American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Value of Clinical Specialty Certification

The Clinical Specialty Certification program provides audiologists and speech-language pathologists a formalized credential recognizing advanced knowledge and skills in a specialized area of practice, as well as a mechanism by which the public can identify practitioners with specialized clinical education and experience and practitioners can specify the nature of the clinical practice they provide.

Consumers

  • Easier identification of professionals with recognized specialty areas through the “Board Certified Specialist” 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

"Having individuals who are board certified specialists allow our consumers to find and work with individuals who have demonstrated skills and expertise in a given area."

Lynn Flahive, MS, CCC-SLP

Members

  • 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 the Certificate of Clinical Competence (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

"I have witnessed how specialization cultivates a professional’s dedication to and expertise in low incidence and frequently complex communication disorders such as fluency, resulting in benefits to clients, families and fellow professionals."

June Haerle Campbell, MA, CCC-SLP

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 Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC)

"Holding specialty certification in swallowing and swallowing disorders helps to highlight our expertise to our medical colleagues."

Nancy Swigert, MA, CCC-SLP

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