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2020 Standards for ASHA Audiology Assistants Certification

Effective date: July 1, 2020

Introduction

The Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC) is a semi-autonomous credentialing body of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The charges to the CFCC are to define the standards for assistants certification; to apply those standards in granting assistants certification to individuals; to have final authority to withdraw assistants certification in cases where certification has been granted on the basis of inaccurate information; and to administer the assistants certification maintenance program

ASHA’s Assistants Certification Program helps improve patient/client access to audiology services by creating a pipeline of qualified professionals who meet uniform standards of competency and are committed to delivering high-quality care. The program also (a) establishes a uniform standard for the knowledge and skill level expected of assistants and (b) ensures that all ASHA-certified assistants meet the same rigorous requirements.

Citation

Cite as: Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2020). 2020 Standards for ASHA Audiology Assistants Certification. Retrieved from https://www.asha.org/Certification/2020-Audiology-Assistants-Certification-Standards/.

The 2020 Standards for ASHA Audiology Assistants Certification (C-AA) are shown in bold. Implementation procedures follow each standard and provide clarifying information.

Standard I: Degree

The applicant for ASHA audiology assistants certification (hereafter, “applicant”) must meet one of three degree requirements to apply for certification.

Implementation: Before applying for certification as an ASHA-certified audiology assistant, the individual must meet one of the following eligibility requirements

  1. Bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders from a regionally or nationally accredited program,
  2. College Degree (non-CSD) from a regionally or nationally accredited program, high school diploma, or GED
  3. A military job series awarding certificate (audiology/ENT)

The applicant must submit an official transcript or letter from the registrar to the ASHA National Office within 60 days of the date of application. Verification of degree completion is required before the applicant can take the assistants certification examination

Applicants who meet Standard I through active military service must submit their military job service series awarding certification and service member training record.

Applicants who meet Standard I through their military job series awarding certificate (Audiology/ENT) must submit a copy of service member training record and honorable discharge documents if the applicant is a veteran.

Standard II: Education

The applicant must complete mandatory course requirements in the areas of ethics, universal safety precautions, and patient confidentiality.

Implementation: The applicant must complete all mandatory coursework in the following areas no more than 2 years before application. These requirements may be met as part of an academic course.

  • 1-hour course in ethics
  • 1-hour course in universal safety precautions
  • 1-hour patient confidentiality training course (i.e., HIPAA, FERPA)

Applicants who complete these requirements through continuing education courses must submit proof of completion to the ASHA National Office within 60 days of application. Verification of course completion must be received before an applicant can take the assistants certification examination.

Applicants who meet Standard I through eligibility requirement 2 must complete ASHA’s online audiology education modules or its equivalent. Verification of module completion must be submitted to the ASHA National Office within 60 days of the date of application and must be received before an applicant can take the assistants certification examination.

Standard III: Supervised Clinical Experience

The applicant must complete supervised clinical experience that consists of a minimum number of hours of supervised clinical experience under the supervision of an ASHA-certified audiologist.

Implementation:

  1. Bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders: 500 hours providing patient services within the scope of practice for an audiology assistant under the supervision of an ASHA-certified audiologist
  2. College degree (non-CSD), high school diploma, or GED: 1,000 hours providing patient services within the scope of practice for an audiology assistant under the supervision of an ASHA-certified audiologist
  3. Military Job Series Award Certificate (audiology/ENT): Not required

The hours can be obtained as a part of an academic program and/or supervised on-the-job training/work. An applicant’s skills will be verified by their supervisor. Supervision must be provided by a clinician who holds the CCC-A, has the equivalent of a minimum of 9 months of full-time clinical experience and has completed a minimum of 2 hours of professional development/continuing education in clinical instruction/supervision after being awarded the CCC-A. Applicants must verify that their clinical educator/supervisor meets the requirements above through the certification verification system.

The amount and method of supervision must adhere to state, federal, or prevailing regulation/s. The services provided by the audiology assistant must comport with state, federal, or prevailing regulation/s.   

As stated in the Assistants Code of Conduct, audiology assistants are not independent practitioners and must be supervised by appropriately credentialed audiologists consistent with state licensing laws and/or with ASHA’s Code of Ethics, and the supervision must be sufficient to ensure the welfare of the client/patient or student. Applicants should verify that their clinical educator/supervisor meets the requirements above by using the certification verification portal.

Standard IV: Assessment

The applicant must pass the national examination created by ASHA and approved by the CFCC for purposes of certification as an ASHA-certified audiology assistant (C-AA). 

Implementation: Applicants must meet all eligibility and submission requirements in order to be approved to take the C-AA national examination. Once approved, applicants must take the exam within 1 year. Applicants who receive a non-passing score may retake the examination two additional times within 1 year of their initial exam by paying a retest fee. If an applicant does not receive a passing score within 1 year of their initial application or does not pass the examination in three attempts, their application will be closed. Individuals who wish to reapply for the C-AA may do so by submitting a new application under the standards in effect at the time.

Standard V: Assistants Code of Conduct

Applicants and C-AAs must abide by ASHA’s Assistants Code of Conduct.

Implementation: Applicants for the C-AA and those who hold the C-AA are automatically subject to the jurisdiction of the ASHA Board of Ethics for Assistants Code of Conduct complaint adjudication.

Standard VI: Maintenance of Certification

C-AAs must complete the C-AA Maintenance of Certification Assessment (MOCA) at the end of their 3-year certification maintenance interval to show continued competency.

Implementation: C-AAs will be assigned to 3-year certification maintenance intervals that are continuous and begin January 1 of the year following the initial awarding of the C-AA or the reinstatement of the C-AA.

At the end of each certification maintenance interval, C-AAs must complete the C-AA MOCA. C-AAs are given access to complete the MOCA during the last 6 months of their maintenance interval. MOCAs must be completed before C-AAs can move to the next maintenance interval. In addition, C-AAs must continue to abide by the Assistants Code of Conduct and pay annual fees in order to retain their certification.

If the C-AA certification expires or is lost for any reason, individuals who wish to regain the C-AA must submit a reinstatement application and meet the assistants certification standards in effect at the time the reinstatement application is submitted.  

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