In 2017 the ASHA Board of Directors voted to move forward with the creation of an Assistants Certification Program which will allow audiology assistants and speech-language pathology assistants to become certified practitioners. This program will allow the entire team to practice at the top of their licenses and will positively impact client service delivery by providing role clarifications.
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August Assistant Spotlight: Tiarra Smith
Tiarra is from Searcy, Arkansas. As an assistant, she loves the excitement of her students and how eager they are to participate and have a desire to better their communication skills. What does Tiarra most value about her partnership with her supervisor? Her supervisor is also her friend! They collaborate and make sure to provide everything that their students need. She is an example of getting the job done and not just at a fast pace.
How will supervisors and assistants benefit from this certification program?
Certification establishes nationwide standards for assistants that will show employers that these standards have been met
- Certification creates guidelines for the scope of practice which will help the team better understand roles and qualifications
- The certification process establishes a systematic review and maintenance of high caliber standards for assistants
- The assistants credential may be portable between states and work settings
- Guidelines for ethical practice will be enhanced
Assistants Certification Development Timeline
The ASHA Board of Directors voted 14-0 in favor of approving funding and implementation of the Assistants Certification Program
Identify core competencies for assistants: how they acquire needed skills and define their proficiency
- Developed and validated eligibility pathways
- Pilot test SLPA national exam at 2019 ASHA Convention
- Establish Code of Conduct for Assistants
- Develop audiology assistant and SLPA certification standards
- Launch the certification program and examination by end of year
The national exams will be based on the information in these blueprints:
Are you currently employed in support positions providing audiology or speech-language pathology assistant services, working under the supervision of an ASHA certified audiologist or speech-language pathologist? If so, you may be interested in becoming an