American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

2012 Standards and Implementation Procedures for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology

Effective January 1, 2012

Introduction

A Practice and Curriculum Analysis of the Profession of Audiology was conducted in 2007 under the auspices of the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) and the Council For Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC). Respondents were asked to rate clinical activity statements and foundational knowledge areas in terms of importance and in terms of where the activity should be learned (in graduate school versus on the job). The respondents were also able to indicate whether an activity or area would not be performed by a newly graduated doctoral level audiologist.

The CFCC reviewed the survey data and determined that the standards for clinical certification and the Praxis examination blueprint needed revision in order to be in line with the results of the survey. It is noteworthy that because there is no longer a period of supervised practice following the completion of graduate school, activities that are an essential part of clinical practice must be included in graduate education and in the certification standards. The Scope of Practice in Audiology and the Preferred Practice Patterns for the Profession of Audiology documents also served as resources in the development of the new standards. The proposed Standards were distributed for select and widespread peer review in 2008 and all comments were considered in the final version of the document. The CFCC approved the new standards in July 2009 and set an implementation date of January 1, 2012.

Citation

cite as: Council For Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2012). 2012 Standards for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology. Retrieved [date] from http://www.asha.org/Certification/2012-Audiology-Certification-Standards/.


The Standards for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology are shown in bold. The Council For Clinical Certification implementation procedures follow each standard.

Standard I—Degree
Standard II—Education Program
Standard III—Program of Study
Standard IV—Knowledge and Skills Outcomes
Standard V—Assessment
Standard VI—Maintenance of Certification

Standard I: Degree

Applicants for certification must have a doctoral degree. The course of study must address the knowledge and skills necessary to independently practice in the profession of audiology. 

Implementation:

Verification of the graduate degree is required of the applicant before the certificate is awarded. Degree verification is accomplished by submitting (a) an application signed by the director of the graduate program, indicating the degree date, and (b) an official transcript showing that the degree has been awarded, or a letter from the university registrar verifying completion of requirements for the degree.

Individuals educated outside the United States or its territories must submit official transcripts and evaluations of their degrees and courses to verify equivalency. These evaluations are typically conducted by credential evaluation services agencies recognized by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Information that must be provided is (a) confirmation that the degree earned is equivalent to a U.S. doctoral degree, (b) translation of academic coursework into the American semester hour system, and (c) indication as to which courses were completed at the graduate level.

The CFCC has the authority to determine eligibility of all applicants for certification.

Standard II: Education Program

The graduate degree must be granted by a program accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA).

Implementation:

Applicants whose graduate degree was awarded by a U.S. institution of higher education must have graduated from a program holding CAA accreditation in audiology.

Satisfactory completion of academic course work, clinical practicum, and knowledge and skills requirements must be verified by the signature of the program director or official designee of a CAA-accredited program or a program admitted to CAA candidacy.

Standard III: Program of Study

Applicants for certification must complete a program of study that includes academic course work and a minimum of 1,820 hours of supervised clinical practicum sufficient in depth and breadth to achieve the knowledge and skills outcomes stipulated in Standard IV. The supervision must be provided by individuals who hold the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) in Audiology.

Implementation:

The program of study must address the knowledge and skills pertinent to the field of audiology. Clinical practicum must be approved by the academic program from which the student intends to graduate. The student must maintain documentation of time spent in supervised practicum, verified by the academic program in accordance with Standard IV.

Students shall participate in practicum only after they have had sufficient preparation to qualify for such experience. Students must obtain a variety of clinical practicum experiences in different work settings and with different populations so that they can demonstrate skills across the scope of practice in audiology. Acceptable clinical practicum experience includes clinical and administrative activities directly related to patient care. Clinical practicum is defined as direct patient/client contact, consultation, record keeping, and administrative duties relevant to audiology service delivery. Time spent in clinical practicum experiences should occur throughout the graduate program.

Supervision must be sufficient to ensure the welfare of the patient and the student in accordance with the ASHA Code of Ethics. Supervision of clinical practicum must include direct observation, guidance, and feedback to permit the student to monitor, evaluate, and improve performance and to develop clinical competence. The amount of supervision must also be appropriate to the student's level of training, education, experience, and competence.

Supervisors must hold a current ASHA CCC in the appropriate area of practice. The supervised activities must be within the scope of practice of audiology to count toward certification.

Standard IV: Knowledge and Skills Outcomes

Applicants for certification must have acquired knowledge and developed skills in six areas: foundations of practice, prevention/identification, assessment, (re)habilitation, advocacy/consultation, and education/research/administration.

