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Oncology Social Work Certification (OSW-C) Requirements

  • Copy of your master’s degree diploma from a Council on Social Work Education Accredited Program.  (Schools in candidacy are not accepted)
  • At least three years post masters experience in oncology social work.  Per diem work does not count toward this accrual of time.
  • A minimum of 50% of your workload if you are full time or 100% of your work load if you work 20 hours per week must be in oncology social work OR for those working in program development, a minimum of 50% of full time work load will be spent in developing programs that focus in Oncology, Palliative Care and/or End of Life Care. You will need to submit a syllabus of projects specific to Oncology, Palliative Care and/or End of Life Care that you have developed and a statement from your supervisor indicating the same.
  • Current state social work license in good standing.  Note for California applicants:  being registered as an Associate Clinical Social Worker does not suffice as a state license.  You must be a Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  • Current member of either the Association of Oncology Social Workers (AOSW), the Association of Pediatric Oncology Social Workers (APOSW) or the American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS).

From the following grouping demonstrate that you meet at least one of the criteria by submitting proof of your involvement (i.e.: flyer, letter, brochure):

  • Community involvement through leadership or organizing programs offered through ACS, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Cancer Support Community, etc.
  •  Facilitate or co-facilitate a support group for individuals affected by cancer.
  • Demonstrate involvement in education by giving presentations in the community, at an AOSW, APOSW or APOS conference or to social work and interdisciplinary colleagues in your own settings.
  •  Precept a master’s level student in oncology, palliative or hospice care.
  •  Participate in some aspect of research in oncology, cancer survivorship, palliative or end of life care.
  •  Demonstrate active participation in AOSW, APOSW or APOS through committee activities (Board, SIGS, State Reps, etc).
  •  Participate in the Cancer Care Committee and outreach screening programs sponsored by the Cancer Care Committee.
  • $100 fee for 2 year certification.
  • Provide 3 Professional Statements of Support:  1 must be from your current supervisor and 2 from professional co-workers (MD, RN, MSW or PhD).  Professional Statements of Support cannot be from past or present social work students/interns, supervisees or from non-degree colleagues.

Benefits of OSW-C

  • Demonstrates to clients and colleagues that you have a defined and specialized skill set that represents an advanced level of competence, commitment, and experience in the field of oncology social work.
  • Is the preferred certification for the required role of “Psychosocial Coordinator” for the Cancer Committee, which is specified in the Commission on Cancer Standards of Care
  • You will receive a certificate that you can display and a letter of recognition be given to your employer
  • Demonstrates to accrediting organizations such as Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, American College of Surgeons, Commission on Cancer, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and your community that Oncology Social workers comply with standards and ethics that ensure delivery of quality services to all.


30 hours of CEU’s must be submitted every two years at renewal.  15 CEUs must have content and learning objectives specific to oncology, palliative care or end of life care.  These oncology specific CEUs can be obtained from, but not limited to, AOSW conference, ACS, APOSW, Cancer Care, ACCC, NHPCO, NASW, ONS, and APOS.  Certificates from these programs must be attached with the renewal application.

Certificates from these programs must be attached with the renewal application including the approving body and the number of social work CEU’s.

Applications must be in English.

Annual hospital safety programs, Tumor Boards, journal clubs, Rounds(including Schwartz) and/or Cancer Care Committee meetings do not count towards CEU requirements.