When was the licensing law passed?
It became effective July 1, l975.
Who is the licensing authority?
The law created a South Dakota Board of Social Work Examiners. The board consists of five members (two certified social workers, one social worker, one social work associate, and one lay member) who are appointed by the Governor for three year terms.
What is the purpose of licensure?
Since the profession of social work profoundly affects the lives of the people of this state, licensure seeks to protect the public by setting standards of qualification, education, training, and experience for those who seek to engage in the practice of social work and to promote high standards of professional performance for those engaged in the profession.
Who must be licensed?
Any person engaged in the practice of social work. No person may represent himself as a social worker by using the title "certified social worker", "social worker", "social worker associate", or any other title that includes such words unless licensed by the Board of Social Work Examiners.
Who does not have to be licensed?
Employees of the State of South Dakota are exempt from the provision of the law.
Other professionals (e.g. physicians, psychologists, marriage counselors, clergy) do not have to be licensed provided they do not hold themselves out to the public by title as being engaged in the practice of social work.
Students enrolled in recognized programs of study leading to social work degrees may practice only under the direct supervision of a certified social worker or social worker licensed by the Board of Social Work Examiners.
What are the types of licenses and what are the requirements for each?
What is the procedure for licensure?
What is the exam like?
The tests are administered by a testing service contracted by ASWB which is a national organization for State Social Work Licensure Boards which prepares examinations for the assessment of professional competency in social work.
There are separate tests for the different levels of licensure. The social work associates and social workers take the same test, but the social work associates are allowed a lower passing score.
What are the requirements for renewal of licensure?
All licenses issued by the Board expire on the first day of January of the second year succeeding the issuance thereof. License renewal requires:
What is continuing education?
Continuing education may include credit courses from colleges and universities, workshops, seminars, conferences, lectures, and staff development activities of agencies.
These courses, workshops, seminars, conferences, lectures, and staff development activities shall be oriented towards the enhancement of social work practice, values, skills, and knowledge. This definition does not preclude cross-disciplinary offerings if they are clearly related to the enhancement of social work practice, values, skills and knowledge.
These activities may be for academic credit or for continuing education units (CEU). A CEU is noncredit in nature and must be approved by the South Dakota Board of Social Work Examiners, or other State's licensing boards.
A licensee who has prepared for the first time an academic social work course or workshop, or who has published or presented a professional social work paper may be allowed a maximum of ten contact hours for this preparation. Please contact the Board for the proper verification form.
How much continuing education is required?
All licensees applying for renewal of license must include certification of completion of thirty contact hours of continuing education within the previous two year license period.
Can continuing education credit be obtained for activities outside the state of South Dakota?
Yes. Simply request a CCU form which will ask for a detailed explanation of the program as well as verification (by the program's sponsor) of the applicant's attendance.
Is it possible to waive the continuing education requirement?
A licensee may apply to waive the continuing education requirement if he/she presents a physician's certified statement that he/she was physically incapacitated to the extent that the person could not satisfy the requirement within the previous two year license period.
Who can offer CEUs?
Any college, agency, or other institution who wishes to be a "sponsoring organization" may apply. As a sponsoring organization, they can grant CEU credit for workshop, conferences, etc. To become a sponsoring organization, please contact the board for the proper verification form.
Agencies desiring to become a sponsoring organization must be willing to assume responsibility for keeping permanent records for the individuals receiving the CEUs. An alternative is to contact a nearby college or university to sponsor the agency's program.
What are the provisions for privileged communication between the social worker and his/her client?
No licensed certified social worker, social worker, or social work associate or his employee may disclose any information he may have acquired from persons consulting him in his professional capacity to those persons except:
What are the grounds for revocation, suspension or cancellation of a license?
The license of a certified social worker, social worker, or social work associate may be revoked, suspended or canceled upon any one or more of the following grounds:
The above Questions and Answers are interpretations of the law and rules and regulations governing the licensure of social workers in the state of South Dakota.
If you would like a complete copy of the law or the Rules and Regulation, please submit your request in writing: