37-22-308. Licensed master's social worker requirements -- rulemaking -- exemption. (1) An applicant to be a licensed master's social worker:
(a) must have a master's degree in social work from a program accredited by the council on social work education or a program approved by the board by rule; and
(b) must have registered as a social worker licensure candidate, as provided in 37-22-313, and completed supervised work experience as specified in the training and supervision plan submitted to the board and approved by the board. Some of the required hours must be in direct client contact.
(2) After completing the required supervised work experience as a social worker licensure candidate, the applicant shall:
(a) provide the board with three letters of reference from professionals licensed by the board or academic professors who have knowledge of the applicant's professional performance;
(b) satisfactorily complete an examination prescribed by the board by rule. An applicant who fails the examination may reapply to take the examination and may continue as a social worker licensure candidate, subject to the terms set by the board.
(c) submit a completed application required by the board and the application fee prescribed by the board by rule; and
(d) submit fingerprints for the purpose of fingerprint checks as provided in 37-1-307. The board may require a criminal background check of applicants and determine the suitability for licensure as provided in 37-1-201 through 37-1-205 and 37-1-307.
(3) A licensed master's social worker:
(a) is subject to the social work ethical standards adopted under 37-22-201;
(b) may engage in social work activities as provided in 37-22-102(5)(b) through (5)(g);
(c) may engage in practice, as defined by the board, upon receiving a license; and
(d) may use the initials "LMSW" for "licensed master's social worker".
(4) An applicant is exempt from the examination requirement in subsection (2)(c) if the applicant:
(a) proves to the board that the applicant is licensed, certified, or registered in a state or territory of the United States under laws that have substantially the same requirements as this chapter; and
(b) has passed an examination similar to that required by the board.
(5) Individuals who demonstrate to the board on or before May 1, 2021, that they meet the applicable work and education experience as provided in subsection (1) are exempt from examination procedures provided in subsection (2)(b) and may be licensed under this section.
(6) The board may require a criminal background check of applicants and shall adopt rules to implement this section.