• NASW-IL Staff

ASWB Licensing Exams During COVID-19


In our latest correspondence with the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) regarding the possibility of offering licensing exams online, ASWB is as yet unable to offer the ASWB licensing exams through an online platform. To read more on how and why they reached this decision, please read below from our correspondence with ASWB dated June 19, 2020:


The licensing exams developed and administered by ASWB must adhere to strict industry standards to ensure validity, reliability and legally defensibility on behalf of the licensing boards granting an applicant a license to practice social work. Since the exams are used as part of the process of granting a license it is vital that administration of the exams is done in a manner that ensures a consistent test environment and maintains high test security. Also, because of the type of exam administered by ASWB and the timeframe for completion, online testing risks service interruptions adding another reason why this type of testing is not conducive to high stakes licensing exams.
Online testing, with our without proctoring, is available for credentialing exams used in the certification industry. These tests are often used for voluntary certification credentials and have different standards for security and consistency. High stakes licensing exams, like those administered by ASWB, must meet stricter standards and require greater security than the test administration process used for voluntary credentials. No online testing process provides the level of consistency and security required for administration of ASWB’s licensing exams. At this time it is uncommon for licensing exam in any profession to be administered online. Should online testing reach a level of consistency and security that meets the standards needed for high stakes licensing exams, ASWB will consider use of this method to administer our licensing exams. Until then we must adhere to the highest standards, which are only achieved by testing in approved test centers operated by PearsonVue.
I hope this helps you understand why we are unable to offer the ASWB licensing exams through an online platform.
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