Overview & Background
Evidence-based practice and certification standards are two core values in the professions of audiology and speech-language pathology. We update, safeguard, and promulgate these on a routine basis, and we want to make sure ASHA members receive all the latest relevant information on these areas. In this CEO Update, you will hear about some very important changes to ASHA Certification Standards for 2020.
In 2016 and 2017, the Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC) completed Practice Analysis Studies in
Speech-Language Pathology to ensure the standards for certification remained in alignment with the knowledge and skills required for independent, entry-level practice.
Following an extensive review of the studies and thoughtful peer-review comments from several thousand certificate holders and other stakeholders, the CFCC developed changes to the current audiology and speech-language pathology certification standards. Beginning January 1, 2020, the new
2020 Audiology Certification Standards and the
2020 SLP Certification Standards will go into effect.
Changes Affecting Both Professions
Clinical educators, instructors and supervisors, and Clinical Fellow mentors of students/Clinical Fellows who are applying for ASHA certification must
- currently hold ASHA certification (not a change),
- have at least 9 months of full-time practice experience post-certification, and
- have completed a minimum of 2 hours of
professional development in the area of supervision post-certification (2 certification maintenance hours [CMHs] or 0.2 ASHA CEUs).
All certificate holders must complete a minimum of 1 hour of
professional development in the area of ethics (1 CMH or 0.1 ASHA CEUs) each interval, beginning with certificate holders in the 2020–2022 certification maintenance interval.
Key Differences Between 2012 and 2020 Audiology Standards
What do you really need to know? The side-by-side tables below lay out the differences in a comprehensive but readily digestible way:
| Applicants must have a doctoral degree in which the course of study addresses the knowledge and skills necessary to independently practice in the profession of audiology. The degree must have been earned at a CAA-accredited program.
|| Applicants must have or show equivalency to an AuD degree earned at a CAA-accredited program.
| Knowledge and skills areas were organized according to foundations of practice, prevention and identification, assessment, intervention (treatment), advocacy/ consultation, and education/research/administration.
|| The knowledge and skills for certification have been updated and reordered.
| Applicants must complete a program of study that includes academic coursework and a minimum of 1,820 hours of supervised clinical practicum sufficient in depth and breadth to achieve the knowledge and skills outcomes stipulated in Standard IV.
|| The CFCC will no longer prescribe a specific number of hours of supervised clinical practicum. Applicants and their programs must ensure that their experience meets CAA standards for duration, depth, and breadth of knowledge.
| There was no statement regarding the use of interprofessional practice/interprofessional education (IPP/IPE).
|| Applicants are encouraged to include IPP/IPE into their supervised clinical experience.
| There was no requirement apart from a requirement that all supervisors hold a current CCC-A.
|| Clinical supervisors must have 9 months of experience post-certification and 2 hours of professional development in the area of supervision before serving as a clinical supervisor.
| To be eligible for certification, all 1,820 hours must have been completed under the supervision of a CCC-A prior to earning the doctoral degree.
|| Applicants who did not complete their entire supervised clinical experience under a CCC-A prior to graduation can complete the remaining hours post-graduation to meet ASHA certification standards.
| All certified members must complete 30 certification maintenance hours (CMHs) within their 3-year intervals.
|| Beginning with the 2020–2022 certification maintenance interval, all certificate holders will have to earn 1 of their 30 required certification maintenance hours (CHMs) in ethics.
Key Differences Between 2014 and 2020 SLP Standards
| Standard IV-A: Applicants must have knowledge in physical sciences, which should be acquired through coursework in chemistry or physics.
|| Standard IV-A: (New Applicants Only) The required knowledge in physical sciences must be acquired through coursework in chemistry or physics.
| Standard V-E and Standard VII-B: The current standards only required that supervisors and CF mentors be ASHA certified.
|| Standard V-E and Standard VII-B: Effective January 1, 2020, clinical supervisors and clinical fellowship mentors for ASHA certification must have at least 9 months of full-time work experience and complete 2 hours of professional development/continuing education in clinical instruction/supervision after being awarded the CCC-SLP and prior to supervising or mentoring.
| Standard IV-C: Listed the “Big 9” competencies in which the applicant must have demonstrated knowledge of communication and swallowing disorders and differences, including the appropriate etiologies, characteristics, anatomical/physiological, acoustic, psychological, developmental, and linguistic and cultural correlates.
|| Standard IV-C: Descriptions of the major “Big 9” competencies have been updated to reflect current terminology.
| Standard VII: Required all certified members to complete 30 certification maintenance hours (CMHs) within their 3-year intervals, but did not mandate CMHs in any particular content areas.
|| Standard VIII: Beginning with the 2020–2022 certification maintenance interval, all certificate holders will have to earn 1 of their 30 required CMHs in ethics.
| There was no statement regarding the use of IPP/IPE.
|| Standard V-B: Applicants are encouraged to include IPP/IPE into their supervised clinical experience.
Individuals wishing to apply for ASHA certification under the current standards (2012 audiology or 2014 speech-language pathology) must submit their application on or prior to December 31, 2019. Individuals submitting applications for ASHA certification on or after January 1, 2020, will be applying under the 2020 certification standards.
Spread the Word
These changes are very important, and we are broadcasting this information to members through several channels, but please help us make sure everyone who needs to know does know. In addition, should there be questions, please contact the ASHA Certification Team at
email@example.com or visit
Certification Standards Change in 2020 on the ASHA website.