The Qualified Clinical Social Worker (QCSW)

Leading the Way to Clinical Excellence
QCSW Application
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Clinical Social Workers who possess knowledge of one or more theories of human development within a psychosocial context and practice the professional application of social work theory and methods to treat and prevent psychosocial dysfunction, disability, or impairment, including emotional and mental disorders. Qualified Clinical Social Workers (QCSW) utilize their skills in assessment; diagnosis; treatment, including psychotherapy and counseling; client-centered advocacy; consultation; and evaluation in their work with individuals, families and small groups.

The QCSW credential distinguishes expertise and experience in the art and science of “being with” people in their struggles.  The credential was established in 1986 to distinguish clinical social workers who have met national standards of knowledge, skill, and experience in the field of clinical social work and have agreed to abide by the NASW Code of Ethics, the NASW Standards for the Practice of Clinical Social Work, and the NASW Standards for Continuing Professional Education.

The QCSW credential announces expertise in clinical social work practice: to individuals, families and small groups seeking service; to professionals within and outside of the field of social work who might be looking for content and/or practice experts with clinical social work expertise; and to public and private employers, within agencies and organizations that are looking for bright, experienced and credentialed social work professionals.


  • A master’s degree in social work from a graduate program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education
  • Thirty (30) contact hours of post-degree continuing professional education specific to clinical social work, obtained within the past two years.
  • Documentation of at least three (3) years (equivalent of 4,500 hours) of paid, supervised, post-MSW clinical social work employment in an agency or organization that provides mental health assessment and treatment
  • Current state clinical social work license.
  • Adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and the NASW Standards for Continuing Professional Education

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
National Association of Social Workers, 750 First Street, NE • Suite 800, Washington, DC 20002
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