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Clinical Social Work Associate Information

Related CSWA Information


​The CSWA is the first step to a clinical license in Oregon. Whether you are right out of school with a fresh Masters Degree, or you have started your process in another state, the CSWA is your path to licensure. If you have already obtained 3500 hours of supervised clinical experience, 2000 hours of direct client hours, 100 hours of supervision (at least 50 in individual supervision) and have been supervised for no less than 24 months, you may qualify for the LCSW. If you have met the hours and time requirements, but have not yet taken the clinical exam, you may qualify for the LCSW Candidate. The LCSW Candidate is not a license to practice, until the exam is passed and the LCSW is issued.

Supervisor responsibility

​Supervisor will need to complete the plan of supervision. Supervision and clinical practice can not begin until the application is approved.

Approved LCSW Supervisors

LCSW supervisors are required to be current in the Oregon Rules and Laws Exam and Continuing Education specific to clinical supervision. The list can be obtained through the Primary Source License Verification tab on our website. Mark the box stating "Only Supervisors". Leave the search terms blank for all supervisors, or enter an area for supervisors in a particular town, city or zipcode.  An Oregon licensed Psychiatrist or Psychologist who has met the before mentioned requirements may also supervise for up to half of the CSWA supervision requirements. ​A list of approved out of state LCSW's, Oregon psycholgists and Oregon psychiatrists is available by emailing the board office.

Approved Oregon LCSW supervisors
Supervisor responsibility

​Maintain supervision requirements within 5 years. Know and understand the CSWA program and assist the CSWA with renewal, supervision report and completion of plan of supervision requirements. There is a Supervision presentation on our Become a Supervisor tab, we highly recommend you view. Be familar and know division 20 of the Oregon Administrative Rules.


The CSWA will get permission to take the clinical exam automatically when final hours are approved, and the status becomes a CANDIDATE. If a CSWA desires to take the exam BEFORE completing all requirements one may request permission after recording and submitting 75 hours of supervision and 18 months of supervised experience.  No permission will be granted before the 18 month requirement, or the 75 hours of verified supervision. The Candidate must be within 6 months of completing the LCSW requirements to request the early exam authorization. Any previous licensure, or licensure in another district may be counted. ​The form to request permission is available on the forms tab located on the top bar of the website, and below on this page.  More information regarding the ASWB Clinical exam can be found on the Exams page, or by reviewing the ASWB website located on our resources page.

CSWA Early Exam Request
Supervisor responsibility

​Understand the process, and allow the CSWA to decide if he/she is ready to take the test. Do not encourage an early exam request if the CSWA is not intending or ready to either schedule the exam or take the pretest from the ASWB website.

If the hours are obtained and the CSWA is ready to schedule the exam, in between supervision reports, there is a form on the forms tab for the supervisor to verify how many hours the CSWA has participated in since the last report was submitted. The supervisors verification will be filed with the CSWA's request.

Supervisor Verification of Hours for Exam Authorization

CSWA Inactive Request

​CSWA must go inactive if not practicing under the approved plan of supervision for an extended period of time. To request inactive status, please submit a status change request through your license portal. You may need to identify reason and any requested documents upon reactivation. Be sure to complete the supervision report and entert all hours since your last report up through your last active day.

There is no fee or requirement differences for an inactive CSWA renewaing. You must still renew your inactive CSWA to avoid it from expiring. If you do not renew, you may be required to reapply.

CSWA Supervision Report
Supervisor responsibility

​A supervision report will need to be submitted through the last day worked prior to the leave of absense. Complete the report, return to the CSWA, to submit to the board.

CSWA Renewal

​Renewals are annually during your birth month. Your renewal is now done through your individual portal. Renewal fee is $66. Expiration date is 30 days after your renewal date, $50 late fee does apply. 

For additional questions on processing your renewals, please refer to the Renewals and Status Change page to the left of your page.

Online Portal
Supervisor responsibility

​Ensure the CSWA is current at all times.

LCSW Qualifications

​In order to complete the CSWA Program and qualify for the LCSW you must have:

  • 3500 Clinical practice hours
  • 2000 of those hours must be direct client
  • 100 hours of supervision, of which at least 50 must be individual
  • a minimum of 24 months of supervised practice
  • Passed the ASWB clinical exam

The board will provide you with the necessary documents to transition to the LCSW. DO NOT COMPLETE AN LCSW APPLICATION, OR PAY $460.

