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LISW Instructions

PRINT: LISW Instructions 

Licensed Independent Social Worker Instructions


Requirements: completion of a master’s degree in social work from a CSWE accredited program and a minimum of two years post MSW and post LSW experience and 150 hours of documented training supervision by a LISW-S.  Your supervision must be complete before you begin this process.


Steps toward Licensure (all items must be completed before license can be issued):


1.    Each of your training supervisors must submit a Professional Employment Reference form: 



· The requirement is at least two full years and 3,000 hours of experience. This means at least 24 full months, however no applicant may be credited with more than 1,500 hours of experience during any

12-month period. If you have more than 1,500 hours during your first 12 months, the excess

cannot be carried over to the next 12 month period. On the other hand, if you have not completed your first 1,500 hours within the first 12 months, then the time period to complete those hours is extended until you do complete the first 1,500 hours. You can then begin the second 1,500 hours, which can take over a year but must be for a minimum of 12 months.


 ·  Supervision should average of one hour of individual or group supervision for every 20 hrs of experience with a minimum of 150 hrs of supervision for the 3,000 hours of supervised social work practice. Supervision shall be provided by an LISW-S (LISW with Supervision Designation) unless a hardship request is granted.


2.  Once supervision is completed, complete the LISW license application, online or paper version: (keep job descriptions brief) and pay the$75.00 application fee.  The application is valid for two years).


 3.   If you have not already passed the Clinical or Advanced Generalist exam, then submit the Request for Exam pre-approval form   via fax to 614-728-7790 or email to  andy.miller@cswb.ohio.gov  along with a 1) a copy of your driver’s license and 2) a copy of your degree or unofficial transcripts if the Board does not already have your MSW/MA/MSSA transcript on file.


 4.   Pass the board’s online Laws & Rules Exam This is a review of the Board’s rules and ethics requirements.  In the course of this exam, you will read information and then answer questions based on what you’ve just read.  Questions that are answered incorrectly will be asked again until all answers are correct.  You will receive a certificate of completion by email; the Board will also receive a copy.


5.  If the Board does not have your MSW/MSSA transcripts on file, have your school mail or email official transcripts, showing your degree conferred, directly to the Board.  Emailed transcripts are preferred, but mailed transcripts are also accepted.


6.   Complete the BCI and FBI criminal records check  Criminal records checks are valid for one year.


Documents required for completing your LISW licensure file (see above links):


1) Professional Employment Reference(s)

2) LISW application with fee

3) ASWB Clinical or Advanced Generalist exam Results

4) Board’s online Laws & Rules certificate

5) Official Transcript mailed directly from your school

6) BCII and FBI Criminal Records Check


After you are licensed you will receive an email from the board with important attachments. You will also receive a wall certificate and a LISW approval  letter in the mail.