WA Licensure Laws and Rules

The State of Washington regulates social work practice. In short, social workers become licensed in Washington after they receive education, gain the required post-graduate employment supervised work experience, and take the appropriate exam. The Washington Department of Health is the regulatory agency for social workers. The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) and the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) that relate to licensed social worker and social worker associates can be found via the links below:

Revised Code of Washington: RCW 18.225

Washington Administrative Code: WAC 246-809

Licensure Resources in Washington

The Washington Department of Health maintains helpful resources on their website related to social work licensure and the licensing process. This includes an overview of licensure, a frequently asked questions list and more.

The Department of Health provides updates to rules and guidance through govdelivery. We encourage social work professionals to subscribe to receive updates as they occur. Click here for more information.

The Chapter provides licensure presentations throughout the year for new social workers and graduates. Check our calendar for upcoming events, as well as our YouTube channel for recorded events. For our Chapter's current licensure presentation and handout, click here. This includes the recent changes to experience and supervision hours for licensure in Washington upon passage of 2SHB 1724 (Chapter 425, 2023 Laws), E2SHB 2247 (Chapter 371, Laws 2024), SHB 1939 (Chapter 176, Laws 2024), HB 1007 (Chapter 21, Laws 2021) and more.

The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) maintains resources for social workers seeking licensure, including a laws and regulation database, information about the social work licensure exams, test taking resources, and more.

Supervisor Advertising List with NASW-WA

The Chapter maintains a list of licensed social work supervisors that expressed interest in listing their expertise area and availability to supervise social work associates seeking full licensure. Click the link above for more information.

Note: The NASW-Washington Chapter are not agents of, nor employees of the Washington State Department of Health. Only the Washington State Department of Health can offer official information upon which a candidate for licensure may rely. NASW Washington Chapter makes reasonable efforts to keep this content accurate, current and to correct errors brought to the attention of the author and NASW Washington Chapter. No responsibility is assured or implied for errors or omissions created or caused by technical difficulties or changes in rules and laws. 

Supervisor List with Washington Department of Health

The Washington Department of Health maintains a voluntary supervisor directory. To be listed on the directory, supervisors must submit a form and documentation verifying that they have met requirements for supervision in Washington. Find out more here.