Supervisor responsibility

​Understand the LCSW qualifications, and assist the CSWA to obtain them.

Place of Practice Change Process

​Any time a place of practice, or agency is changed or added, a new plan of supervision must be entered and approved.

A CSWA is not authorized to practice or count any hours at any agency or place of practice that is not on an approved plan of supervision. Your responsibility is to ensure that all administrative supervisors and plan supervisors are in agreement to the level of supervision that is being provided. If your supervisor is off site, an additional HIPAA agreement may need to be in place. Please refer to your HR policies and administrative rules of the agency.

In order to add the new plan of supervision, you must first change the place of practice in the portal. You cannot edit the current place, you must add the new one. If you have left one, enter your end date, and begin with the start date of the new place of practice. Rules state any changees must be made within 30 days, but as a CSWA you need to make these changes IMMEDIATELY. any hours will not count if you have not submitted the plan and the plan is not approved by your supervisor.

Supervisor responsibility

​The supervisors responsibility is to ensure that the CSWA is always working under an approved plan of supervision. If the supervisor has not approved the plan and does not see a plan for the workplace the CSWA is currently practicing, then one must be done before any clients are seen, and before any clinical practice occurs.

Know the processes and the procedures of the CSWA. It is not only your responsibility to supervise their client relationships, and clinical duties, but also to supervise thier licensure process. Be in the know. Be available and knowledgeble when they have questions.

Plan of Supervision

A CSWA is not a license to practice clinical social work without having an approved plan of supervision on file. If the CSWA is to go on a leave of absence for three weeks or more, the certificate must be placed on inactive status, by submitting a status change request in the portal. A supervision report will need to be submitted for hours prior to leave. The reporting period will begin again once the CSWA is reactivated.​ Supervision must occur a minimum of twice per month for at least one hour. One session for 2 hours does not meet this requirement. There is no maximum of supervision as long as the supervision meets the criteria in the rules and laws listed below. Not meeting the minimum requirement of supervision may result in board action, or loss of hours. 

An initial plan is approved upon approval of the application. If there are any changes to the employer or clinical supervisor, a CSWA plan change must be submitted. Plan changes are submitted electronically by the CSWA in their license portal. If possible, submit plan change prior to the change occurring. It is important to remember that if the CSWA has left the approved employer, or stopped seeing the approved supervisor, not only will hours not count, but practicing would be out of compliance and may result in board action. 

A CSWA may only practice clinical social work outside of the approved plan of supervision if provided a QMHP or QMHA by the MHACBO. Under a QMHP/QMHA one may practice clinically but no hours will count until plan of supervision is approved. A CSWA may practice non clinical social work, go through on site orientation or shadow other clinicians, but may not see clients or act in a clinical capacity until the approval is given. 

Once the Oregon LCSW supervisor approves the PLAN CHANGE, the plan is approved, and the CSWA may start counting hours as of the date the supervisor approved it. The board will still review the plan changes, but will backdate to the supervisors approval date, if there are no issues. Any out of state LCSW, or Oregon Psychologist/Psychiatrist needs to be reviewed by the board for credential approval. Please email the board and let us know you have a pending plan with an out of state supervisor.

Please Note: The Supervisor Approval is only a key to start on a plan change. If the CSWA  has not yet been issued a CSWA approval, and does not have a CSWA number, they are not authorized to begin practicing in the state yet, so the plan does neeed board approval.

Supervisor responsibility

​Once the CSWA submits the plan, the supervisor will need to log onto thier portal to review/approve it. All supervisors need to approve the plan through the new license portal. except any supervisor being removed, or out of state supervisors. The out of state supervisor, or the psychologist/psychiatrist will need to use the plan of supervision form.

It is up to the CSWA to ensure their administrative supervisor is aware of the plan and fully supports the supervision. If there is any reason the CSWA is unable to continue the plan due to agency policy or procedures, the administrative supervisor needs to contact the board office.

