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148B.21 Requirements for licensure.

Subdivision 1. Categories of licensees. The board shall issue licenses for the following four groups of individuals qualified under this section to practice social work:

(1) social workers;

(2) graduate social workers;

(3) independent social workers; and

(4) independent clinical social workers.

Subd. 2. Fee. Each applicant shall pay a nonrefundable fee set by the board. Fees paid to the board shall be deposited in the state government special revenue fund.

Subd. 3. Social worker. (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), to be licensed as a social worker, an applicant must provide evidence satisfactory to the board that the applicant:

(1) has received a baccalaureate degree from an accredited program of social work;

(2) has passed the examination provided for in section 148B.20, subdivision 1;

(3) will engage in social work practice only under supervision as defined in section 148B.18, subdivision 12, for at least two years in full-time employment or 4,000 hours of part-time employment;

(4) will conduct all professional activities as a social worker in accordance with standards for professional conduct established by the statutes and rules of the board; and

(5) has not engaged in conduct warranting a disciplinary action against a licensee. If the applicant has engaged in conduct warranting disciplinary action against a licensee, the board may issue a license only on the applicant's showing that the public will be protected through the issuance of a license with conditions or limitations approved by the board.

(b) An applicant who was born in a foreign country, who has taken and failed to pass the examination specified in paragraph (a), clause (2), at least once since January 1, 2000, and for whom English is a second language, is eligible for licensure as a social worker if the applicant:

(1) provides evidence satisfactory to the board of compliance with the requirements in paragraph (a), clauses (1), (3), (4), and (5); and

(2) provides to the board letters of recommendation and experience ratings from two licensed social workers and one professor from the applicant's social work program who can attest to the applicant's competence.

This paragraph expires August 1, 2005.

Subd. 4. Graduate social worker. (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), to be licensed as a graduate social worker, an applicant must provide evidence satisfactory to the board that the applicant:

(1) has received a master's degree from an accredited program of social work or doctoral degree in social work;

(2) has passed the examination provided for in section 148B.20, subdivision 1;

(3) will engage in social work practice only under supervision as defined in section 148B.18, subdivision 12;

(4) will conduct all professional activities as a graduate social worker in accordance with standards for professional conduct established by the statutes and rules of the board; and

(5) has not engaged in conduct warranting a disciplinary action against a licensee. If the applicant has engaged in conduct warranting disciplinary action against a licensee, the board may issue a license only on the applicant's showing that the public will be protected through the issuance of a license with conditions or limitations approved by the board.

(b) An applicant who was born in a foreign country, who has taken and failed to pass the examination specified in paragraph (a), clause (2), at least once since January 1, 2000, and for whom English is a second language, is eligible for licensure as a graduate social worker if the applicant:

(1) provides evidence satisfactory to the board of compliance with the requirements in paragraph (a), clauses (1), (3), (4), and (5); and

(2) provides to the board letters of recommendation and experience ratings from two licensed social workers and one professor from the applicant's social work program who can attest to the applicant's competence.

This paragraph expires August 1, 2005.

Subd. 5. Independent social worker. (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), to be licensed as an independent social worker, an applicant must provide evidence satisfactory to the board that the applicant:

(1) has received a master's degree from an accredited program of social work or doctoral degree in social work;

(2) has passed the examination provided for in section 148B.20, subdivision 1;

(3) has practiced social work for at least two years in full-time employment or 4,000 hours of part-time employment under supervision as defined in section 148B.18, subdivision 12, after receiving the master's or doctoral degree in social work;

(4) will conduct all professional activities as an independent social worker in accordance with standards for professional conduct established by the statutes and rules of the board; and

(5) has not engaged in conduct warranting a disciplinary action against a licensee. If the applicant has engaged in conduct warranting disciplinary action against a licensee, the board may issue a license only on the applicant's showing that the public will be protected through the issuance of a license with conditions or limitations approved by the board.

(b) An applicant who was born in a foreign country, who has taken and failed to pass the examination specified in paragraph (a), clause (2), at least once since January 1, 2000, and for whom English is a second language, is eligible for licensure as an independent social worker if the applicant:

(1) provides evidence satisfactory to the board of compliance with the requirements in paragraph (a), clauses (1), (3), (4), and (5); and

(2) provides to the board letters of recommendation and experience ratings from two licensed social workers and one professor from the applicant's social work program who can attest to the applicant's competence.

This paragraph expires August 1, 2005.

Subd. 6. Independent clinical social worker. (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), to be licensed as an independent clinical social worker, an applicant must provide evidence satisfactory to the board that the applicant:

(1) has received a master's degree from an accredited program of social work, or doctoral degree in social work, that included an advanced concentration of clinically oriented course work as defined by the board and a supervised clinical field placement at the graduate level, or post-master's clinical training that is found by the board to be equivalent to that course work and field placement;

(2) has practiced clinical social work for at least two years in full-time employment or 4,000 hours of part-time employment under supervision as defined in section 148B.18, subdivision 12, after receiving the master's or doctoral degree in social work;

(3) has passed the examination provided for in section 148B.20, subdivision 1;

(4) will conduct all professional activities as an independent clinical social worker in accordance with standards for professional conduct established by the statutes and rules of the board; and

(5) has not engaged in conduct warranting a disciplinary action against a licensee. If the applicant has engaged in conduct warranting disciplinary action against a licensee, the board may issue a license only on the applicant's showing that the public will be protected through the issuance of a license with conditions or limitations approved by the board.

(b) An applicant who was born in a foreign country, who has taken and failed to pass the examination specified in paragraph (a), clause (3), at least once since January 1, 2000, and for whom English is a second language, is eligible for licensure as an independent clinical social worker if the applicant:

(1) provides evidence satisfactory to the board of compliance with the requirements in paragraph (a), clauses (1), (2), (4), and (5); and

(2) provides to the board letters of recommendation and experience ratings from two licensed social workers and one professor from the applicant's social work program who can attest to the applicant's competence.

This paragraph expires August 1, 2005.

Subd. 6a. Background checks. The board shall request a criminal history background check from the superintendent of the bureau of criminal apprehension on all applicants for initial licensure. An application for a license under this section must be accompanied by an executed criminal history consent form and the fee for conducting the criminal history background check. The board shall deposit all fees paid by applicants for criminal history background checks under this subdivision into the miscellaneous special revenue fund. The fees collected under this subdivision are appropriated to the board for the purpose of reimbursing the bureau of criminal apprehension for the cost of the background checks upon their completion.

Subd. 7. Temporary permit. (a) The board may issue a temporary permit to practice social work to an applicant in the following situations, provided the applicant meets all other requirements for licensure:

(1) the applicant has passed the licensure examination and the applicant's accredited program of social work has submitted an affidavit on a form provided by the board verifying the applicant's completion of the requirements for a degree. The affidavit must be submitted within 15 days of the date of completion of the degree requirements. The temporary permit under this clause is valid for six months, or until a license is issued, whichever comes first, and is nonrenewable;

(2) the applicant has applied for licensure under section 148B.24 and the board determines that the applicant must pass the licensure examination before being licensed. The temporary permit under this clause is valid if the applicant passes the examination and completes the licensure process within the time periods specified by the board, and is nonrenewable;

(3) the applicant has passed the licensure examination, has graduated from a program of social work in candidacy status with the Council on Social Work Education, and the program of social work has submitted an affidavit on a form provided by the board verifying the applicant's completion of the requirements for a degree. The affidavit must be submitted within 15 days of the date of completion of the degree requirements. The temporary permit under this clause is valid for six months, and may be extended at the board's discretion upon a showing that the social work program remains in good standing with the Council on Social Work Education. If the board receives notice from the Council on Social Work Education that the program of social work is not in good standing or that accreditation will not be granted to the program of social work, then the temporary permit shall be invalid immediately and the applicant shall not qualify for licensure; or

(4) the applicant was born in a foreign country, the applicant has taken and failed to pass the licensure examination, English is a second language for the applicant, and the applicant's accredited program of social work has submitted an affidavit on a form provided by the board verifying the applicant's completion of the requirements for a degree. The affidavit must be submitted within 15 days of the date of completion of the degree requirements. The temporary permit under this clause is valid for six months or until a license is issued, whichever comes first, and is nonrenewable. This clause expires August 1, 2005.

(b) An applicant who obtains a temporary permit may practice social work only under the supervision of a licensed social worker who is eligible to provide supervision under section 148B.18, subdivision 12. The applicant's supervisor must provide evidence to the board, before the applicant is approved by the board for licensure, that the applicant has practiced social work under supervision. This supervision will not apply toward the supervision requirement required after licensure.

(c) A temporary permit is nonrenewable.

Subd. 8. Change of licensure level. An applicant who applies under this section for licensure as a licensed independent social worker or a licensed independent clinical social worker, and who is licensed at the time of application as a licensed graduate social worker, or a licensed independent social worker, is not required to meet the educational requirement of this section. The applicant must meet all other requirements for licensure at the new level of licensure.

Subd. 9. Supervision requirement. If supervised social work practice is required for licensure under this section, and if the applicant has not engaged in the practice of social work during the five years preceding the applicant's application for licensure, then the board may grant a conditional license to the applicant that would require that the applicant obtain additional social work supervision or additional continuing education hours, or both, within a specified time period after licensure. The board shall establish rules to implement this section.

HIST: 1987 c 347 art 2 s 4; 1992 c 460 s 13-15; 1992 c 603 s 5; 1993 c 240 s 8-12; 1997 c 193 s 23-28; 1998 c 254 art 1 s 50,51; 2001 c 90 s 1-5; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 13 s 4