How much social work supervision do I need?

ASW Supervision Requirements in CA #socialwork #LCSW #supervision #BBS

Counting hours of experience for LCSW licensure in California is a pain in the a**. Supervisees are constantly confused about social work supervision requirements. In this post I want to highlight one particular item: Supervision Requirements for Clinical Counseling as an Associate Clinical Social Worker.

According to the Board of Behavioral Sciences, associate clinical social workers (ASWs) are required to have “one unit” of supervision per week for the first 10 hours of face-to-face clinical counseling provided. If you want to count more than ten hours of direct clinical counseling in a week, you will need an additional unite of supervision. A unit  of supervision can either be one hour of individual or triadic supervision or two hours of group supervision.

You can find a helpful breakdown of the experience requirements on the BBS website here.

So, in short, you need one unit of supervision if you are working 40 hours per week and counting 10 (or fewer) as clinical counseling and the remainder as advocacy, training, consultation, etc.

You need at least 104 weeks of supervision, of which 52 weeks must be individual supervision. And of the 3000 hours of total experience, 1700 hours must be under the supervision of an LCSW. And at least 13 of the 52 weeks of individual supervision must be from an LCSW. The remaining experience can be gained under the supervision of an LPCC, LMFT, LCSW or licensed psychologist.

Whew….I get tired just writing about this. It is an awful lot of keep track of. I strongly encourage you to be keeping track of your hours every week and discussing them with your supervisor on a regular basis so there isn’t confusion at the end. More information can be found at the Board of Behavioral Sciences website.


©2015 Sharon Martin, LCSW.

This post was updated September, 2019.

Sharon Martin has a passion for clinical supervision, mentoring new social workers, blogging, and reading all things social work related. She is a California Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years in the field. Sharon has worked extensively in Bay Area non-profits and successfully runs a private counseling practice in San Jose. Sharon writes regularly for PsychCentral and the Good Men Project. She's also the author of The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism.


  1. Cindy Alfaro's Gravatar Cindy Alfaro
    August 14, 2017    

    Hi Sharon,

    I came across your article and thank you so much for posting it! I am trying to navigate the requirements to receive my bbs and I even messaged an evaluator but she was very vague and referred me to statues listed on the website do to her not being able to “pre-evaluate” my hours. Basically, I have to submit and see what happens. I have a question I was hoping you may be able to help me answer. If I am currently doing 15 hours a week of assessment but not direct psychotherapy, would the one hour of supervision I currently have suffice to include these 15 hours? Let me know!!

    Thank you!


    • August 14, 2017    

      It’s my understanding that it’s enough, but of course, the BBS has the final say!

  2. kyle's Gravatar kyle
    September 25, 2019    

    california requires 2 units of supervision for 15 hours of clinical hours

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