social work practice in any or all of its manifestations including but not limited to practice settings, practice methods and requisite levels of training and experience. The Commissioners shall have authority to establish principles and procedures for determining and certifying competence to practice and for devising means of recognizing such competence via certificates, titles and other indicia of achievement. The Commissioners shall have authority to develop credentials for various social work specialties within an integrated framework and within established Association financial parameters.

The Commissioners shall have authority to recommend to the Board of Directors such action(s) deemed necessary for implementing any of the Commissioners’ decisions including but not limited to recommendations regarding any of the purposes set forth in Article 1 or any of the functions of the Commission as set forth in paragraph one of this article.

The Commissioners shall have the power to form such subcommittees as may be necessary or desirable to carry out the purposes of the Commission. They shall have the power to utilize and draw upon any expertise, technical assistance and consultation from whatever source they deem appropriate to carry out the purposes of the Commission.

The Commissioners, by a majority vote, may take any and all action in their judgment is advisable for the proper administration of the Commission except as may be provided elsewhere in this Agreement or hereinafter.


Whereas, the Association has among its purposes establishing standards and criteria for sound social work practice and establishing principles and procedures for determining and certifying competence to practice; establishing standards for licensing, registration and certification, devising indicia such as certificates and titles which may be given to social workers who have achieved various levels of competence in social work practice, defining and promoting the sound development and integration of the various social work specialties; and

Whereas, the Association believes that the aforesaid purposes can best be carried forward by a single entity charged with furthering said purposes,

Now therefore, the premises considered, the Association does hereby establish the Competence Certification Commission (the Commission) and the Association and the Commissioners do hereby mutually agree that the following shall be the terms, conditions, covenants and provisions of this Agreement.

Time Frame

The Commissioners shall meet once each year.

Members, Terms and Criteria

There shall be at least six commissioners administering the program each of whom shall be a member of NASW. Commissioners including the Chair of the Commission, shall be appointed by the President of the Association in consultation with the Board of Directors. One Commissioner shall be a member of the Board of Directors of NASW. Except as hereinafter provided, each Commissioner, including the Chair, shall serve for three years except for those Commissioners who are members of the Board in which instances their term of appointment to the Commission shall be coterminous with their term of service on the Board.

No Commissioner shall serve for more than two full terms.

If for any reason a Commissioner cannot serve or resigns or is removed before expiration of the term for which he or she is appointed, a successor shall be appointed by the President of NASW with the approval of the Executive Committee of NASW. Such appointments shall be solely for the remainder of the un-expired term. Each successor Commissioner so appointed shall be eligible to serve two additional full terms of office and may be re-appointed by the NASW President with approval of the NASW Board of Directors consistent with other provisions of this agreement.

Specific Responsibilities

The purposes of the Commission are:

  1. To administer the Academy of Certified Social Workers.
  2. To develop, maintain and improve all certification programs of the Association.
  3. To apply coherent, appropriate related professional standards to the Association’s certification process.
  4. To interpret to and inform the profession regarding the applicable standards, qualifications and nature of the certification programs of the Association.
  5. To promote and monitor the use of said certification programs.
  6. To develop and maintain linkages with other credentialing and certifying bodies as appropriate.
  7. To maintain a clearinghouse of information on professional certification developments, issues, and trends.
  8. To take such other and further action as may be necessary to accomplish the foregoing.

Questions about the Commission?

Contact Raffaele Vitelli at