On behalf of CSWE’s Commission on Educational Policy (COEP) and Commission on Accreditation (COA) practice doctorate committee, the first draft of the accreditation standards for practice doctoral programs (DSW) in social work is now available for public review, comment, and feedback.  In March 2016, the CSWE Board of Directors voted for COEP and COA to move forward with developing a process for the accreditation of practice doctoral programs in social work. Following a careful analysis of the recommendations from a number of groups and activities since 2010 that examined the role of the advanced practice doctorate in social work and its implications for the social work profession, the CSWE Board of Directors concluded that accreditation of practice doctoral programs would protect and enhance the preparation of social work practitioners in specialized social work practice.

A practice doctorate committee of both commissions and current DSW program directors have been actively working to conceptualize and create accreditation standards that will ensure that practice doctoral programs can differ in their goals, curricula, and competencies of their graduates. Thus, these draft standards recognize a diverse approach for the accreditation of practice doctoral programs that encompasses the broad scope of social work practice at the doctoral level as well as the required components for a quality practice doctoral program.  The development of an accreditation process and standards is set-up to be a thoughtful, lengthy, two year inclusive and collaborative process that includes public comment periods and feedback sessions as outlined on the timeline.

The intent of the practice doctorate committee is to solicit feedback from as many constituents as possible in as many ways as possible.  CSWE invites and encourages all individual and program members and interested organizations/groups to provide feedback on the draft standards proposed for the accreditation of practice doctoral programs.  Feedback can be submitted as a group or individually in one or more of the following ways:

1. Submit feedback online as an individual and/or program member of CSWE group or organization here by December 31, 2018.

2. Submit a feedback letter directly to CSWE at Office of Educational Initiatives and Research, 1701 Duke Street, Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314 or email by December 31, 2018.

3. Attend an information and feedback sessions at the 2018 APM and share feedback in person.  The  APM session is scheduled for:
Friday, November 9th, 12:30-1:30 PM, Dolphin, Walt Disney Resort, Northern Hemisphere E-3/Fifth Level

4. Participate in an online feedback session on December 5, 2018.  More information to follow.

The practice doctorate committee is committed to developing an appropriate structure and process that will be transparent, inclusive, and responsive to CSWE members and other stakeholders’ feedback. We look forward to hearing from you and welcome collegial feedback on the draft standards as well as help in disseminating this information widely among all interested parties.  If you have any questions about the feedback process or experience any technical problems with the online feedback system, please contact the CSWE Office of Educational Initiatives and Research at

Practice Doctoral Program Accreditation Documents

   Draft 1 of Practice Doctoral Program Accreditation Standards

   CSWE Practice Doctorate Committee Members


   Practice Doctoral Program Accreditation Feedback Survey Results

   BPD Conference 2018 Practice Doctorate Accreditation PowerPoint Presentation

   Report on Framework for Accreditation of Practice Doctoral Programs in Social Work