The Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work (BCD) certification is a national hallmark of quality practice, recognized by insurers, professionals, healthcare companies, courts, and consumers. The BCD is issued by the American Board of Examiners (ABE) to those who can demonstrate their ability to practice advanced-generalist clinical social work at a high level of competency.

In addition to the advanced-generalist BCD certification, clinical social workers may be certified for competency in Clinical Supervision, Practice with Children & Their Families, and Psychoanalysis. They can be found, with many details of their practice and background, in the Online BCD Directory.

BCD Clinical Social Workers affirm annually, through an audited process, that they meet standards for continuing education, currency of clinical practice, and state licensure in good standing. Annual recertification, unique to BCD certification, enables ABE to serve as an official verifier of healthcare services compliant with the criteria of NCQA, URAC, JCAHO, and others.

For healthcare delivery systems seeking a true measure of advanced competency, the BCD is the gold standard. In the U.S. uniformed services, the BCD is a criterion for up to $6,000 in bonus pay, while in the VHA it is a Tier One credential useful for SAA pay increases. Some insurers and healthcare providers strengthen their practitioner panels by extending preferred status to BCD Clinical Social Workers, and many agencies reimburse their practitioners for the costs of board certification.


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ABE is a unit of the Center for Clinical Social Work as is ACSWA, the American Clinical Social Work Association.

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