Applications FAQs

Not necessarily.  It depends on your degree and the type of practice you are pursuing.

  • Certified Social Worker (CSW) is for individuals with a Bachelors degree in social work. 
  • Certified Master Social Worker (CMSW) is for individuals with a Masters degree in social work who are NOTproviding clinical social work services. 
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) is for individuals with a Masters degree in social work who areproviding clinical social work services. 
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker Associate (LCSWA) is for individuals with a Masters degree in social work who are working toward the LCSW license and need to document their clinical employment and clinical supervision hours required for LCSW licensure.


  • Certified Social Work Manager (CSWM) is for individuals with a degree in social work whose duties consist of primarily administrative social work services.

Sending your information with tracking is always recommended to ensure receipt by the Board and to know when your packet was received.  The carrier you choose (USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc.) should provide an option to confirm delivery.  You may also access the Application Status tab to determine if your application has been reviewed, as well as if any items are still needed to complete the application.

Review and processing generally take at least 21 days once the application is complete; however, during this time, review and processing times may be extended.  During these unprecedented times, Board staff are attempting to maintain daily processes as best as possible; however, delays may occur.

Please have all of the sealed documents sent to you, and do not open; rather, include the sealed envelopes in your application packet when you submit it to the Board for consideration.  Occasionally, a school will not send an official transcript to the student.  Under these circumstances, they may send the official transcript directly to the Board office; however, you should inform the Board by cover letter with your application of any information that is sent separately.  Transcripts may be sent electronically from the social work program to

For score transfers from ASWB taken through another jurisdiction, ASWB requires the official score report be sent directly to this Board. Please contact ASWB directly (1-800-225-6880) for more information on how to request a score transfer.

Please review the NCAC regulation regarding Professional Reference forms.  All Professional Reference forms must be completed by individuals familiar with your social work practice (colleagues, co-workers, professors, etc.).  For LCSWA applicants, one Professional Reference form must be completed by an individual that has served as your past/present supervisor.  Relatives, subordinates, and clients are not acceptable references.

The Board asks questions about an applicant’s criminal, disciplinary and employment history to assist the Board in determining if the application should be granted, or if there is a valid basis for denying an application.  In addition to the questions on the applications, the Board may conduct a formal criminal or disciplinary history check.  Answering “yes” to any of these questions or having a conviction, disciplinary or adverse employment action is not automatically a basis for denial of licensure.

When an applicant has a criminal conviction, the Board will consider:

(1)       The level and seriousness of the crime;

(2)       The date of the crime;

(3)       The age of the person at the time of the crime;

(4)       The circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime, if known;

(5)       The nexus between the criminal conduct and the prospective duties of the applicant as a licensee;

(6)       The prison, jail, probation, parole, rehabilitation, and employment records of the applicant since the date the crime was committed;

(6a)      The completion of, or active participation in, rehabilitative drug or alcohol treatment;

(6b)     A Certificate of Relief granted pursuant to North Carolina Gen. Stat. § 15A-173.2;

(7)       The subsequent commission of a crime by the applicant; and

(8)       Any affidavits or other written documents, including character references.

The Board may consider any similar aggravating or mitigating circumstances with respect to the applicant’s disciplinary and employment history.  If Board staff is unable to approve an application, the applicant has the right to request to have that application heard by the members of the Board.  Any such request must be submitted in writing to the Board’s Executive Director. The Board will conduct that hearing pursuant to the North Carolina Administrative Procedure Act and the Board’s own hearing rules.  As a result of the evidence presented at that hearing and considering the considerations outlined above, the Board may refuse to grant a license if it finds any of the grounds for doing so under North Carolina Gen. Stat. § 90B-11.

If the applicant is aggrieved by the Board’s final decision, the applicant may seek review of the decision by filing a petition for judicial review in the Superior Court.  The procedures for seeking judicial review can be found in Article 4 of the Administrative Procedure Act, North Carolina Gen. Stat. § 150B-43 et seq.  There are specific timelines and procedures for these proceedings, and failure to follow them may lead to the Superior Court dismissing or denying a petition.  Therefore, close and prompt attention to the Administrative Procedure Act is required.

Individuals interested in pursuing certification/licensure in NC may also access the Predetermination Petition Form on the Board’s website to determine whether the criminal history will likely disqualify the individual from obtaining licensure.

Contact Information:

Physical Address:

1207 S. Cox Street, Suite F
Asheboro, NC 27203

Phone: 336-625-1679 Fax: 336-625-4246

NCSWCLB Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 1043
Asheboro, NC 27204

Business Hours:

Monday – Friday: 9AM - 5PM

Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed