Credentialing Committee


To elevate the profession by advancing excellence in Social Work through a state-of-the-art credentialing program that recognizes expertise, enhances prestige, and provides a vehicle for career advancement.


The NASW Board of Directors hereby establishes the NASW Credentialing Committee (the Committee) to provide strategic guidance and oversight of the NASW Credentialing Program, and its ongoing exploration and pursuit of new, value-added offerings.


1. Monitor and Continuously Improve the Existing Credentialing Programs and Policies

a. Periodically evaluate existing programs against recognized industry benchmarks to identify opportunities for improvement.
b. Make recommendations to the NASW Board of Directors regarding program improvements.
c. Design and monitor processes for customer complaints and appeals.
d. Design and monitor processes for disciplinary action.
e. Design and maintain program policies that minimize the risk of legal liability.
f. Monitor and ensure compliance with applicable codes, laws, and regulations.
g. Ensure that the NASW Credentialing Program meets industry standards for quality and excellence.

2. Evaluate the Feasibility of New Credentialing Programs

a. Provide strategic advice and input into the research carried out by NASW staff to explore and evaluate the opportunity to develop and implement new credentials, such as, but not limited to, exam-based credentialing.
b.Make recommendations to the NASW Board of Directors regarding adding, enhancing, or sunsetting credentials.

3. Design New Credentials

a. Determine any assessment methods.
b. Develop any assessment tools, ensuring they are valid, reliable and legally defensible.
c. Determine program eligibility, maintenance (when applicable), and recertification requirements.
d. If applicable, establish the passing score(s) using industry-accepted practices/methodologies.
e. If applicable, establish and implement test questions and overall test performance monitoring/quality assurance measures using industry-accepted practices/methodologies.

Committee Composition

1. There shall be thirteen (13) volunteer members of the Committee with voting rights and one (1) senior NASW staff member, with no voting rights, acting as liaison between the Committee and the Association departments/staff.

2. NASW Credentialing Committee members will be appointed by the NASW President, consistent with NASW’s bylaws and other policies. The committee will recommend appointments to the NASW President, who will make final committee appointments.

3. The 13 Committee members shall represent the following groups of stakeholders:

a. Two (2) of the members shall be active ACSW or DCSW credential holders.

b. Eight (8) of the members shall be individuals who hold any other NASW credential. When identifying candidates for this group the Committee will take into consideration the need to have as broad a representation of different NASW credentials as possible, including to the extent feasible, each of the following eight (8) areas:

  • Addictions
  • Case Management
  • Clinical
  • Gerontology
  • Health Care
  • Hospice and Palliative Care
  • Youth and Family
  • Military

c. Two (2) of the members shall be professionals from any industry, but with specific expertise in the field of credentialing, ideally in the area of psychometrics (measurement of knowledge or sound test design).

d. One (1) of the members shall be a representative of the public at large (no connection to the social work profession or NASW).

4. All Committee members, except the credentialing professionals (2) and the public member (1), must maintain NASW membership and be in good standing while serving on the Committee.

5. The Committee shall have a Chair that is appointed by the NASW President.

6. Except as hereinafter provided, each Committee member, including the Chair, shall serve a three-year term. No Committee member shall serve for more than two consecutive full terms.

7. If for any reason a Committee member cannot serve or resigns before expiration of the term for which he or she is appointed, a successor shall be identified by the Committee and appointed by the President of NASW. Such appointments shall be solely for the remainder of the un-expired term. Each successor Committee member so appointed shall be eligible to serve two additional full terms of office.

8. In order to provide for continuity, initial terms of appointment shall be staggered to provide, insofar as possible, that no more than one-third of the members of the Committee shall be replaced in any given year.

9. The Committee members shall not receive compensation for the performance of their duties; however, they may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incidental to the performance of their duties on the Committee.

Committee Chair Responsibilities

  1. Serve as chair for all meetings of the NASW Credentialing Committee.
  2. Coordinate appointment and ongoing activities of subcommittees.
  3. Appoint a member of the Credentialing Committee to chair meetings in his/her absence.
  4. Report Committee activities to the NASW Board of Directors.
  5. Notify the NASW President of an existing vacancy or impending Committee vacancy as soon as is practicable.


  1. The Committee shall meet virtually at least three (3) times per year and have one (1) additional in-person meeting biennially.
  2. Notice for meetings shall be provided by the Committee Chair at least 30 calendar days in advance.
  3. The Committee shall keep full minutes of all their meetings, resolutions and actions.
  4. A simple majority of committee members shall be required to approve the minutes of each meeting or ratify any decision.

Scope of Authority

  1. The Committee is accountable to, and directed by, the NASW Board of Directors.
  2. The Committee shall have the authority to recommend to the Board of Directors such action(s) deemed necessary to further the pursuit of the Committee’s mission.
  3. The Committee shall have the authority to form subcommittees.
  4. The Committee shall have the authority to draw upon any expertise, technical assistance and consultation from whatever source they deem appropriate to carry out the Committee’s mission provided that such engagements do not conflict with the limits of item #6 in their scope of authority.
  5. The Committee shall carry out the work outlined in this charter in collaboration with NASW staff and shall hand-off to NASW staff all activities related to development, implementation, and administration of all credentialing programs.
  6. The Committee may not enter into legal or binding agreements on behalf of NASW.
  7. The Committee does not have authority over NASW resources or staff.

Questions about the Committee?

Contact Raffaele Vitelli, Vice President, Professional Education & Product Development, at


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