Standards for ASHA Continuing Education Providers

These standards, set forth by the Continuing Education Board, detail what ASHA CE Providers must do to develop and maintain a quality CE program and why it matters. 

ASHA CE Providers are expected to comply with these standards by July 1, 2025. Use this checklist [PDF] to assess your organization's readiness.

Standard 1: Eligibility and Responsibilities of an ASHA Approved Continuing Education Provider

Quality continuing education should (a) promote lifelong learning and continuous professional development for audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists as well as (b) support their role on the teams with whom they work. Sound administrative practices are a prerequisite for developing, maintaining, and continuously improving the quality of courses and ensuring a professional environment that supports those involved in the continuing education program.

Continuing education providers must have personnel and processes in place to support the development of high-quality programming, as defined by adherence to Standards for ASHA Continuing Education Providers (ASHA CE Standards) and related policies.

1.1 Eligibility

Related Policies: Becoming an ASHA CE Provider

The provider:

1.1.1 Is incorporated, registered, or otherwise recognized as a legal entity.

1.1.2 Identifies the continuing education team and position(s) within the organization responsible for compliance with ASHA CE Standards and related policies.

1.1.3 Identifies how the continuing education team’s work supports the organization’s mission.

1.1.4 Maintains sufficient fiscal, human, and physical resources to support the continuing education program as well as its continued improvement.

1.2 Responsibilities

Related Policies: Process Documentation; Course Personnel Feedback; Provider Roles and Responsibilities; Provider Policies; Record Retention; Cooperative Course Offerings; Questions about ASHA CEUs

The provider must:

1.2.1 Establish internal policies and a review process that ensure adherence to current ASHA CE Standards and related policies.

1.2.2 Changed Demonstrate efforts toward program improvement, including the use of data from needs assessments, learner assessments, and program evaluations from previous courses.

1.2.3 Appoint an ASHA Continuing Education Administrator (CEA) who is responsible for developing a sound working knowledge of the ASHA CE Standards and related policies—and ensuring adherence to them.

The CEA can be EITHER:

  1. an ASHA-certified audiologist; speech-language pathologist; speech, language, or hearing scientist; and/or an ASHA member with current knowledge of the professions; OR
  2. a professional who is not an ASHA member and/or who is not certified by ASHA. In this case, the organization must also designate a Continuing Education Content Consultant who meets the criteria listed in 1.2.3 (a).

1.2.4 Changed Ensure the privacy and security of records of those associated with the continuing education program (learners, instructors, planners) and adhere to all relevant laws and regulations.

1.2.5 Changed Develop policies that address and honor intellectual property rights and adhere to all relevant laws and regulations.

1.2.6 Changed Ensure that records related to compliance with ASHA CE Standards and related policies are retained for at least 4 years.

1.2.7 Changed Ensure that those involved in the continuing education process (including course planners and instructors) demonstrate high standards of professional conduct, respect the rights of individuals served, and foster diversity, equity, and inclusion.

1.2.8 Changed Ensure adherence to the ASHA CE Standards and related policies when agreeing to offer a course with an organization that is not an approved provider. The provider must be significantly and directly involved in the planning, promotion, implementation, evaluation, and reporting of that course.

Standard 2: Needs Assessment Used in Planning Continuing Education

Needs assessment is vital to ensuring the provision of courses that are effective, are meaningful, and positively impact learners’ professional practice and patient/client care. Needs assessment allows providers to identify the current state of the target audience’s knowledge, competence, or performance—and gaps that may exist in these areas relative to the current state of the science and practice of the professions.

2.1 Identifying Learner Needs

Related Policies: Record Retention

The provider must ensure that learner needs are:

2.1.1 Changed Systematically identified based on an analysis of one or more sources, which may include:

  1. The expressed needs of the target audience.
  2. The needs of patients/clients, communities, or populations.
  3. Available data and information about gaps in the knowledge base, competencies, or performance of audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and/or speech, language, and hearing scientists.
  4. New, revised, or updated legislation or regulations.
  5. New research or practice guidelines.
  6. New developments in products or practices.

2.1.2 Documented, revised, and updated, as needed.

2.2 Using Learner Needs

Related Policies: Course Content and Review; Special Circumstances for Partial Credit; Activities and Content Not Appropriate for ASHA CEUs

The provider must ensure that learner needs are:

2.2.1 Used to inform the educational design of continuing education.

2.2.2 Changed Used by those responsible for content development.

2.2.3 Changed Used to assess or evaluate the effectiveness of continuing education activities.

Standard 3: Transparency in Continuing Education

Course planners and instructors approach course topics and content from their own unique perspectives, based upon their background and experiences. Transparency in continuing education allows planners, instructors, and learners to consider how these perspectives influence course content and delivery. Understanding these influences and implementing processes to mitigate them enhances trust and accountability between continuing education providers and instructors as well as those considering participating in an educational activity. Transparency is not just for the learner; it is also important that planners and instructors consider, recognize, and address these perspectives as they develop and present content. This process should take into consideration those perspectives and relationships that are relevant to—and that may influence—course content and delivery, noting that not every relationship or experience will ultimately require disclosure.

It is the continuing education provider’s responsibility to inform everyone involved in course planning and development about the importance of the disclosure process and the need to approach it thoughtfully and comprehensively. This includes ensuring transparency around support provided by other organizations and managing advertising and exhibits appropriately.

