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AASW Accredited Clinical Social Worker (ACSW)

Your Distinction: Find out more

In 2018, AASW launched the Your Distinction Program, expanding credential opportunities for members. The program recognises specialisation and advanced social work practice in a range of areas. The credential assures clients and their families, the Australian community, employers and funding bodies that accredited social workers have acquired a distinguished level of expertise in their field of practice. AASW accreditation means Your Distinction in the social work sector, your area of expertise and your career journey. Due to significant interest from members for a clinical social worker credential, the AASW is pleased to announce the launch of the new Accredited Clinical Social Worker.

Why Become an Accredited Clinical Social Worker?

Be recognised for your advanced direct practice and expertise in clinical social work. Be known as a thought leader in your dedicated body of work.

Position yourself as a social worker with a reputation of expertise and distinction, assuring your clients that you meet the highest standards of knowledge, safety and quality of service in social work.

Raise your profile as a clinical social worker in your work environment and in the sector. The credential promotes your potential and value to employers, confirming your high level of professional achievement, knowledge and skill, while validating your commitment to the social work profession.

What is an Accredited Clinical Social Worker?

A clinical social worker draws on evidence-based theories and methods of prevention, assessment and treatment with a special focus on psychosocial and behavioural problems and disorders.

The practice of clinical social work is informed by the broader concepts intrinsic to social work practice such as enhancing the wellbeing of persons in their environment, inclusive of principles of social justice and human rights, person-centred and strengths focused interventions.

Further to this, clinical social work

  • Requires complex decision making, systemic analysis and advanced critical thinking skills gained through supervised practice, continuous improvement and focused professional development (which may include postgraduate education)
  • Engages directly with individuals, couples, families and groups focused on complex issues impacting on individual and family functioning and their relationships including, but not limited to, mental health, parenting, separation, adolescence, addiction, grief/loss and trauma.

The clinical social worker credential recognises advanced direct practice in a diverse and unique range of clinical practice settings and progressive body of clinical knowledge through the accreditation process.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Current membership of the AASW
  • Minimum of five years full-time equivalent (post-qualifying) social work practice including a minimum of two years full-time equivalent social work practice experience in clinical social work practice
  • Minimum of two years’ full-time equivalent post-qualifying supervision in clinical social work or evidently related field
  • Ability to demonstrate how this experience meets the Accredited Clinical Social Worker Framework both through written submission and referee statement
  • Successful completion of clinical case study assessment in an exam environment
  • Meets the Clinical Social Worker Continuing Professional Development requirements for the membership year. This includes a total of 50 hours of Continuing Professional Development in AASW specified categories, of which 20 hours must be specific to clinical social work
  • A curriculum vitae.

Before you apply

If this do not answer your questions, please contact the Credentialing Team for more information.

How to apply

Applications for accreditation as a Clinical Social Worker must now be made on application form and in accordance with the AASW Clinical Social Worker Capability Framework (2019).

Application Forms

There are four different application types, and your current membership status will determine which application form should be used:

  1. Current member of the AASW
  2. Current member of the AASW and Accredited Mental Health Social Worker (AMHSW)
  3. Current member of the AASW, Accredited Mental Health Social Worker (AMHSW) and current member of the Clinical Division of the Australian College of Social Work
  4. Current member of the AASW and current member of the Clinical Division of the Australian College of Social Work

Other Forms

How to submit your application

To minimise processing delays, please ensure your application is complete before submitting it. Submit your application via email or post.

Email your application and supporting documentation to Note: We cannot accept emails over 10 MB in size so, if required, please send your information in more than one email.

Post your application and supporting documentation to:
AASW Credentialing Team
PO Box 2008
Royal Melbourne Hospital, VIC 3050

Maintaining your credential

Once you have successfully obtained your credential, you must maintain it by:

  1. Meeting your annual CPD requirements
  2. Meeting your recency of practice requirements
  3. Renewing your annual AASW membership and paying the associated fee
  4. Renewing your annual AASW credential membership and paying the associated fee.

Can I put my credential status on hold?

There is no official process for putting your credential status on hold. Rather, if you choose not to renew your credential for any specific financial year, your credential membership will lapse, and you will be required to apply for reinstatement if you choose to renew it in the future.

If you need to re-instate your credential, you will need to follow the re-instatement process.

Further Information

For further information, contact

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers