California Dreamin'UPDATE: Our California Law & Ethics Practice Test is available now. Go to our purchase page, click on "California," and select California Law & Ethics For more details, click here.

California social workers heading toward licensure have at this point probably gotten word of changes that are coming to the California LCSW licensing process. Here are the basics: California has long had a two exams--the Standard Written and Clinical Vignette. Starting on January 1st, 2016, that changes. There will still be two exams, yes. One will be a 75-question California Law and Ethics exam. The other will be the exam familiar to social workers across the rest of the country, the ASWB Clinical Exam. Details about the L&E exam are somewhat hazy. The ASWB exam is well-known. It's like a shorter, CA-specific law & ethics-free version of the CA Standard Written. There are details for days on and multiple practice tests for it right here at SWTP. Here's that info as delivered by the BBS on their site:

Effective January 1, 2016 the Board's examination process will be restructured...A California Law and Ethics Exam will replace the Standard Written Exam for LMFT and LCSW applicants. For LPCC applicants this exam will not change. It is designed to assess the applicant's knowledge of and ability to apply legal and ethical standards relating to clinical practice. This will consist of 75 multiple-choice items administered over a two-hour period [UPDATE: CHANGED TO 90 MINUTES]. The re-exam waiting period for the exam is 90 days.

Curious about what the L&E exam will cover in those 75 questions? Take a look at the outline at the end of the LPCC Candidate Handbook. What's there is unsurprising--it's the very material that was covered in questions that appeared on the old exams: Confidentiality and Privilege, Limits of Confidentiality, Professional Conduct, Informed Consent, Standards of Practice, Scope of Competence, and Therapeutic Relationship. To help you get prepped, we'll have a practice exam (or two) up toward the end of the year. In the meantime, your Code of Ethics and select sections of the California legal code are your friends.

An additional heads-up:  no exams will be administered in California between December 1 and 31st, 2015. From the BBS:

In order to ensure a successful transition, the Board will be implementing an examination blackout period for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) examinations to ensure the integrity of examination candidate data during the transition. The Examination Blackout Period provides more information as to what this means for you.

Keep an eye on the SWTP blog for more California exam news as it comes.

August 17, 2015
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