Association of Social Work Boards selects PSI as new testing partner
Organizations agree to launch new scholarship program, provide online testing option
The Association of Social Work Boards today announced a strategic partnership with PSI, a leading testing provider, to administer its social work licensing examination program beginning in early 2024. This partnership enhances ASWB’s ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in social work regulation on behalf of its members, the 64 social work regulatory bodies throughout the United States and Canada. The partnership will help ASWB drive practical initiatives that leverage both organizations’ focus on transparency in test outcomes, accessibility, and inclusivity.
“The ASWB licensing exams play a crucial role in advancing safe, competent, and ethical practices to strengthen public protection and to solidify social work as a profession,” said ASWB CEO Stacey Hardy-Chandler, Ph.D., J.D., LCSW. “ASWB’s selection of PSI for exam development and administration represents a new chapter in competence measurements for the social work profession. We are looking forward to working with PSI, as their alignment with our values was one of the highest factors considered among our selection criteria.”
ASWB regularly evaluates its vendor relationships, and its testing vendor contract was up for renewal this year. ASWB issued a request for proposal in January 2023 and evaluated all submissions for a variety of criteria such as a focus on the candidate experience, remote testing capabilities, and alignment with ASWB’s values. Through the RFP process, ASWB determined PSI to be the best fit for its vision of the future of social work competence measurement.
“We want to continue to accurately and fairly measure competence for the social work profession,” said Lavina Harless, LCSW, ASWB’s senior director of examination services. “We also want to be intentional about addressing the financial impact on repeat test-takers as they pursue licensure, which is why we are so eager to have PSI’s support as we implement meaningful changes that reflect our ongoing commitment to fairness, inclusivity, and equal opportunities.”
The two organizations will pursue initiatives designed to support candidates’ paths to licensure, including the development of a scholarship fund for repeat test-takers. Recognizing that financial realities can hinder candidates’ pursuit of professional goals, ASWB and PSI have each pledged to contribute to a fund for future outreach to and support for test-takers, particularly those from historically marginalized communities.
“PSI is thrilled to partner with ASWB, an organization that shares our mission to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Janet Garcia, President at PSI. “We are excited to see how we can support the ASWB examination program’s continued journey through the execution of creative and intentional strategies that offer equitable and accessible testing opportunities for all exam candidates.”
In preparation for administration of the social work licensing exams, PSI is conducting full test development and psychometric evaluations of ASWB’s examination program to highlight key areas of excellence and identify places where greater inclusion can be integrated into test creation. The team will build on ASWB’s longstanding and successful efforts to ensure that its assessments accurately evaluate the knowledge and skills required for safe and ethical entry to practice.
PSI will begin administering the social work licensing examinations at its 475 test centers across the United States and Canada in early 2024, with a remote testing option being made available through secure online proctoring later in the year.
During the transition, registered candidates will receive an email from ASWB with next steps. More information will be available soon on ASWB’s website.
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