Implementation:

This standard distinguishes between acquisition of knowledge for Standards IV-A.1–21 and IV-C.1, and the acquisition of knowledge and skills for Standards IV-A.22–29, IV-B, IV-C.2–11, IV-D, IV-E, and IV-F. The applicant must submit a completed application for certification signed by the academic program director verifying successful completion of all knowledge and skills in all six areas of Standard IV. The applicant must maintain copies of transcripts, and documentation of academic course work and clinical practicum.

Standard IV-A: Foundations of Practice

The applicant must have knowledge of:

A1. Embryology and development of the auditory and vestibular systems, anatomy and physiology, neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, and pathophysiology

A2. Genetics and associated syndromes related to hearing and balance

A3. Normal aspects of auditory physiology and behavior over the life span

A4. Normal development of speech and language

A5. Language and speech characteristics and their development across the life span

A6. Phonologic, morphologic, syntactic, and pragmatic aspects of human communication associated with hearing impairment

A7. Effects of hearing loss on communication and educational, vocational, social, and psychological functioning

A8. Effects of pharmacologic and teratogenic agents on the auditory and vestibular systems

A9. Patient characteristics (e.g., age, demographics, cultural and linguistic diversity, medical history and status, cognitive status, and physical and sensory abilities) and how they relate to clinical services

A10. Pathologies related to hearing and balance and their medical diagnosis and treatment

A11. Principles, methods, and applications of psychometrics

A12. Principles, methods, and applications of psychoacoustics

A13. Instrumentation and bioelectrical hazards

A14. Physical characteristics and measurement of electric and other nonacoustic stimuli

A15. Assistive technology

A16. Effects of cultural diversity and family systems on professional practice

A17. American Sign Language and other visual communication systems

A18. Principles and practices of research, including experimental design, statistical methods, and application to clinical populations

A19. Legal and ethical practices (e.g., standards for professional conduct, patient rights, credentialing, and legislative and regulatory mandates)

A20. Health care and educational delivery systems

A21. Universal precautions and infectious/contagious diseases

The applicant must have knowledge and skills in:

A22. Oral and written forms of communication

A23. Principles, methods, and applications of acoustics (e.g., basic parameters of sound, principles of acoustics as related to speech sounds, sound/noise measurement and analysis, and calibration of audiometric equipment), as applicable to:

a. occupational and industrial environments

b. community noise

c. classroom and other educational environments

d. workplace environments

A24. The use of instrumentation according to manufacturer's specifications and recommendations

A25. Determining whether instrumentation is in calibration according to accepted standards

A26. Principles and applications of counseling

A27. Use of interpreters and translators for both spoken and visual communication

A28. Management and business practices, including but not limited to cost analysis, budgeting, coding and reimbursement, and patient management

A29. Consultation with professionals in related and/or allied service areas

Standard IV-B: Prevention and Identification

The applicant must have the knowledge and skills necessary to:

B1. Implement activities that prevent and identify dysfunction in hearing and communication, balance, and other auditory-related systems

B2. Promote hearing wellness, as well as the prevention of hearing loss and protection of hearing function by designing, implementing, and coordinating universal newborn hearing screening, school screening, community hearing, and occupational conservation and identification programs

B3. Screen individuals for hearing impairment and disability/handicap using clinically appropriate, culturally sensitive, and age- and site-specific screening measures

B4. Screen individuals for speech and language impairments and other factors affecting communication function using clinically appropriate, culturally sensitive, and age- and site-specific screening measures

B5. Educate individuals on potential causes and effects of vestibular loss

B6. Identify individuals at risk for balance problems and falls who require further vestibular assessment and/or treatment or referral for other professional services

Standard IV-C: Assessment

The applicant must have knowledge of:

C1. Measuring and interpreting sensory and motor evoked potentials, electromyography, and other electrodiagnostic tests for purposes of neurophysiologic intraoperative monitoring and cranial nerve assessment

The applicant must have knowledge and skills in:

C2. Assessing individuals with suspected disorders of hearing, communication, balance, and related systems

C3. Evaluating information from appropriate sources and obtaining a case history to facilitate assessment planning

C4. Performing otoscopy for appropriate audiological assessment/management decisions, determining the need for cerumen removal, and providing a basis for medical referral

C5. Conducting and interpreting behavioral and/or electrophysiologic methods to assess hearing thresholds and auditory neural function

C6. Conducting and interpreting behavioral and/or electrophysiologic methods to assess balance and related systems

C7. Conducting and interpreting otoacoustic emissions and acoustic immitance (reflexes)

