EPAS Revision

The Commission on Accreditation (COA) and Commission on Educational Policy (COEP) at the Council on Social Work Education are in the process of revising the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS). The revision is taking place in accordance with the CSWE bylaws, which mandate that the policy statement be reviewed “at periodic intervals not to exceed 7 years." CSWE’s recognition by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) also requires that accreditors have a process whereby standards are reviewed periodically. The educational policy will be sent to the CSWE Board of Directors for approval in March 2015. The revised accreditation standards will be voted on by the COA at its June 2015 meeting with implementation of the new EPAS planned to be effective July 1, 2015 (see timeline).  This page will outline developments in the revision process and opportunities for providing feedback. There will be multiple opportunities to provide feedback on the drafts electronically and in person. If you have any questions, please contact CSWE by e-mail at EPASrevision@cswe.org.

CSWE’s Commission on Educational Policy (COEP) and Commission on Accreditation (COA) would like to thank the programs, individuals, organizations and communities of interest that provided feedback on Draft 2 of the 2015 EPAS. Draft 3 is now available for review and public comment through December 31, 2014.  Feedback on Draft 3 is very important as this will be the last public comment period for the 2015 EPAS before it is voted on next year.

The intent of both commissions is to solicit feedback from as many constituents as possible in as many ways as possible. CSWE invites and encourages all individual/program members and interested organizations to provide feedback on the third draft of the 2015 EPAS. Feedback can be submitted as a group or individually in one or more of the following ways:

Online Feedback

You can send feedback on the third draft through the online comment form.
[If you have trouble opening the form, copy and paste this link into your browser: http://research.zarca.com/Survey.aspx?k=SsTXWXsTUXsPsPsP&Status=&Lang=&test=&SSL=&Type=&Mode=&Data=&Frm=beg&&Dir=FST]
Public comment closes December 31, 2014.

  • Submit a feedback letter directly to CSWE at Office of Social Work Accreditation, 1701 Duke Street, Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314 or by e-mail at EPASrevision@cswe.org.
  • Attend 2015 EPAS information and feedback sessions at the 2014 APM conferences and share feedback in person.  Two feedback sessions will be held at APM in Tampa, FL:
    • Friday, October 24, 2014, 3:30–5:00 pm, Tampa Convention Center, Ballroom A
    • Saturday, October 25, 2014: 1:45–3:15 pm, Tampa Convention Center, Ballroom A

Background Documents

CSWE suggests reviewing the following document to understand the rationale and reason for changes proposed in Draft 3 prior to submitting comments on Draft 3 of the 2015 EPAS.

Draft 2 Feedback

The third draft contains modifications from the first and second drafts which are the result of the COEP and COA’s detailed review of all submitted comments and feedback sessions. An Overview of the Feedback on Draft 2 of the 2015 EPAS summarizes the following highlights:

  • An open online survey was available from March 14–May 16, 2014 to submit feedback and comments.  Approximately 64 surveys were collected (increase from 24 received on Draft 1). Specific feedback and comments are available here.
  • Two EPAS feedback sessions were held during the BPD Conference in Louisville, KY on March 22 (~150 people attended) and the NADD Conference in Asheville, NC on April 11 (~100 people attended). Specific feedback and comments are available here.
  • Comments were also submitted from individuals, social work programs and social work affinity groups through the CSWE EPAS e-mail address and also by regular mail. Specific feedback and comments are available here.

The following topics emerged in the feedback on Draft 2 included:

Educational policy issues:

  1. mandating practice behaviors
  2. adding, consolidating, and reconfiguring practice behaviors and competencies
  3. adding environmental justice along with social and economic justice
  4. concerns about how generalist and specialized practice is defined in EP
  5. concerns about eliminating/infusing HBSE content
  6. support for interprofessional practice
  7. keeping diversity list in implicit curriculum

Accreditation standards issues:

  1. concerns about distance learning, emphasis on in-person learning, supervision in field education
  2. definition of in-person contact given new technologies and practice
  3. workload in field education
  4. faculty-student ratios
  5. edits to the standards
  6. how to determine valid measures
  7. importance of collecting and analyzing data collected under 2008 EPAS before creating the 2015 version.

Information from Previous Drafts and Feedback

Background Documents

Drafts of 2015 EPAS