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Becoming a CSWE Site Visitor

What Is a Site Visitor?

Site visitors operate under the authority of the Commission on Accreditation (COA). As part of the reaffirmation process, site visitors visit social work programs and gather information about which the COA has questions related to Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS).

Qualifications

To become a certified site visitor an individual must be a full- or part-time social work faculty member at a CSWE-accredited social work program, have a letter of recommendation from that program’s chief administrator, and maintain CSWE membership. Site visitors are required to have 3 years of teaching experience. Every site visitor participates in training on EPAS before being certified. Site visitors must attend an update session whenever new standards are developed.

CSWE’s Office of Social Work Accreditation is now offering 2015 EPAS Site Visitor Training through the CSWE Learning Academy. The training includes on-demand, web-based modules and a brief proficiency assessment. For more information, visit the CSWE Learning Academy.

Site Visitor Selection

The site visit coordinator and the director of the Office of Social Work Accreditation (OSWA) use the information on the Reaffirmation Site Visit Planning form to select several potential site visitors from the roster of certified site visitors. Certified site visitors are not eligible to participate in the site visit if they participated in the program’s last site visit; work or reside in the same state as the program; are current or former faculty members or students; previously applied for a position at the program; are current or former consultants to the program; or have other conflicts of interest brought to CSWE’s attention by the program or potential site visitor.

Potential site visitors are not selected according to their experience at the program level (baccalaureate or master’s); its religious affiliation, size, administrative structure of institution, or program; area of expertise; or other similar criteria that are not germane to the collection of accurate information. Program directors are able to refuse specific site visitors only on the basis of a conflict of interest.

The site visit coordinator sends an e-mail with the names of the potential site visitors to the chief administrator of the program to review for possible conflicts of interest. The program’s chief administrator replies to the e-mail and indicates whether there is any conflict of interest with each potential site visitor and if so, the nature of the conflict.

The site visit coordinator uses that information to select a site visitor or visitors, and when site visitors are confirmed, sends the names, mailing addresses, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers to the program.