Frustration-free form finder: New York helps applicants with a simple online tool

Applying for a license in New York recently got a little easier after the State Board for Social Work launched an online tool designed to help applicants find the application forms they need. The responsive tool asks a few simple questions about education, experience, and prior licensure and then links applicants to the forms that fit their situation. Whether they are applying for a first license or are already licensed and need to add a New York license, applicants benefit from a tool that makes starting the process feel effortless.

David Hamilton, executive secretary of the New York board, says, “We avoided lengthy discussions about requirements, linking to those pages for more information.” The change benefits the board, too. He says the new system aims to “divert phone calls and emails from 80 percent of the prospective applicants, freeing up valuable staff time to review and process applications and answer those unique situations.”

Hamilton hopes the streamlined approach to helping licensure applicants navigate New York’s processes will help other professions. “The goal is to pilot this for the 55 professions in the [State Education] Department,” he says. And by sharing the approach and inviting feedback, he hopes social work regulators around North America might emulate the online tool in their jurisdictions.

Take a look at the Applying for Licensure Tool.