School Social Worker Licensure

NC Continuing Professional Educator's License

The Department of Public Instruction issues the license for practicing school social workers. Recommendations for licensure need to be made by the Dean of Education or the Licensure Officer from an approved program.  School social workers receive a professional educator's license with the content area of school social work.

For a list of approved School Social Worker preparation programs in North Carolina, please visit the NCDPI Educator Preparation EPP Licensure Areas page.

Continuing Professional License (CPL)

The CPL may be issued to:

  • PreK - 12 teachers with 3 or more years of teaching experience and:

    • NCSBE tests required for NC educator preparation program completers, or

    • Comparable exams and effectiveness data from another state where a current license is held for out-of-state approved educator preparation program completers.

  • Student Services Personnel who have passing NC licensure exam scores or comparable licensure tests from another state for out-of-state approved educator preparation program completers.

  • Administrators with passing NC testing requirements (if applicable).

Step 1. Completion of an approved education preparation or alternative route educator licensure program

Step 2. Obtain the following official documents to be uploaded into your online application:

  • Degree-dated transcripts - bachelor's, master's, and all other post-secondary studies

  • Valid and current educator's license from another state

  • Licensure content area exam scores for NC's required rest(s) or comparable tests from other states may qualify out-of-state CPL applicants (except administrators)

  • Educator Effectiveness Data from another state (including student growth, where applicable and documentation/links for the effectiveness model that generates the effectiveness rating.)

    • If effectiveness data is not provided with your NC CPL application you may only qualify for the IPL.

    • Effectiveness data example - a final official signed (by both the supervising school official and NC license applicant) summative performance evaluation from the state where you were employed with current licensure and a link to the definition of the model leading to the performance rating.

  • Forms

    • Form V or verification letter of alternative route programs that lead to licensure from the state's department of education or licensing board where the approved route was completed

    • Experience request forms for previous work

      • PreK-12 teaching/teacher's assistant (Form E)

      • Post-secondary (Form CE),

      • Non-teaching (Form NE),

      • Military Instructor or Leadership (Form ME)

        • Have each different employer complete and sign a separate form

        • Review requirements for experience credit on each form prior to submitting the application

Step 3. Register for an account or login to the NCDPI Online License System and apply for a license.

  • Upload all requested documentation into the online application for licensure.

Step 4. Pay the required non-refundable/non-transferrable licensure fee with a valid credit card.

Professional Educator's License Renewal

Credits Required for Licensure Renewal

The renewal process ensures that North Carolina Continuing Professional License (CPL) educators engage in on-going updates of their professional knowledge and technical competence. The CPL must be renewed every five years on or after April 15th of the year that a license expires.

Renewal and Reinstatement Requirements Total 8 CEUs or 80 Clock Hours of Professional Development

Student Services Personnel

  • 3 Professional Discipline
  • 2 Digital Learning
  • 3 General

Activities Accepted for Renewal Credit:

  • College or university courses
    • Official transcripts are required as documentation; grade reports are not accepted.
  • Local in-service courses or workshops
    • The administrative unit certifies credits.
  • Classes and workshops approved by an LEA
    • Documentation of completion is provided by the agency sponsoring the activity.

Practice Alert

Title Protection

HB 1168 became law during the 2009 Session. It prohibits an individual from using the title “Social Worker” and any variations of the title if the individual is not certified, licensed, or provisionally licensed as a social worker, does not hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work from a college or university which is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education, or has a not received a doctorate in social work.

This includes social worker support assistants, social work aids, and any other variation of the title that suggest these individuals are actual social workers and can practice as such.

Also, any school social worker in a LEA must be licensed by NCDPI to practice school social work.


Tab/Accordion Items

The standard basis for professional educator's licensure is the completion of either: a) state approved educator preparation program (EPP) or b) a state approved alternative route to professional educator's licensure.


Non-refundable service fees range from $30 - $100.

Licensure Fees

Please contact approved universities to inquire about their requirements for licensure recommendation. Most universities require 2 courses to obtain a recommendation to NCDPI for licensure. There is no path to licensure without these additional courses.

Please begin the process for an Educator's License and apply for a North Carolina License.

Yes, if verified properly, your K-12 teaching experience may be credited. Please begin the process of an Educator's License and include Professional Educator's License Experience Verification (Form E).

Begin the process for an Educator's License. North Carolina recognizes approved EPPs from all states.

1. Through the Licensure Online System.

2. Call 800-577-7994 (toll-free within North Carolina) or (919) 716-1800.

3. Email and provide the following information:

  • Your full legal name
  • Last 4 digits of your SSN
  • Your NC educator's license or application number
    • Failure to provide this information may delay or deny our ability to respond.