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BSW Licensure is Now Active in Pennsylvania!

Friday, September 4, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rachel Rhodes
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Ever since Act 179 was passed and signed by Governor Corbett in 2014, the advent of social work licensure at the bachelors/BSW level has been on track to become a reality in Pennsylvania.

Act 179 of 2014 allows for social workers holding a BSW degree from an accredited social work program to choose to pursue LBSW license. NASW-PA had been advocating for bachelor level licensure many years prior to this act.. As stated in the bill's memo, written by the bill's Primary Sponsor Senator Charles McIlhinney, "Social workers with master’s degrees already have a voluntary license in place, but we need to acknowledge that there are thousands of BSWs who have no mechanism for licensure in place. It is time that Pennsylvania join the 36 other states that credential social workers at the bachelor’s level."

For the past 6 years, through a series of delays in the regulatory process, NASW-PA has been monitoring the process of implementing the Act. In February, final passage of the regulations were passed by Pennsylvania's Independent Regulatory Review Commission, and we knew that the Act would be implemented soon, but the wave of COVID-19 and the series of emergency declarations, along with the closure of the state's testing centers, delayed the implementation of Act 179 once again.

NASW-PA is proud to announce that BSW licensure is now active in the Pennsylvania licensure system (PALS), and qualified applicants may begin to apply to take the BSW exam and acquire the license.

We thank all those who advocated over the years. To quote NASW-PA President Kristie King, "as a member of NASW-PA, I've had the opportunity to watch BSW licensure come full circle; from advocating as a student at LEAD, to celebrating when the bill passed, attending the IRRC hearing, and now being able to proudly say that we officially have a license for Bachelor level social workers in Pennsylvania. Advocacy works!"

To read more about the new regulations, click on the link below. If you are interesting in applying, go to PALS and register to get started.

NASW-PA will be adding more information to our website and will be adding BSW license exam review materials in the weeks ahead. Contact NASW-PA if you have questions or comments.


Click here to visit the PALS website -





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