ASWB is not accepting applications for the item writer program at this time. The next training is scheduled for 2018 with official recruiting beginning in September 2017. Please check back at that time for additional details. We appreciate your interest in the program.
The ASWB Item Writer Program is at the heart of the system designed to provide questions for the social work licensing exams used across the United States and in Canada. This network of trained writers from diverse backgrounds, each selected for his or her unique social work expertise, is the source for the questions that help to ensure that the public is served by competent, ethical social workers. Writers are needed at all areas of social work practice—BSW, MSW, clinical, and advanced non-clinical social workers are encouraged to apply to the program.
Writers accepted into the program are paid $1,000 for 30 questions (called “items”) approved for review by the ASWB Examination Committee. The 30-item contracts are usually completed in six to eight months and are renewable indefinitely depending on the performance of the writer. The system is a great way to contribute to the profession, sharpen your own writing and critical thinking skills, enhance your professional portfolio, and earn some extra income.
In order to participate in the program, social workers must:
- Have a degree in social work
- Hold a currently valid social work license or Canadian registration
- Be currently practicing social work (teaching social work courses is also considered practice)
- Complete all application and screening documents
- Be available to attend a weekend training session, typically held during the last week in June (travel, meals, and lodging paid by ASWB)
- Sign a confidentiality agreement regarding the confidentiality of all examination materials, and acknowledgment of a prohibition on participating in any licensure examination preparatory courses or materials for a period of five years after leaving the program
- Sign an agreement prohibiting the writer from taking the examination, for a year after leaving the program, for any examination category to which the writer has contributed
Because the program accepts only 15-20 participants a year, applicants must undergo a competitive screening process that matches the applicant’s background, demographics, areas of expertise, and aptitude as demonstrated on an assessment instrument with the current needs of the association. The pool of item writers must be well-balanced for diversity in many areas. Otherwise qualified applicants are often not chosen for inclusion because of the needs of the program at any given time. Being selected as an item writer is an acknowledgment of your professional abilities – being denied, however, may simply be a matter of ASWB’s current needs not matching your background. Applicants not chosen are encouraged to reapply during the next cycle.
Applications and screening documents are reviewed during the first three months of the year, and selection announcements are made in April. Mandatory training occurs in June. Item writers will receive continuing education credits for their participation in the training.