Both individual and group clinical supervisors need to read and acknowledge their responsibilities. All clinical supervisors need to be familiar with Division 20 of our rules and laws listed below, and the CSWA process. You are signing that you will monitor the CSWA's progress, and meet the supervision requirements within the plan. All clinical supervisors need to contact the board office in writing immediately, if supervision is interrupted or terminated. This goes for employment termination, and leave of absence typically 3 weeks or longer, when it would not be feasible to meet twice per month and have content to discuss.

Know and understand the CSWA program and assist the CSWA with renewal, supervision report, and plan of supervision completion requirements. There is a Supervision presentation on our website under the Become a Supervisor tab we highly recommend you view. Be familiar with and know Division 20 of the Oregon Administrative Rules.

Supervision Reports

Supervision reports are to be completed by each supervisor on the plan. Reports will include a reporting start date and an end date. Hours are to be recorded for the time only during that time. Any extended length of time without supervision should not be recorded. See request for inactive status for assistance with this. Each Supervisor will complete his/her own evaluation of CSWA's progress and clinical abilities.

Enter the information on your license portal, and upload all pages as one document. All supervisors must sign. you will not have the opportunity to edit or change the evaluation after it has been approved, so review it carefully and discuss any discrepancies with you supervisor.

It is the responsibility of both the CSWA and the Supervisor to submit the evaluation in a timely manner. Please submit within 30 days from the end date. Supervision reports will go through the CSWA's renewal date which is the last day of their birth month, and a mid cycle report six months later. You have 30 days to submit. The report and the Renewal are two different tasks. Be sure not to delay the renewal due to the reporting dates. These will now be permanent reporting months, which means if a plan is ended or changed, it may result in a shorter report. Hours and experience time need to be recorded for exam authorization and plan completion.

Direct contact hours are any hours you spend in a direct dialogue with your client which results in a clinical assessment, diagnosis, or treatment of a mental health disease, disorder, condition or behavior. Please note the requirement is directly with your client, not about your client. This will eliminate the time you spend getting outside consultations with other physicians and family members as well as file management.  These hours may be counted in your total work hours, but not direct clinical. Group sessions are counted by hours in session, not the number of participants in the group. One hour is one hour regardless how many clients are participating.

Total hours is all hours you are physically at work in a clinical role.

CSWA Supervision Report
Supervisor responsibility
Each evaluation question is to be completed each reporting period by the supervisor, not the CSWA, and should not be the same as the previous​ report. All observations are to be from the reporting period referenced. If you have any concerns, please note them on the second page as the appropriate answer and include a brief description of the concerns and any additional feedback.


Complete the Supervision report found on our website (updated April 2021) send back to the CSWA for entering and uploading into the portal. The evaluation must be signed by the clinical plan supervisor.

It is the responsibilty of both the CSWA and the Supervisor to submit the evaluation in a timely manner. Please submit within 30 days from the end date. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a limit to how many supervisors, or plans I can have?

​No. There is no limit to how you develop your plan, or how many supervisors you have. The rules do state, that you must be with each supervisor for a minimum of six months before submitting a plan change.Each plan change must be approved by the board, before it comes into effect. Hours will not be back dated to the date you change your supervisors. The plan approval date is the start date.

When do I renew my CSWA?

​Your CSWA renewal date is the last day of your birth month. You renew annually by that date to avoid a late fee. 30 days after your renewal date your CSWA  will lapse. The renewal is available to you on your dashboard as of the 15th of the month prior to your renewal or birthmonth.

Is my CSWA a license to practice independently?

​No. The CSWA is a supervisory certification, and not a license to practice independantly. Your ability to legally practice clinical social work comes from your approved plan of supervision and your supervisor.  If you are interested in opening your own private practice, you will still need to follow all CSWA rules and regulations including having a plan of supervision, seperate supervision, employment and while practicing at an agency counting hours towards your LCSW. You may not count any hours affiliated with the private practice, or your own business and clients. If you leave the practice at the agency in which you have reported with the plan on file your CSWA must be reported and changed to inactive, which means you are no longer authorized to practice clinical social work until a new agency plan is approved.  Your private practice is not an agency. You may not advertise with the agency as being in private practice, or independently practicing.

If you have questions, please reach out to the board office.

I am taking a leave of absence, Do I need to notify the board?

