Course Accreditation Program (CAP)

[Revised 07.2016]

Please read the entire overview of the NASWVA Course Accreditation Program prior to preparing and submitting an application. This will clarify many aspects of the process including application requirements, time frame, and administrative responsibilities of the sponsoring organization to ensure a smooth and successful Continuing Education event.  

 Scope and Goal of Program

The NASW Virginia (NASWVA) Course Accreditation Program certifies workshops, conferences seminars and other types of programs that contribute to Social Work knowledge in all areas of practice (health, mental health, child/family services, etc) and methodology (including clinical, administrative, management, policy, etc). The goal of the program is to encourage the continuing education of all Social Workers throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and to establish a professional standard of excellence in those continuing education offerings.

Application Requirements

Applicants will be expected to identify specific program learning objectives, speaker credentials, and site arrangements that are consistent with NASW Standards for Continuing Professional Education (NASW, 1982). Applications must include agendas, timetables, method(s) of instruction, and content outlines designed to meet the identified learning objectives. All files should be clearly labeled and sent electronically.

Approved providers agree in advance to return the following documents to the NASWVA Chapter office within 30 days after the program has concluded:

  • An Excel spreadsheet containing registrants’ info and CE hours completed
  • Program evaluation summary

Application Processing Fees

A nonrefundable fee covering application processing is assessed to providers. The current fee structure is:

  • One-Day Program Application: $125.00
    Any workshop or seminar with a minimum of 2 hours of program time, which does not span more than one calendar day. One repeat of the program will be allowed at no additional charge when date and location are submitted on original application
  • Repeat of Approved Event: $25.00 
    A single-day workshop or seminar which has been previously approved by NASWVA may be repeated without major changes to content, agenda, or speaker(s) within one year of accreditation.  The sponsoring organization must notify NASWVA of the new date(s) and location at least 15 days prior to the event to allow time for formal acknowledgement and posting of event (optional).
  • Multi-Day Conference Application: $250.00
    Any conference that is greater than one calendar day and has multiple competing workshops. This program cannot be repeated. A new application must be submitted each year for approval.
  • Staff Development/Series Program: $75.00 per topic/session in the Series (must be paid in full at the initial application date)
    Any workshop series (of two or more) with a general theme, but different topics/speakers for each event. The providing agency will submit one application with goals and objectives for the "Series" and supporting goals and objectives for each "event". Speaker credentials must be submitted at the initial application date OR a minimum of 30 days prior to the event. If speaker credentials are not received a minimum of 30 days prior to the event, that particular event will not be eligible for CE credit. All "events" must take place within one year of the initial application to be considered as part of the series program.

NASW Virginia CAP Evaluation Criteria

Application Content
Applications must contain sufficient information for evaluation by the NASW Virginia Continuing Education Program Certification Committee (hereafter referred to as "the Committee"). If the Committee deems the submitted information insufficient, additional information may be requested from the conference provider before rendering a final decision. Failure to submit such data may serve as the basis for denying approval.

Topic information must relate to one of the following:

  1.  Social Work practice, theory and/or methodology;
  2.  Social issues or policy;
  3.  Administration, planning, and research related to human services.

The implications must be clear, logical, and defendable. This information should be reflected in any promotional material. Specific program learning objectives must be identified and supported with agendas, timetables, and content outlines. Event content must be congruent with the tenets of the NASW Code of Ethics.

Speakers are regarded as qualified to present on a topic based on the following factors:

  1. Competence in subject matter (as evidenced by work experience, formal education and training, publishing and/or public speaking history, and/or other recognition by peers including certificates, licenses, titles, and/or awards);
  2. Ability to transmit education to participants;
  3. Capacity to evaluate and modify future offerings based on evaluation feedback.

Requests are anticipated from individuals with a diverse array of credentials and experience. Accordingly, a strict standard will not be established solely on the basis of academic degree.

It is recognized that individuals may have become known and accepted as competent within their fields without necessarily having achieved higher academic or professional credentials. These individuals, including well-published authors, have unique contributions to make to our knowledge.

NOTE: It is the singular responsibility of the audience to place speakers’ material in the appropriate context and determine any application of speakers’ material to their practice.

Conference/ arrangements/ organization must be reflected in the application with sufficient logistical planning. Such planning is reflected in completion of the following items:

  1. Established site selection;
  2. Confirmed speaker selection;
  3. Preparation of conference brochures;
  4. A system for maintaining and verifying records of each event, including accounting, registrations, attendance records, course outlines, and completed evaluations.

