IMPORTANT CHANGES to licensure have occurred as of July 14, 2020
with Governor Polis' signing of the (revised) Mental Health Practice Act:
and summer 2020 DORA
. 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
rejoin or renew
NASW to support critical workforce and social justice
NASW-CO's finalized document reviewing step-by-step instructions for the
initial licensure process can be found here: NASW-CO Licensure Process Guide
We have offered a number of free webinars on these changes, e.g. here is an October
2020 recorded NASW-CO webinar
and a July 2020 recorded MH Coalition
). DORA links summarizing changes are here: Updates for all MH Professionals & Updates for Social Workers .
The SWC (Clinical Social Worker Candidate) registration ($72 fee)
application is available online
here, and the checklist
for completing this application can be found
here. DORA currently
requires the SWC (Clinical Social Worker Candidate) application to be completed and paid for online.
application questions or completed applications, or
contact DORA with general questions about
Detailed information about requirements for applying for the SWC (Clinical Social Worker Candidate) credential and earning the LSW (Licensed Social Worker) and LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) licenses, including supervision requirements are
and in the Mental Health Practice Act and the DORA Social Work Rules & Regulations (links
in side-bar, choose most recent versions of documents on DORA website and Secretary of State
. The School Social Work license is provided through the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) (not DORA). For more information see
required to comply with Colorado's
Continuing Professional Competency (CPC)/Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program requirements for
LSWs and LCSWs. Additionally, for SWCs (Clinical Social Worker Candidates), LSWs and LCSWs, there
HPPP/Skolnik Act requirements.
Colorado's MH Practice Act Statute, section 12-245-217 allows those who are clinically licensed in other states to practice for up to 20 days per year 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).
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/will be physically present in at the time that psychotherapy services are provided (via telehealth or in-person) and follow all laws and regulations. Some states' Emergency Orders, such as during the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic, may allow reciprocity so check NASW resource pages during such emergencies. For information about current practice of telehealth in Colorado during the Covid-19 Pandemic: click
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 their license on "Inactive Status" (
Interstate Social Work Compact Development Update - June 2022:
Development of an interstate compact for social work licensure has been underway for nearly a year, with a draft expected to be released for stakeholder review and public comment in July, and the goal of having model legislation available to states for passage in their 2023 legislative sessions. The development of a social work licensure compact is vital to ensuring the portability of professional social work practice as the landscape of practice continues to evolve due to the expansion of telehealth and the re-examination of how (and where) social workers engage with clients in the midst of the ongoing pandemic and beyond.
The social work compact development process has been led by the Council of State Governments (CSG), through funding from the Department of Defense. Please read the brief update on the process thus far from CSG here: CSG's latest update. NASW cares deeply about social work licensure, supports the development of an interstate licensure compact, and has worked hard to help inform various steps of the compact development process. The list of participating stakeholders included in CSG’s update includes organizations and states that had contributors participating in the technical assistance group and/or the document team during the drafting process. While it was impossible to include voices from every state in the Nation at this stage of development, the next step in the compact development process (stakeholder review and public comment) includes an opportunity for anyone in the Nation to provide input, and it will be vitally important for all of us to participate in this process. NASW will share further information about the stakeholder review and public comment process in the coming weeks - stay tuned!