Social Work Licensure and
National Association of Social Workers
New York State Chapter
188 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12210
Karin Moran, MSW
Director of Policy
Licensed Professions
48 professions established under Title VIII of the
Education Law
 Requirements for licensure
 Defined scope of practice
 Restriction on use of title and practice to those
licensed or authorized
 Penalties for illegal practice or unprofessional
conduct by licensees
Prior to Licensure
Practice of psychotherapy was not regulated and
public was not protected
New York provided title protection for “licensed
psychologists” and “certified social workers”
Reimbursement under Insurance Law (P and R
Privilege – see later slide)
Legislation passed in 2002, implemented in
Practice Defined Under NYS
Education Law
Only those licensed or under limited permit can
practice LMSW and LCSW and use titles
Exemptions for students under appropriate
supervision, certain occupations and professions
allow performance of activities defined in law but
not the use of the protected title
Exemptions until 7/1/2013 for individuals in
programs regulated, funded, operated or approved
DOCS, local social service or mental hygiene
Licensed Master Social
Worker Qualifications
Earn an MSW degree from registered program in
File application and fee ($294)
At least 21 and of good moral character
Pass the ASWB Master’s Examination
Complete approved coursework in child abuse
identification or file exemption
Licensed Clinical Social
Worker Requirements
Licensed as an LMSW to meet the requirements for supervised
Submit application for licensure as LCSW and fee ($294)
Submit education in clinical social work, including 12 semester
hours of clinical content acceptable to the Department
 Course work may be part of initial M.S.W. degree or completed
after receipt of the M.S.W. degree in an approved degreegranting school
Complete 2,000 hours (in no less than 3 years, no more than six
years)of appropriately supervised experience in diagnosis,
psychotherapy, and assessment-based treatment planning,
acceptable to the Department
 Experience must be after receipt of degree
 New Regulations allow for aggregation of clinical hours
 New Regulations allow for an aggregation of supervision…100
hours per 2,00O hours of experience. All can be completed in
group setting.
Pass ASWB Clinical examination
LCSW Experience Exception
In January of 2009, The NYS Education Department released a
notice announcing the decision of their Committee on the
Professions (COP) regarding the determination to accept experience
for licensure as a licensed clinical social worker that was completed
in a private practice owned by the applicant and/or under a
supervisor who was employed by the applicant, provided that such
experience otherwise satisfies the requirements set forth in section
74.3 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education and is
otherwise in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations,
and further provided that in order to be acceptable under this vote,
the experience must have been commenced prior to February 2,
2009 and the application must be submitted to the Department no
later than February 2, 2015 on forms prescribed by the
Profession may only be
practiced in legal setting
LMSW may own and operate a practice that
provides LMSW services but NOT clinical social
LCSW is authorized to own and operate a practice
that provides clinical social work services
Professional entity (foreign or domestic)
 Professional corporation
 Professional limited liability partnership
 Professional limited liability corporation
Facility approved by state or local government to
provide clinical social work services (e.g., OMH
Corporate Practice Setting
Due to prohibitions in New York State law against the
"corporate practice" of the professions, certain not-for-profit,
religious and educational corporations that are providing
professional services must apply for a waiver to continue
providing those professional services.
Waiver applications can be found at
How to determine legal
setting for practice?
Operating certificate from State government to provide
services (e.g., OMH Article 31 clinic)
The State Education Department has developed an optional
prospective review mechanism, a measure that will allow the
LMSW to submit a plan for supervised experience in a
specific setting for review and approval by the State Board
for Social Work, thus alleviating the potential risk for
applicants completing three years of experience, only to
learn, it was acquired in an unauthorized setting, the scope
of work is not sufficient or the supervision not appropriate.
Applications can be located on the SED website (form 6) at
Licensed Practice
License valid for life unless revoked,
annulled or suspended by Regents
Must register to practice the profession
Practice within scope and competence but
no mandatory CE for registration
Practice in legal setting or entity
Comply with laws, rules and regulations
Professional or criminal actions may result
in professional discipline
Who defines practice?
Education Law defines qualifications for licensure
and practice of social work
Insurance Law establishes the psychotherapy
Civil Practice Law establishes privileged
Public Health Law establishes requirements for
record keeping and access to records by patients
Commissioner’s Regulations clarify the
requirements for licensure and practice
LMSW Scope of Practice
7701. Definitions. 1. Practice of licensed master social work.
(a) The practice of licensed master social work shall mean the professional
application of social work theory, principles, and the methods to prevent,
assess, evaluate, formulate and implement a plan of action based on client
needs and strengths, and intervene to address mental, social, emotional,
behavioral, developmental, and addictive disorders, conditions and
disabilities, and of the psychosocial aspects of illness and injury
experienced by individuals, couples, families, groups, communities,
organizations, and society.
(b) Licensed master social workers engage in the administration of tests and
measures of psychosocial functioning, social work advocacy, case
management, counseling, consultation, research, administration and
management, and teaching.
(c) Licensed master social workers provide all forms of supervision other than
supervision of the practice of licensed clinical social work as defined in
subdivision two of this section.
(d) Licensed master social workers practice licensed clinical social work in
facility settings or other supervised settings approved by the department
under supervision in accordance with the commissioner’s regulations. 13
Supervision of LMSW
providing Clinical Services
Supervisor is legally and professionally responsible for
assessment, diagnosis and treatment of each patient seen by
the LMSW or permit holder
For purpose of improving skills and the assurance of
ongoing review of patient treatment.
