Mutual Recognition Agreement Frequently Asked Questions: Certification and Application Requirements
If I hold certification by one of the signatory associations, am I automatically certified by the other signatory associations?
No, the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) does not provide automatic certification. In order to gain certification by any of the other associations, you will need to submit the required application form and demonstrate that you meet any conditions that were agreed upon when the Agreement was negotiated. Individuals who wish to apply for ASHA certification under the terms of this agreement must use the Application Instructions and Form [PDF] for applicants under the Mutual Recognition Agreement [PDF].
How do I find out what the conditions are for certification by the signatory associations?
You must contact the signatory association(s) you are interested in and request the appropriate materials. It is also recommended that you consult the websites of the organizations for information on their requirements and to obtain application forms.
Once I become certified under the MRA by the signatory association, will I be able to work in the country where that association is located?
Not necessarily. The MRA pertains only to certification by the specific association and does not entitle you to practice. The signatory associations recognize that the Agreement does not supersede national, state, or provincial licensing or registration requirements in order to practice.
Individuals wishing to practice in the country where the signatory association is located must contact the appropriate national, state, or provincial licensing agencies to determine whether or not they will meet requirements. In the United States for example, most of the states have licensure regulations that individuals must meet in order to be issued a license to practice. While evidence of having attained the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) may assist individuals in meeting state requirements, most states require that individuals applying to them have at least a master's degree to qualify for the license. If the degree you earned in your home country is listed as a bachelor's, you will likely find it difficult, if not impossible, to obtain a license to practice. State information, including contacts and general requirements, is available on the ASHA website.
Can the signatory association change the national, state, or provincial requirements to make it possible to receive a license to practice once I've achieved certification?
The signatory associations cannot, and will not, advocate for individual applicants. While information can be provided about the process, the final decisions about licensure or registration rest solely with the agencies and not with the signatory associations.
If my application for certification is denied by the signatory association, what rights do I have?
You have the same rights afforded to any other applicant whose application for certification has been denied. Decisions regarding approval or denial of certification are within the sole purview of the individual associations and there is no special appeal process other than the normal appeal process afforded to all applicants of the signatory association. The Home Association (your original certifying association, as termed in the MRA), while permitted to request a statement of reasons for rejection of an application, cannot serve as an advocate for the applicant.
Once I become certified by the signatory association, what rights do I have?
Practitioners certified by the signatory association will have the same rights and privileges and be subject to the same responsibilities, obligations, and restrictions as all other certified practitioners of the signatory association. Please check with the signatory association to determine what those rights and privileges are.
ASHA, for example, does not require individuals to become members in order to be certified. Individuals may apply for certification without membership, or they may apply for membership and certification. If you apply for certification without membership, you do not have benefit of the rights that a certified member would enjoy. Seek clarification about the category under which you are applying so that you understand what benefits you can expect to receive from the signatory association.
Once I submit my application for certification, how long does it take to be notified of the certification decision?
Processing time varies from association to association depending on the number of individuals in process when your application is received, whether or not you submit all required documents at the time of application, and association staffing resources. A reasonable expectation is probably four to six weeks, although this may vary.
If I hold ASHA certification, what will I need to provide to the other associations in order to be granted their certification?
Because it varies from association to association, you must contact the association directly to determine their specific requirements. One item that all associations require is verification from your Home Association that you hold current, valid certification. You can provide verification of your ASHA certification yourself by using the online ASHA Certification Verification system to download and print an official ASHA verification letter, or contact the ASHA Action Center at 800-498-2071 to request a verification letter be mailed to any of the associations you designate.