​Yes. Any leave of absence of three weeks or more, requires that you notify the board staff. Use the status change request form through the licensing portal to change your status to inactive. Be sure to renew your CSWA while in the inactive status. If you do not renew, your license to practice will expire and you will not be able to return to practice after your leave.

This also applies if your supervisor is taking a leave, you will need to notify the board to get a temporary supervisor approved, through an online plan change. You may not continue to be in active status if you are not reporting to work, or if you are not being supervised by your approved supervisor. 

All leaves of absences result in an inactive status for the time of leave.

What happens if I leave my employer (agency)?

If you leave your approved employer, you must notify the board immediately by changing your status to inactive.​ To request inactive status, please submit a status change request through your license portal. You may need to identify reason and any requested documents upon reactivation. Be sure to complete the evaluation form and report all hours since your last report up through your last active day. Once you leave the employer, the approved plan is terminated and a new plan will need to replace it to begin counting hours. A new plan requires a supervisor approval to begin.

If you are transitioning to a new employer, you will need to submit a plan change for that new employer. Your CSWA only authorizes you to practice under the approved plan of practice.

How do I reactivate my CSWA?

​A status change will reactivate the CSWA and allow you to return to practice. You may be asked to submit a new plan, or confirm your current plan.

A New plan of supervision is to be submitted if there were any changes to your employment or supervision during your leave. A plan change requires approval before starting back to clinical practice.

A status change is used to reactivate a CSWA when there were no changes to the employer or supervision. Since there is no changes to your approved plan, you may return to clinical practice as soon as you submit the plan update.

Will I receive reminders when it is time to renew?

Yes. We will send an email renewal notice around the 15th of the month prior to your renewal, and one reminder 30 days later. You will recieve one more before your CSWA expiration date. ​

What happens if my CSWA lapses?

​If you do not complete your renewal by the expiration date, you must cease clinical practice and stop using the title of Social Worker. If you continue to clinically practice after your expiration date, or use the title social worker/CSWA, you will be ineligible to renew and will need to reapply. Be sure to submit all hours prior to your expiration by six month evaluation form.

If you cease your practice on your expiration date  you will have one year from the renewal date(not expration date) to renew by paper renewal form and paying the late fee of $50. 

Is the supervision report the same reporting period as my renewal?

Yes. Your supervision report always goes through the last day of your renewal date. For example if your renewal is the month of May, you will submit a supervision report dated through May 31. You have 30 days to have your supervisor complete it, and to submit it through your portal. ​Another mid year report will be also be in six months from that date. There are two reports per year. Submitting your supervision report due for your renewal date DOES NOT COMPLETE the renewal process, you must still go in to the license renewal tab on the portal and complete the renewal including paying the annual renewal fee. Renewal is due before the last day of your birth month, the report will go through the last day and be submitted within 30 days after.

Will I receive reminders when it is time to submit a supervision report?

​No. Supervision reports are submitted annually ending with your renewal date, and another one six months later. A plan change request may change the starting dates, however the end date will not change.

What is the next step after completing my hours, and passing the ASWB exam?

​Once the board has approved your hours, the completion of the CSWA plan, and we have received confirmation that you have passed the ASWB exam, we will email you the LCSW Initial License Form. This form will complete the transition from CSWA to LCSW. DO NOT SUBMIT AN APPLICATION FOR LCSW. Complete the form provided and submit it with the $260 initial license fee.  Please allow 2 weeks to process the licensure once we receive the form back. Until you have been assigned the LCSW, you must remain under supervision as you are still practicing as a CSWA until you have your LCSW issued.

As a CSWA on a school social work schedule, do I need to go inactive for the summer?

​Yes. Any time you are not actively practicing under your plan of supervision for an extended period of time, it is considered a leave of absense. If you obtain a summer job practicing clinical social work to continue your experience and hours, you must submit a new plan through the portal prior to starting the job. We would suggest you submit the plan as a temporary change, or seasonal change, so that you are not removing the school you plan to return to in the fall.  For the CSWA plan purpose, and extended period of time is about three weeks or more. To request inactive,use the licensing portal's status change request feature. and request a destination status of inactive. When you return. submit the request again with destination Active and submit a new plan if necessary. A new plan will need to be submitted prior to the status change being approved. If you will recieve an email to confirm.

Related Rules