The Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Social Worker (ACHP-SW)

Social Work Excellence within Hospice and Palliative Care Settings

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A master’s level social worker in hospice and palliative care provides a professional continuum of services that address the psychosocial needs of patients and families affected by serious and life limiting illness in order to maintain, or improve, their optimal quality of life. Social work activities are focused on the bio-psychosocial components of health and mental health from a strengths-based perspective, and intervention is based on an evolving plan of care that developed in the context of, and contributes to the interdisciplinary team’s comprehensive plan of care. To that end, the Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Social Worker (ACHP-SW) engages in direct service to patients and their families; leadership activities within organizations and communities; education; resource development; advocacy; policy initiatives and caregiver

The NASW Specialty Certification program was launched in 2000 in response to growing workforce trends and societal needs requiring specialization and to help Association 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. The ACHP-SW was created in 2008 with the support and partnership of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) at the MSW level. Tailored to capture the specialized knowledge, skills, and abilities of professional social workers in hospice and palliative care settings, the ACHP-SW is the premier credential  for social workers in end-of-life care and those who practice social work in pain and symptom management.  


  • A Master’s degree in social work from a graduate program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education
  • Twenty (20) or more CEU’s related specifically to hospice and palliative care.
  • Documentation of at least two (2) years of supervised social work experience in hospice and palliative care.
  • Current license to practice as a professional social worker.
  • Adherence to NASW Code of Ethics and NASW Standards for End Of Life Care

Are you qualified to apply?

Please read and review the complete criteria in the application.

Please contact the Credentialing Center at, if you have any questions

NASW Credentialing Center
More than 50 years of experience developing credentials and certifications for social workers
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