Exams for the future of
social work

As the field of social work evolves, the social work licensing exams must remain relevant. ASWB is expanding its research-driven exam development process to update the licensing exams to continue to reflect current practices.

ASWB is collaborating with the social work community to bring more perspectives, including those of individuals representing diverse racial, social, economic, and ethnic backgrounds, into the exam development process. The association is launching these initiatives to build on current practices.

Social Work Workforce Coalition

ASWB will convene a new coalition to contribute to the development of the next iteration of the social work licensing exams. This coalition will include representatives from:

  • National Association of Social Workers
  • Canadian Association of Social Workers
  • Council on Social Work Education
  • Canadian Association for Social Work Education
  • National Association of Deans and Directors
  • National Association of Black Social Workers
  • Latino Social Workers Organization
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Canadian Council of Social Work Regulators
  • Thunderbird Circle
  • Association of Social Work Boards
Social Work Workforce Coalition logo
  • Social Work Census

    The largest survey of social work practitioners ever undertaken that will provide insight to:

    • Gather demographic data to define who today’s social workers are and what they do
    • Inform educators, professional organizations, and other stakeholders about the realities of the social work profession
    • Shape the content of the next iteration of the licensing exams

Volunteer for the community input sessions

ASWB is inviting social workers to volunteer to participate in online community input sessions on developing licensing exams for the future of social work.

Practice analysis

The process of creating the exam begins with a practice analysis, a major survey of the tasks of thousands of practicing social workers.

Key dates


2022
April 21–23 Social Work Workforce Coalition meeting #1
Late summer Community input sessions
August TBD Online Social Work Workforce Coalition meeting #2
July/August TBD Practice Analysis oversight panel meeting
September 9–10 Practice Analysis Task Force meeting #1

2023
March 1–April 12 Social Work Census
Third quarter Social Work Workforce Coalition meeting #3
Third quarter Practice Analysis Task Force meeting #2
Fourth quarter Volunteer recruitment for examination standard setting

2024
Second quarter Social Work Workforce Coalition meeting #4

2025
January 1 Updated exams launch