Supervision must be provided by an LCSW; a licensed
psychologist; or physician (psychiatrist)
Supervisor must provide at least 100 hours of in-person
individual or group clinical supervision, distributed
appropriately over the period of the supervised experience.
The supervisor is responsible for maintaining records of the
supervised experience, including client contact hours and
supervision hours, and then submitting verification of the
applicant’s experience to the Department.
Third-party supervision
If employer does not provide appropriate
supervision, the agency may contract with
supervisor who meets requirements
 Written contract between LMSW, agency and
 Supervisor has access to patients & records
 Patient consent including how to contact
supervisor with questions or concerns
 Payment should be responsibility of employer
LCSW scope of practice
Includes the LMSW scope of practice and:
 Diagnosis of mental, emotional, behavioral,
addictive and developmental disorders and
 Psychosocial aspects of illness, injury,
disability and impairment within a
psychosocial framework
 Administration and interpretation of tests
and measures of psychosocial functioning
LCSW scope continued…
Development and implementation of appropriate
assessment-based treatment plans
Provision of crisis-oriented psychotherapy and brief, shortterm and long-term psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic
treatment to individuals, couples, families and groups,
habilitation, psychoanalysis and behavior therapy;
All undertaken for purpose of preventing, assessing,
treating, ameliorating and resolving psychosocial
dysfunction with the goal of maintaining and enhancing the
mental, emotional, behavioral and social functioning and
well-being of individuals, couples, families, small groups,
organizations, communities and society
Psychotherapy privilege
available to certain LCSWs
Applicants seeking the “R” privilege are now required to
commencement of such supervised experience. The form can
be located at
addition; such applicants must be supervised by an
individual holding an R credential as opposed to the
longstanding practice and allowance of peer supervision.
Such supervision must be two or more hours per month
“R” Privilege continued…
Experience for the R privilege remains at 2400 hours over
the course of three years, however, effective January 2011,
such experience may not commence until the individual has
obtained their LCSW.
“R” Privilege continued…
Application Fee
The application fee for the R privilege has increased from
$85.00 to $100.00
Supervision of BSW
Education Law allows Bachelor of Social Work
(BSW) or equivalent to practice licensed master
social work under supervision of LMSW or LCSW
 Does not authorize practice of clinical social
work even under supervision
 Regulations require general supervision of BSW
that is appropriate to tasks
 Regulations define BSW degree from a NYS
registered or CSWE-accredited program
 Supervisor is legally and professionally
responsible for actions of BSW
Tasks within scope that do
not require licensure
Serve as a community organizer,
planner, or administrator for social
service programs in any setting.
• Provide supervision and/or
consultation to individuals, groups,
institutions and agencies.
• Serve as a faculty member or
instructor in an educational setting.
• Plan and/or conduct research
projects and program evaluation
• Maintain familiarity with both
professional and self-help systems in
the community in order to assist the
client in those services when
• Consult with other agencies on
problems and cases served in
common and coordinating services
among agencies or providing case
Assist individuals or groups with
difficult day to day problems such as
finding employment, locating sources
of assistance, organizing community
groups to work on a specific problem.
• Conduct data gathering on social
• Serve as an advocate for those
clients or groups of clients whose
needs are not being met by available
programs or by a specific agency.
• Assess, evaluate and formulate a
plan of action based on client need.
• Provide training to community
groups, agencies, and other
• Provide administrative supervision.
Prohibited practices by
Unprofessional conduct is defined in Part 29.15 of Regents
2. Any individual whose license or authority to practice derives
from the provisions of this article shall be prohibited from:
(a) prescribing or administering drugs as defined in this
chapter as a treatment, therapy, or professional service in
the practice of his or her profession; or
(b) using invasive procedures as a treatment, therapy, or
professional service in the practice of his or her profession.
For purposes of this subdivision, "invasive procedure" means
any procedure in which human tissue is cut, altered, or
otherwise infiltrated by mechanical or other means. Invasive
procedure includes surgery, lasers, ionizing radiation,
therapeutic ultrasound, or electroconvulsive therapy.
While NY State does not offer “reciprocity” from one state to
another regarding the licensure of social work, new regulations do
offer “endorsements” to applicants relocating and seeking licensure
in NY State.
Such endorsement applicants need to possess “At least 10 years of
licensed practice during the 15 years immediately preceding the
application for licensure in New York.
In addition, the applicant must demonstrate: licensure as a LCSW
on the basis of an a master’s degree in social work from an
acceptable school, post-degree supervised clinical experience, and
the passage of a clinical examination in social work acceptable to
the department.
The applicant must also be of good character, complete coursework
in the identification and reporting of suspected child abuse, and
submit the application for licensure and fee established in law and
Questions ?
Contact Karin Moran, MSW, Director
of Policy for the NYS Chapter of
NASW at [email protected]
518-463-4741 ext 16
Additional Contact Information:
NYS Education Department, Office of the Professions, State Board for
Social Work Education Building, 89 Washington Ave, 2nd Floor, Albany,
New York 12234 Web: Phone: 518-474-3817
ext. 450 or email [email protected]
Association of Social Work Boards (exam) or Phone: 1-800-225-6880
National Association of Social Workers – New York State Chapter at or Phone: 1-800-724-6279

New York State Social Work Licensure