Clinical Specialty Certification Begins January 1, 2014
ASHA is pleased to announce that Clinical Specialty Certification (CSC) will soon be available to ASHA members. The ASHA Board of Directors approved the transition of the Clinical Specialty Recognition (CSR) program to a Clinical Specialty Certification (CSC) program in 2012 (BOD 19-2012). The newly approved CSC program will replace the current CSR program on January 1, 2014.
The purposes of the CSC program remain consistent with those articulated in the original resolution establishing the clinical specialization program (LC 22-94). That is, the CSC program would provide a mechanism by which (a) the public can identify those practitioners with specialized clinical education and experience and (b) practitioners can specify the nature of the clinical practice they provide (Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Specialty Recognition, 1994).
Transition to Clinical Specialty Certification
The specialty certification program will be overseen by the Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC) as of January 1, 2014, and the Council for Clinical Specialty Recognition (CCSR) will be sunset on December 31, 2013. Existing ASHA recognized Specialty Boards on Child Language, Fluency, Swallowing, and Intraoperative Monitoring will transition to become specialty certification boards awarding specialty certification to qualified applicants within their respective specialty areas. Groups of practitioners interested in petitioning to establish new areas of specialty certification may initiate the process through the CCSR in 2013 and through the CFCC beginning in 2014. A policy for grandfathering existing Board Recognized Specialists (BRS) to become Board Certified Specialists (BCS) is being developed in 2013 with input from the CCSR, existing Specialty Boards, the CFCC, and a Clinical Specialty Certification transition team comprising of volunteer leaders and ASHA staff.
The CSC program supports the long range vision of ASHA's role in the global community. As stated in ASHA's Envisioned Future: 2030:
ASHA supports the preparation of highly qualified and autonomous service providers in speech-language pathology and audiology. ASHA's high levels of quality certification and accreditation standards are reflected in all state licensure/registration and credentialing programs and in all communication sciences and disorders academic programs … The full continuum of service providers includes certified speech-language pathologists and audiologists, recognized clinical specialists in speech-language pathology and audiology, and assistants/associates supervised by ASHA-certified speech-language pathologists and audiologists...All members of the Association have acquired the knowledge and skills necessary to provide services effectively in their preferred area(s) of practice in communication sciences and disorders, and to seek specialization if desired.
Through the implementation of the specialty certification program, the professional trajectory of the Association's members would be enhanced, providing speech-language pathologists and audiologists a formalized credential for advanced practice.
With the clinical specialty certification program the following may be realized:
- Easier identification of professionals with recognized specialty areas through the “Board Certified” designator
- Increased opportunities to educate the public regarding the professions and all related credentials
- Monitoring of “high risk” areas of practice and possibilities for soliciting petitioning groups in identified areas
- Opportunity to receive services from professionals who demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills in a specialty area
- Promotion of practitioners' advanced practice in specialty areas
- Enrichment of both personal and professional development leading to enhanced confidence and validation of expertise
- Provision of certification credentials to support career ladders and professional advancement
- Continued support for maintenance of CCCs (a core standard for clinical specialty certification)
- Development of additional advanced professional education opportunities
- Increased professional visibility through certification
- Provision of an aspirational component for member professional development
- Development of a centralized network for all members and consumers to identify professionals with clinical specialty certification
- Increases in referrals in the area of specialization
ASHA and Related Groups
- Integration of clinical specialization into the current clinical certification program
- Centralized processes for marketing and supporting all certification programs, including clinical specialization
- Enhancement of ASHA's visibility as the professional mechanism for recognizing advanced practice along the continuum of professional practice (i.e., moving specialization to the forefront of members' professional trajectory)
- Maintenance of the autonomy of the programs that award certification (i.e., the specialty boards)
- Increased ease in navigating specialization issues for petitioning groups and specialists (i.e., centralized location)
- Representation of clinical specialists on the CFCC
Questions about the new clinical specialty certification program may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.