Apply for NASW Social Work Credentials

The NASW Specialty Certification program was launched in 2000 in response to growing workforce trends and societal needs requiring specialization and to help NASW members attain enhanced professional and public recognition; increase visibility as specialized social workers; and association with a select group of specialized social workers who have attained national recognition.

NASW Specialty Credentials are open to all qualified and licensed social workers. Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW) and Diplomate in Clinical Social Work (DCSW) credentials are limited to NASW members only, and the DCSW requires licensure. An ACSW credential is available for social worker leaders in all practice areas.  Renewal for the ACSW is every year, QCSW is every two years, and the DCSW is every three years. Renewal for Specialty Credentials is every two years.  

Professional Social Work Credentials (NASW Membership required)

Renew Your Specialty Certification

Renewal of the ACSW is every year with the payment of NASW dues. Specialty certifications are renewed every two years. Email reminders are sent prior to the expiration date.

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Still have questions?

Read the Credentialing Center FAQ or contact the Credentialing Center at

Social Work Practice Mobility

The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) owns and maintains the social work licensing examinations that are used to test a social worker’s competence to practice ethically and safely. To learn more about ASWB's social work licensure mobility strategy, visit