Washington Teacher Requirements for Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists

The information below is collected from state regulatory agencies responsible for regulating school based speech-language pathologists and/or audiologists. The information is reviewed on an annual basis. Please be advised that laws, regulations, and policies may change at any time, so always check with your state for the most up-to-date information.

Audiologist and Speech-Language Pathologist

School Speech-Language Pathologist/Audiologist (Initial Certificate)

The candidate shall have completed all course work (except special project or thesis) for a master's degree from a college or university program accredited by the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) with a major in speech pathology or audiology. Such program shall include satisfactory completion of a written comprehensive examination: Provided, that if any candidate has not completed a written comprehensive examination, the candidate may present verification from ASHA of a passing score on the National Teacher’s Examination in speech pathology or audiology as a condition for certification. The candidate shall successfully complete thirty clock hours or three quarter hours (two semester hours) of course work approved by the professional educator standards board which will consist of the following outcomes in which candidates will:

(A) Demonstrate an understanding of school and special education laws and policies (national, state, and local) and their application to decision-making processes in the educational setting;

(B) Understand and demonstrate knowledge of working within the culture of the schools, creating an environment that fosters safety, health, and learning for the students;

(C) Demonstrate knowledge of appropriate resources in the school setting;

(D) Demonstrate knowledge of collaboration with team members which may include parents, teachers, administrators, and others to support learning outcomes for all students;

(E) Demonstrate knowledge of how to support the outcomes for all students through strategies such as scientifically based practices, collaborative teaming, and ethical decision making;

(F) Use professional standards to inform professional growth planning;

(G) Demonstrate an understanding of the use of human, community, and technological resources. Provided, that an individual who meets all other requirements but who has not completed the required course work shall be issued a temporary permit valid for one year, unless prior to the expiration date the superintendent of public instruction determines the applicant is ineligible to receive a valid certificate or endorsement, which will allow the individual to practice in the role. The candidate shall verify to OSPI the completion of the required course work during the one hundred eighty-day period.

Citation: Wash. Admin. Code § 181-79A-223 

School Speech Language Pathologist/Audiologist (Continuing Certificate)

(i) The candidate shall hold a master's degree with a major in speech pathology or audiology.

(ii) The candidate shall provide documentation of one hundred eighty days of full-time equivalent or more employment in the respective role with an authorized employer—i.e., school district, educational service district, state agency, college or university, private school, or private school system—and at least thirty days of such employment with the same employer.

(iii) Candidates that can demonstrate the successful completion of the national American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) certificate in addition to the education and employment experience.

Citation: Wash. Admin. Code § 181-79A-223 

Limited Conditional Certificate (valid for 2 years or less)

(1) (c) In addition, conditional certificates are issued to persons in the following categories only if no person with regular certification is available:

(iv) The applicant has completed a bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited college/university. All speech-language pathologists or audiologists providing services under a current and valid conditional certificate issued as of June 30, 2003, will be fully qualified consistent with WAC 181-79A-223 by the year 2010. First conditional certificates, issued to speech-language pathologists or audiologists after June 30, 2003, which are valid for up to two years, may be reissued once for up to two years, if the individual provides evidence that he/she is enrolled in and completing satisfactory progress in a master's degree program resulting in the initial ESA school speech-language pathologists or audiologist certificate.

Citation: Wash. Admin. Code § 181-79A-231 

Emergency Certification (valid for 1 year or less)

(3)(a) Emergency certification for the roles of principal, teacher, school counselor, school psychologist, school speech language pathologist or audiologist and school social worker may be issued upon the recommendation of school district and educational service district superintendents or approved private school administrators to persons who hold a bachelor's degree and are enrolled in a state-approved preparation program for the role, if it is a role for which state-approved programs are required, in accordance with Washington requirements for certification and shall be the best qualified of the candidates for the position as verified by the employing school district: Provided, That a qualified person who holds regular certification for the requested role is not available or that the position is essential and circumstances warrant consideration of issuance of an emergency certificate: Provided further, That an emergency certificate issued with a special education endorsement may be reissued once for one school year upon verification by the college/university that the individual is completing satisfactory progres s in the residency teacher certificate program: Provided further, That a candidate for emergency certification as a principal holds a master's degree and has substantially completed the state-approved preparation program: Provided further, That a candidate for emergency certification as a school psychologist shall be enrolled in a state-approved school psychologist preparation program, shall have completed all course work for the required master's degree, and shall be participating in the required internship: Provided further, That a candidate for emergency certificatio n as a school speech language pathologist or audiologis t shall be enrolled in a master's degree program resulting in issuance of an initia l ESA certificate in accordance with Washington requirements for certification, and may b e renewed one time if the candidate has substantially completed the required master's degree program.

Citation: Wash. Admin. Code § 181-79A-231 

Continuing Education Requirement

  • Must complete 100 clock hours or equivalent college credits or PGP or a combination of any of the three options; OR 
  • Submit a copy of a valid Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) or Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) certificate issued by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in lieu of clock hours, credits, or PGPs. 

Board Oversight

Washington Board of Hearing and Speech 


For further information on laws and regulations for school based speech-language pathologists and audiologists, please visit these websites:

Questions regarding state advocacy issues? Call ASHA at 800-498-2071 and ask for the State Advocacy Team.

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