American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Clinical Specialty Certification

Effective January 1, 2014, the Clinical Specialty Certification (CSC) program replaced the previous Clinical Specialty Recognition (CSR) program.

Clinical Specialty Certification enables an audiologist or a speech-language pathologist with advanced knowledge, skills, and experience beyond the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) to be identified by colleagues, employers, referral and payer sources, and the general public as a Board Certified Specialist (BCS) in a specific area of clinical practice. The program is completely voluntary. Holding specialty certification in an area of clinical practice is not required in order to practice in that area. The program is open to ASHA certificate holders (CCC-A and CCC-SLP) who wish to pursue the designation and see value in it.

Specialty Areas of Practice

The CSC program is overseen by the Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC) through the CFCC's Committee on Clinical Specialty Certification (CCSC). The CFCC establishes minimum standards for both specialty areas of practice (Area Standards) and the certification of specialists (Specialist Standards). The CCSC monitors a Specialty Certification Board's (SCB) adherence to the CFCC's standards for the program and approves applications for new clinical specialty areas. Current approved specialty areas are:

  • Child Language and Language Disorders
  • Fluency and Fluency Disorders
  • Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders
  • Intraoperative Monitoring

"Surgeons, patients, credentialing bodies, health care facilities and employers can be assured that the audiologist who has achieved specialty board certification in IOM possesses specialized education, training and experience beyond that required for entry into the audiology profession."

J. Michael Dennis, PhD, CCC-A

Qualifying for Clinical Specialty Certification

Through the implementation of the specialty certification program, speech-language pathologists and audiologists are provided the opportunity to earn a formalized credential recognizing advanced knowledge and skills in a specialized area of practice. The CFCC establishes minimum standards for certification as a specialist. Each Specialty Certification Board (SCB) is responsible for specifying the educational, experiential, and clinical experience beyond the CCC-A or CCC-SLP and the minimum standards set by the CFCC that must be met to qualify for specialty certification in that SCB's area of practice. Additionally, each SCB is responsible for implementing its specific specialty certification program, including reviewing of individual applications and conferring Board Certified Specialist (BCS) status on qualified applicants. A policy for grandfathering previously existing Board Recognized Specialists to become Board Certified Specialists was approved by the CFCC in August 2013.

"Clinical specialty certification advances the professions. With the continued changes and challenges impacting healthcare and educational systems, board certified specialists are integral members of the service delivery team."

Brian Shulman, PhD, CCC-SLP

Questions?

Contact specialtycertification@asha.org.

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