Northern Mariana Islands and Guam Begin Regulating Social Work, Adopt ASWB Licensing Exam

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Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands have joined the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) in order to administer the ASWB social work licensing exam as part of adopting new regulations for the social work profession. This is the first time that social workers will be regulated and licensed in these jurisdictions.

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Professional regulation protects the public by ensuring that consumers have an avenue of recourse if practitioners step outside the boundaries of the rules, regulations, and ethics that guide our profession.

The Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and the Territory of Guam have joined the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) in order to administer the ASWB social work licensing exam as part of adopting new regulations for the social work profession. This is the first time that social workers will be regulated and licensed in these jurisdictions. The board of directors for the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), the nonprofit association of social work regulatory bodies in the U.S. and Canada that owns and maintains the licensing exams, accepted the application of both U.S. jurisdictions by unanimous vote.

“We are pleased to welcome the Health Care Professions Licensing Board of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Guam Board of Social Work of the Territory of Guam as members of ASWB,” said ASWB President Dorinda N. Noble, Ph.D., LCSW. “Professional regulation protects the public by ensuring that consumers have an avenue of recourse if practitioners step outside the boundaries of the rules, regulations, and ethics that guide our profession. The ASWB social work licensing exam ensures that social work professionals demonstrate their ability to practice competently and safely before becoming licensed.”

The Northern Mariana Islands and the Territory of Guam form the Mariana Islands in the Pacific subregion of Micronesia.

Northern Mariana Islands
The Health Care Professions Licensing Board (HCPLB) of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands includes the regulation of the profession of social work. The board recently adopted regulations for licensing baccalaureate, masters, and clinical social workers.

CNMI is a commonwealth of the United States, ratified in 1975. It is a 14-island archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. The population of approximately 53,000 (2013) lives predominantly on the islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.

Territory of Guam
The Guam Social Work Board of the Territory of Guam is an independent regulatory agency with the authority to license and regulate the profession of social work in Guam. The board is in the process of developing regulations for the licensure of social workers at the baccalaureate, masters, and clinical levels.

Guam became a U.S. territory in 1898. Its current form of government was established in 1950. The island of Guam is the southernmost and largest of the Mariana island chain. It is also the largest island in Micronesia. The population in 2013 was approximately 165,000.

About ASWB

The Association of Social Work Boards is the nonprofit association of social work regulatory bodies in the United States and Canada. In addition to Guam and Northern Mariana Islands, ASWB member jurisdictions include 49 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands, and all ten Canadian provinces. The association owns and maintains the licensing examinations used by its jurisdictional members and also provides services to members and social workers, such as the Approved Continuing Education program, the ASWB Social Work Registry, and the Public Protection Database. ASWB’s mission is to strengthen protection of the public by providing support and services to the social work regulatory community in order to advance safe, competent, and ethical practices. Visit http://www.aswb.org for more information.

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Jayne Wood
@ASWB
since: 02/2011
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