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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 license. (a) The board may issue a temporary license to practice social work to an applicant who is either:

(1) not licensed in any jurisdiction but has:

(i) applied for a license under section 148B.24;

(ii) applied for a temporary license on a form provided by the board;

(iii) submitted a form provided by the board authorizing the board to complete a criminal background check with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension;

(iv) passed the applicable licensure examination provided for in section 148B.20, subdivision 1, paragraph (c); and

(v) attested on a form provided by the board that the applicant has completed the requirements for a baccalaureate or master's degree from a social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education or the requirements for a doctoral degree in social work; or

(2) licensed in another jurisdiction, may or may not have applied for a license under section 148B.20, and has:

(i) applied for a temporary license on a form provided by the board;

(ii) submitted a form provided by the board authorizing the board to complete a criminal background check with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension;

(iii) submitted evidence satisfactory to the board that the applicant is currently licensed or credentialed to practice social work in another jurisdiction; and

(iv) attested on a form provided by the board that the applicant has completed the requirements for a baccalaureate or master's degree from a social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education or the requirements for a doctoral degree in social work.

(b) An applicant for a temporary license must not practice social work in Minnesota until the applicant has been granted a temporary license. An applicant who is practicing social work at the time of application is ineligible for a temporary license.

(c) An applicant for a temporary license must pay the nonrefundable application fee described in section 148B.226 plus the required fee for the cost of the criminal background check. Only one fee for the cost of the criminal background check must be submitted when the applicant is applying for both a temporary license and a license under section 148B.20.

(d) An applicant who is not licensed in another jurisdiction and who obtains a temporary license 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 applies toward the supervision requirement required after licensure.

(e) A temporary licensee who has provided evidence to the board that the licensee has completed the requirements for a baccalaureate degree in social work from a social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education may temporarily engage in the social work practice described in section 148B.18, subdivision 11, paragraph (b), but may not engage in the social work practice described in section 148B.18, subdivision 11, paragraph (c).

(f) A temporary licensee who has provided evidence to the board that the licensee has completed the requirements for a master's degree in social work from a social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, or the requirements for a doctoral degree in social work, may temporarily engage in the social work practice described in section 148B.18, subdivision 11, paragraphs (b) and (c).

(g) A temporary licensee shall conduct all professional activities as a social worker in accordance with the requirements established by the statutes and rules of the board.

(h) A temporary licensee must use the title "Social Worker - Temporary Licensee" in all professional use of the temporary licensee's name.

(i) The board may immediately revoke the temporary license of any temporary licensee who violates any requirements of this subdivision. A temporary licensee whose temporary license is revoked shall immediately return the temporary license to the board.

(j) A temporary license is valid for six months, or until the board issues or denies a license, or until the board revokes the temporary license, whichever comes first, and is nonrenewable. An individual holding a temporary license may not practice social work for more than six months without a license under section 148B.24.

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; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113; 2003 c 111 s 5