Board of Registration of Social Workers Policy

Enacted January 17, 2006


The Board of Registration of Social Workers voted today to adopt the following policy guidelines. These policy guidelines are intended as a recommended protocol for the profession to follow. The Board utilizes these and other guidelines as an internal management tool in formulating decisions that relate to the field of social work.

Policy No. 06-02


To provide guidance to applicants seeking to obtain ESL accommodations for the examination required for licensure as a social worker in Massachusetts.


The Board of Registration of Social Workers will provide examination accommodations for applicants for licensure for whom English is a second language. The accommodations provided will include the provision of an additional two hours of time for completion of the examination and permission for ESL candidates to use a Bi-lingual and/or English language dictionary. To obtain these ESL accommodations an applicant must submit a written, detailed request to the Board prior to registering for said examination. This request should clearly indicate why the applicant believes he/ she requires such accommodations. The accommodations as described above will be provided at the Board's discretion.


Under G.L. c. 13, §84, the Board is authorized to "examine and pass upon applicants for license to practice social work in the commonwealth." In addition, under the same provision, the Board has the power to" promulgate rules and regulations." Under G.L. c. 112, § 132 examinations are to be conducted by the Board. The Board has discretion to establish the examination requirement, rules and regulations. It is within the Board's discretion to provide accommodations for applicants for licensure for whom English is their second language. Providing such accommodations is in the interests of the profession because it will increase the opportunity for licensure of social workers whose first language is that of those communities which frequently receive the services of licensed social workers.

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