Application Evaluation and Certification Process

Each Committee member individually evaluates the application items noted above. The Committee Chair solicits each committee member’s vote; Committee members reviewing the application shall agree before an approval is rendered. The Vice President has final approval.

The Committee shall act on conference application within 35 days of Chapter receipt. Acceptance or rejection notifications or requests for additional information shall be mailed to conference sponsors within 5 working days of the Committee’s evaluation. Note: If application is received less than 35 days there will be a $50 charge added to your fee for a rush process.

Continuing Education Contact hours will be conferred on the basis of the actual time expended in educational activities. One hour of instruction equals one contact hour. Accordingly, time allocated for conference registration, meals, snacks, social hours, rest breaks, or similar elements will be disallowed. In the event there is an educational program connected with a meal function, time spent eating is not included, but there may be credit for the educational portion of that session.

Questions regarding the Committee activities or certification decisions may be directed to the Professional Development Coordinator. Should further information or actions be desired, inquiries may be directed to the NASW Virginia Chapter Executive Director.

Continuing Education Credit Records & Issuance of Certificates

Permanent Records
NASWVA maintains records of all applications, approvals, rejections, attendance, evaluation summaries, and CE certificates issued.  Individuals or event sponsors may request copies of their own attendance and certification records by contacting the NASWVA Chapter office.
A processing fee may apply.

Documentation of Attendance
NASWVA requires evidence that participants have satisfactorily completed the approved activity before issuing CE certificates.  It is the responsibility of the event host to certify attendance and contact hours earned for each participant. 

Upon conclusion of the event, the sponsoring organization must submit a verified attendance roster - in Excel format - providing information necessary to process CE certificates. (A sample spreadsheet showing required data will be provided to approved CE sponsors) The event host may use any reliable method to track attendance but everyone requesting a CE certificate must appear on the verified roster.     

Program Evaluations
All attendees must be provided with an evaluation tool to rate the speaker(s), program content, overall satisfaction with the conference, and allow for additional feedback. Electronic surveys are acceptable and the same guidelines apply. A summary of the program evaluations completed by attendees must be compiled by the sponsoring organization and sent to NASWVA within 30 days of the CE event.

Issuance of Certificates
NASW Virginia will issue CE certificates to participants who have successfully completed the program and appear on the verified attendance roster. Each participant must complete at least 85% of all sessions for which they are seeking credit. Contact hours will be awarded based on certified data provided by the event host.

CE certificates may be ordered online by individual attendees or in bulk by the sponsoring organization. The fee is $5 for NASW members and $10 for non-members. Certificates will be processed and emailed within 2-4 weeks of order, assuming verification has been received from the sponsoring organization. Bulk orders may be placed directly through the NASWVA office. Duplicate/replacement certificates may be ordered if needed.


Promoting NASW Virginia Approval on Your Program Literature:

  • Prior to approval: Promotional material must state, "Continuing Education Approval from NASW Virginia Chapter is pending".
  • Courses approved by NASW Virginia: Should have the following information: "This program has been approved by the National Association of Social Workers, Virginia Chapter for ___ contact hours."

Website Advertisement
Sponsors of approved programs will have the option of being listed on the NASWVA Chapter website in Upcoming Events. The listing will be removed after the date of the conference. If a scheduled repeat of a one-day program is submitted within appropriate time guidelines, it will also be listed.


Download the Application & Pay Application Fees

Download the Application HERE. 

Helpful hint: Do this several months prior to your event in order to become familiar with the requirements and have sufficient time to obtain supporting documentation.

1. When the application is complete and ready to be submitted, email it along with all attachments to professionaldevelopment.naswva@socialworkers.orgNote: Applications and supporting documents must be sent electronically.

2. Call NASWVA at 804-204-1339 to confirm receipt and pay the application fee with a credit card over the phone or in our Online Store. If you must send a check, please notify the Chapter Office in advance, when confirming receipt of your application.

3. Once you have paid the fee, your application will go through a preliminary review before being sent to the accreditation committee. Standard turn-around time is approximately 1 month but may be longer if additional information is needed. NASWVA staff will serve as a liaison between you and the committee throughout the process. 

4. We are here to help! Please contact Jaime Strohhacker, Professional Development Coordinator, at or 804-204-1339 Ext. 202, with any questions. 


Thank you for applying to NASWVA for approval of your continuing education event!