School Social Worker First Time

Requirements for the Initial Certificate

This application is for people seeking their first-tier certification for the school social worker role.

  • Master's degree in social work. Must submit official transcripts showing the degree
  • Must provide verification of the following:
    Complete an ESA course approved by the Professional Educational Standards Board (PESB). Applicants must have the course completed before, or within one year after application, a 15-clock hour or 1 semester hour course approved by the PESB, which will include a number of topics related to the Educational Staff Associate (ESA) roles.
    Completion of any state's approved program leading to certification for the school social worker role Form 4099E
    Three years of out-of-state experience in the school social worker role 4020F-1
  • Submit fingerprints for a background check if a valid certificate is not already on record

PERMIT NOTE: Provided that an individual who meets all other requirements (fingerprinting, degree, license if required) but who has not yet verified of ESA course or out-of-state program completion or appropriate out-of-state experience shall be issued a temporary permit valid for one year, allowing the individual to practice in the role. The candidate shall verify one of the three requirements (course, program, or experience) to OSPI during the one-year period.


If you have all the necessary documentation to apply for this certificate, login to: E-Certification

*IMPORTANT: Please note that application fees are NOT refundable. Ensure that you select and submit the correct application. If you have questions regarding your application, please contact our office.