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Certification Standards for Speech-Language Pathology Frequently Asked Questions: Clinical Practicum

How much practicum must be completed for ASHA certification under the current standards?

Applicants for certification under the current standards will be required to complete a minimum of 400 hours of supervised clinical experience. At least 25 hours must have been spent in guided observation and at least 375 hours must have been spent in direct client/patient contact.

How many minutes are in a clinical practicum hour?

The Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC) defines 1 clinical practicum hour as equal to 60 minutes. When counting clinical practicum hours for purposes of ASHA certification, experiences/sessions that total less than 60 minutes (e.g., 45 minutes or 50 minutes) cannot be rounded up to count as 1 hour.

What activities will count toward the 375 hours in direct client/patient contact?

Only direct contact with the client or the client's family in assessment, management, and/or counseling can be counted toward the practicum requirement.

How many hours have to be completed at the graduate level?

A minimum of 325 hours of clinical practicum must be completed at the graduate level. Up to 50 hours may have been completed in an undergraduate speech-language pathology or communication sciences and disorders program, or in an SLP assistant program, and may be counted toward the required 375 supervised clinical practicum hours.

Is there a breakdown of practicum hours for the various disorder categories?

The standards do not specify a particular number of hours in different categories. Programs may determine the number of hours they will require in order to ensure depth and breadth of knowledge within the areas outlined in Standards IV and V across the lifespan. State regulatory agencies/licensure boards may require a specific number of hours in different categories. Students must be aware of the various requirements so that they will be able to meet the standards of these various entities.

Are there requirements for a certain number of hours in the area of audiology?

No. For ASHA certification, activities must be within the scope of practice of speech-language pathology to meet the requirements. But as noted above, programs and state regulatory agencies may have requirements that differ from the ASHA certification standards.

What are the supervision requirements?

As is stated in the implementation language for Standard V-E, supervision must be in real time and must never be less than 25% of the student's total contact with each client/patient. Supervision must take place periodically throughout the practicum experience.

Who can supervise the clinical practicum?

Only individuals holding current ASHA certification in speech-language pathology may supervise the observation and clinical practicum hours required for ASHA certification. (See Standard V-C.) Clinical educators, supervisors, preceptors, and CF mentors must hold an active CCC and, after receiving their certification, must (1) have a minimum of 9 months of full-time clinical experience and (2) have completed a minimum of 2 hours of professional development in the area of clinical instruction supervision. Other appropriate individuals, as determined by the graduate program, may supervise hours that are acquired beyond the ASHA certification requirements. The graduate program may use the input of these individuals in assessing the student's acquisition of knowledge and skills in particular areas.

Only clinical practicum hours earned on or after January 1, 2020, must have been with a clinical educator or supervisor who meets the requirements as outlined in Standard V-E.

What must be included in supervision?

Supervision must include direct observation, guidance, and feedback to permit the student to monitor, evaluate, improve performance, and develop clinical competence.

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