American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Mutual Recognition Agreement Frequently Asked Questions: General Information

What is the Mutual Recognition Agreement and when did it become effective?

The Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) [PDF] is an agreement between the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (United States), the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (Canada), the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (United Kingdom), the Speech Pathology Association of Australia Limited (Australia), the Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists (Ireland), and the New Zealand Speech-Language Therapists' Association (Incorporated) (New Zealand) to mutually recognize the certification programs in speech-language pathology that they each conduct.

The MRA was signed in November of 2008 and went into effect on January 1, 2009. Certified individuals who apply for certification by any of the other signatory associations after this effective date may do so through this agreement.

What does the MRA mean for me as a certificate holder from one of the signatory associations?

The MRA provides you, as a certificate holder from one of the signatory associations, with an expedited method of applying for, and gaining certification by, any of the other signatory associations. The Agreement acknowledges that the standards you met for certification are accepted by the other associations as meeting some or all of their requirements for certification; however, the MRA is not one of reciprocity. This means that you won't automatically be certified by the other associations.

Why was this Agreement reached?

The signatory associations agreed that there are many benefits to the international community in establishing a basis for mutual recognition of the credentials of speech-language pathologists certified by the six signatory associations. They recognized that increased trade and mobility between Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States had increased the need and desirability for a mechanism whereby certificate holders from one association can be recognized and certified by the other associations.

In reaching the Agreement, what areas were examined by the signatory associations involved?

The signatory associations examined the educational and other requirements expected of each other’s certificate holders, including academic course content, the amount and distribution of clinical practice hours prior to certification being awarded, degree designations, accreditation of academic programs, experience, and assessment mechanisms. This examination resulted in a determination that the associations have many, but not all, substantially equivalent requirements. Therefore, you will likely have to meet certain additional requirements.

Does the MRA extend to audiologists?

No. The MRA applies only to speech-language pathologists who hold valid certification from one of the signatory associations.

If I am a student, is there anything in the Agreement that will pertain to me?

No. The Agreement applies only to individuals holding valid certification from one of the signatory associations.

How would other countries become part of the MRA?

Other national associations or other national governmentally-recognized certification bodies that wish to become parties to this Agreement may contact and petition one or more of the signatory associations. Information will then be provided to the requesting body.

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