NASW Professional Social Work Credentials and Advanced Practice Specialty Credentials

Specialty Certification Renewal Form
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[Word Format]

Being a credentialed social worker makes all the difference. Social workers who want recognition for their professional achievements and who want to unlock new career paths come to NASW for their credentials.

NASW Credentialing Center

The NASW Credentialing Center administers NASW Professional Social Work Credentials (membership required) and NASW Advanced Practice Specialty Credentials (available to all qualified social workers).  NASW is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious organization granting social work credentials.  We have been offering credentials to social workers for more than 50 years and Advanced Practice Specialty Credentials since 2000.

NASW’s Social work credentials are indicative of the profession’s metamorphosis and expansion into multiple specialty practice areas like gerontology, hospice and palliative care,  administration, healthcare, case management, youth and family, addictions, etc.

Click here for the Specialty Certification Renewal Form

The NASW Credentialing Center is an approved program for MyCAA.

The Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts Program (MyCAA) is an employment assistance program that provides up to $4,000 of financial assistance to eligible military spouses who are pursuing a license, certification or Associate’s degree in a portable career field and occupation. Read the FAQs for Spousesto find out if you are eligible to participate in the MyCAA program. If you are eligible, visit the MyCAA website at and register for an account. If you have additional questions about this program or want to enroll in one of NASW’s Professional Development and Training Center courses, please contact a Military OneSource consultant at 800-342-9647.

Definitions of social work practice within state or territorial jurisdictions may vary significantly depending on the resources in a given part of the country. Licensure does not replace a professional credential; rather it speaks to meeting minimal requirements of proficiency like education, licensure, and experience for the social work practitioner. Obtaining a credential is the next progression in a social worker’s professional career.

Beyond the educational degree and professional license, credentials, (in the form of professional certifications) are a voluntary pursuit. Voluntary credentials denote professional commitment and achievement and represent a “license plus” feature of certifying knowledge and experience that meets or exceeds excellence in social work at the national level. Professional social workers agree to a critical review process that includes evaluation of the candidate’s educational preparation, practice experience, and peer review of observable skills and abilities.


  • Holders of NASW Professional Social Work Credentials and Advanced Practice Specialty Credentials become part of the most widely recognized social work organization in the nation.
  • Credentialed social workers are recognized as having in-depth knowledge, proven work experience, leadership capacity, competence, and dedication to the social work profession.
  • Credential holders agree to a critical review process that strives to measure adherence to The NASW Code of Ethics, NASW Standards for Continuing Education, and national practice standards consistent with the area of specialized social work practice.
  • Some employers seek out highly credentialed professionals to fill key leadership positions within their organizations/agencies and/or factor voluntary credentials in their salary scales.

Do you qualify for an NASW Credential?
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