C8. Evaluating auditory-related processing disorders

C9. Evaluating functional use of hearing

C10. Preparing a report, including interpreting data, summarizing findings, generating recommendations, and developing an audiologic treatment/management plan

C11. Referring to other professions, agencies, and/or consumer organizations

Standard IV-D: Intervention (Treatment)

The applicant must have knowledge and skills in:

D1. The provision of intervention services (treatment) to individuals with hearing loss, balance disorders, and other auditory dysfunction that compromises receptive and expressive communication

D2. Development of a culturally appropriate, audiologic rehabilitative management plan that includes, when appropriate, the following:

a. Evaluation, selection, verification, validation, and dispensing of hearing aids, sensory aids, hearing assistive devices, alerting systems, and captioning devices, and educating the consumer and family/caregivers in the use of and adjustment to such technology

b. Determination of candidacy of persons with hearing loss for cochlear implants and other implantable sensory devices and provision of fitting, mapping, and audiologic rehabilitation to optimize device use

c. Counseling relating to psychosocial aspects of hearing loss and other auditory dysfunction, and processes to enhance communication competence

d. Provision of comprehensive audiologic treatment for persons with hearing loss or other auditory dysfunction, including but not exclusive to communication strategies, auditory training, speech reading, and visual communication systems

D3. Determination of candidacy for vestibular and balance rehabilitation therapy to persons with vestibular and balance impairments

D4. Treatment and audiologic management of tinnitus

D5. Provision of treatment services for infants and children with hearing loss; collaboration/consultation with early interventionists, school based professionals, and other service providers regarding development of intervention plans (i.e., individualized education programs and/or individualized family service plans)

D6. Management of the selection, purchase, installation, and evaluation of large-area amplification systems

D7. Evaluation of the efficacy of intervention (treatment) services

Standard IV-E: Advocacy/Consultation

The applicant must have knowledge and skills in:

E1. Educating and advocating for communication needs of all individuals that may include advocating for the programmatic needs, rights, and funding of services for those with hearing loss, other auditory dysfunction, or vestibular disorders

E2. Consulting about accessibility for persons with hearing loss and other auditory dysfunction in public and private buildings, programs, and services

E3. Identifying underserved populations and promoting access to care

Standard IV-F: Education/Research/Administration

The applicant must have knowledge and skills in:

F1. Measuring functional outcomes, consumer satisfaction, efficacy, effectiveness, and efficiency of practices and programs to maintain and improve the quality of audiologic services

F2. Applying research findings in the provision of patient care (evidence-based practice)

F3. Critically evaluating and appropriately implementing new techniques and technologies supported by research-based evidence

F4. Administering clinical programs and providing supervision of professionals as well as support personnel

F5. Identifying internal programmatic needs and developing new programs

F6. Maintaining or establishing links with external programs, including but not limited to education programs, government programs, and philanthropic agencies

Standard V: Assessment

Applicants for certification must demonstrate successful achievement of the knowledge and skills delineated in Standard IV by means of both formative and summative assessments.

Standard V-A: Formative Assessment

The applicant must meet the education program’s requirements for demonstrating satisfactory performance through ongoing formative assessment of knowledge and skills.

Implementation:

Applicants and program faculties should use the ongoing assessment to help the applicant achieve requisite knowledge and skills. Thus, assessments should be followed by implementation strategies for acquisition of knowledge and skills.

Standard V-B: Summative Assessment

The applicant must pass the national examination adopted by ASHA for purposes of certification in audiology.

Implementation:

Evidence of a passing score on the ASHA-approved national examination in audiology must be submitted to the ASHA National Office by the testing agency administering the examination. Acceptable exam results are those submitted for initial certification in audiology that have been obtained no more than 5 years prior to the submission of the certification application, and no more than 2 years after the application for certification is received by the Certification Unit of the ASHA National Office.

Standard VI: Maintenance of Certification

Demonstration of continued professional development is mandated for maintenance of the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) in Audiology. The renewal period will be three (3) years. This standard will apply to all certificate holders, regardless of the date of initial certification.

Implementation:

Once certification is awarded, maintenance of that certification is dependent upon accumulation of the requisite professional development hours every three years. Payment of annual dues and/or certification fees is also a requirement of certification maintenance. A certificate holder whose dues and/or fees are in arrears on August 31, will have allowed their certification to expire on that date.

Individuals who hold the CCC in Audiology must accumulate 30 contact hours of professional development over the 3-year period and must submit a compliance form in order to meet this standard. Individuals will be subject to random review of their professional development activities.

If certification maintenance requirements are not met, certification will lapse. Reinstatement of certification will be required, and certification reinstatement standards in effect at the time of submission of the reinstatement application must be met.

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