LSW & LCSW Licensure

IMPORTANT CHANGES to licensure have occurred as of July 14, 2020 with Governor Polis' signing of the (revised) Mental Health Practice Act: final signed bill and summer 2020 DORA Rule-making. The many improvements to social work licensing in this update were made possible by NASW-CO's strategic planning, collaborations, and successful lobbying efforts, which are entirely supported through NASW Member Dues. Please join, rejoin or renew NASW to support critical workforce and social justice advocacy. 

We have offered a number of free webinars on these changes, e.g. here is an October 2020 recorded webinar and a  July 2020 recorded webinar). DORA links summarizing changes are here: & . A DRAFT of our current understanding (the process is still being rolled out) of how these changes added a new Clinical Social Worker Candidate, without requiring taking an exam first. The CSW Candidate Permit ($40 fee) is available here. DORA currently requires the CSW Candidate application to be completed and paid for online while also mailing supporting documents (use a mail tracking service) to their Denver office. Email here DORA for application questions or completed applications or  Contact DORA with general questions.  

Detailed information about requirements for applying for the CSW Candidate and earning the LSW and LCSW licenses, including supervision are HERE and in the Mental Health Practice Act and the DORA Social Work Rules (links in side bar, choose most recent versions on DORA website) The School Social Work License is through the Colorado Department of Education (not DORA). For more information see CDE info.

Licensees are required to comply with Colorado's Continued Professional Development requirements for LSWs and LCSWs. Additionally, for CSW Candidates, LSWs and LCSWs, there are HPPP/Skolnik Act requirements.   

Colorado's MH Practice Act Statute, Section 12-245-217 allows those licensed in other states to practice for up to 20 days in Colorado without having to become licensed in CO (see side bar for Statute link and scroll to 12-245-217; must be in good standing with other licensure boards and practice within scope). With the passage of CO HB20-1326 in June 2020, additional changes will be made during summer 2020 DORA Rule-making. Check with DORA, and we'll update here as we learn more. 

Although NASW continues its longtime advocacy on this front, there is (generally) no automatic reciprocity for licensure with another state; licensees must check directly with the state in which they reside and the state in which their client resides and follow all laws and regulations. Some states' emergency orders, such as during COVID-19, may allow reciprocity so check NASW resource pages during such emergencies. Current Practice of Telehealth in Colorado During COVID-19: CLICK HERE 

For information about what to do if you forgot to renew your license see the License Renewal Information..

Licensees who are not currently practicing in the state but who want to keep a license may put it on "Inactive Status".  See details.

Links on Licensure:

NASW-CO's Steps To Licensure can be found at this link. - Info on how to initiate application for licensure (start here)

ASWB Exam - info on the license exam

License Exam Prep Course

DORA Board of Social Work Examiners - homepage, update address, online services

DORA Licensing Forms - for original license by exam, original license by endorsement, or for provisional application

Check Application Status - for applications in progress

Mental Health Practice Act - CO licensing law (check that it's the updated 2020)

DORA Rules - of the Social Work Board (choose most recent version!)

DORA SW Board Policies - of the Social Work Board

DORA HPPP/Skolnik Act Program

Jurisprudence Exam Help - help from the Chapter includes exam resources & links

DORA Cont Professional Development Portal

DORA License Lookup - verify a license

DORA Complaint - file a complaint about a licensee

DORA Disciplinary Actions- current and past board actions