3.1 Content

Related Policies: Content Disclosure; Purchasing Materials; Required Course Information

The provider must ensure that product sales and services are not promoted during courses offered for ASHA continuing education units (CEUs) by:

3.1.1 Ensuring that there are no attempts to persuade organizations and individuals involved in planning, implementing, or evaluating the course to favor, recommend, purchase, use, or promote a particular product, equipment, device, or service. Attempts to persuade learners of the same are also not permitted.

3.1.2 Ensuring that the sale or promotion of products or services is not included in--nor is the focus of--course content and related materials.

3.1.3 Providing content disclosures that describe when a specific product or service will be discussed and whether limited information will be provided about similar products.

3.1.4 Communicating with learners prior to registration if it is recommended or required that they purchase a product or service to participate in a course.

3.1.5 Providing information in a scholarly manner regarding theoretical aspects related to the product or service and/or the details of its use.

3.2 Course Planners and Instructors

Related Policies: Course Planner and Instructor Disclosure

The provider must identify, mitigate, and disclose any relevant associations, activities, personal and professional perspectives, and financial relationships of course planners and instructors by:

3.2.1 Changed Encouraging thoughtful consideration and discussion of these factors with everyone involved in planning, developing, and presenting course content.

3.2.2 Disqualifying those who refuse to participate in this disclosure process from participation in course planning, delivery, or evaluation.

3.2.3 Providing instructor disclosures to potential registrants in promotional materials and at the start of the course.

3.3 Financial and In-Kind Support

Related Policies: Financial and In-Kind Support

The provider must ensure that the education remains independent of influence when receiving financial or in-kind support from an organization not involved in course planning, development, or implementation by:

3.3.1 Communicating that financial or in-kind support does not require the provider to accept advice or services from contributing organizations concerning planners, instructional personnel, learners, course content, planning, implementation, or evaluation as a condition of support.

3.3.2 Disclosing the names of other organizations contributing financial and in-kind support to learners prior to the beginning of the course.

3.4 Advertising and Exhibits

Related Policies: Transparency in Exhibits and Advertising; Activities and Content Not Appropriate for ASHA CEUs

The provider must ensure that:

3.4.1 Promotional or sales activities, such as advertising and exhibits, are kept separate from the instructional portion of the course, and learners must never be required to engage in such activities.

Standard 4: Content Validity in Continuing Education

Continuing education content must include the latest advances in scientific evidence and technology relevant to the learners’ practice and educational needs. The goal should be to provide content that is culturally responsive; contributes to the learners’ knowledge, competency, and performance; and ultimately enhances the quality and safety of care provided to patients/clients and their families. Course planners and instructors should incorporate, when appropriate, the three components of evidence-based practice: clinical expertise/expert opinion, client/patient/caregiver perspectives, and internal and external evidence.

4.1 Ensuring Content Validity

Related Policies: Course Content and Review; Activities and Content Not Appropriate for ASHA CEUs

The provider must ensure that the content presented for ASHA CEUs:

4.1.1 Focuses on the science and/or contemporary practice of audiology, speech- language pathology, and/or speech, language, and hearing science.

4.1.2 Reflects best practice in the CSD discipline.

4.1.3 Changed Is determined by those with knowledge, skills, and expertise in the content area and who actively engage in ongoing professional development to remain current in their field.

4.1.4 Is relevant and responsive to the identified needs of the target audience.

4.1.5 New Discloses the levels and type(s) of evidence behind any clinical recommendations presented.

4.1.6 New Is balanced by informing learners about potential benefits and risks, especially if the content is based solely on expert opinion.

Standard 5: Quality of Educational Design in Continuing Education

The quality of a continuing education course and its value to the learner rest heavily on the course planners’ and instructors’ (a) competence in the subject matter and (b) ability to communicate and facilitate learning. Educational design is critical to the provision of effective education. Multi-modal, episodic, and interactive education best meets the needs of adult learners. Education must also be adaptable and accessible to support the participation of learners with diverse needs.

5.1 Competency in Continuing Education

Related Policies: Course Content and Review

The provider must ensure that:

5.1.1  The educational design is determined by those with knowledge, skills, and experience in developing and delivering continuing education.

5.2 Educational Design

Related Policies: Learning Outcomes; Required Course Information; Activities and Content Not Appropriate for ASHA CEUs

The provider must ensure that:

5.2.1  Learning outcomes that describe anticipated changes in knowledge, competencies, and performance are included for each course.

5.2.2 Educational design facilitates the translation of new knowledge, skills, and competencies into practice; supports thoughtful reflection; and fosters a culture of learning.

5.3 Accessibility

Related Policies: Accommodations

The provider must ensure that:

5.3.1 Changed Educational formats and techniques used are appropriate for the intended goals and outcomes of the course.

5.3.2 New The educational design considers learners’ strengths and needs and is learner- centered, engaging, and inclusive.

Standard 6: Outcomes From Continuing Education

Assessment of the impact of and outcomes from continuing education allows the provider to determine whether the education has been effective. Providers can also use outcomes data to identify additional educational needs and inform program improvement.

6.1 Measuring Continuing Education Outcomes

Related Policies: Special Circumstances for Partial Credit

The provider must ensure that courses offered for ASHA CEUs:

6.1.1 Changed Include one or more assessment methods appropriate to the intended outcomes of the course to measure improvements in knowledge, skills, competencies, and/or intent-to-change.

6.1.2 New Measure improvements in learner performance (where applicable).

6.1.3 New Measure changes in patient/client outcomes (where possible).

6.1.4 New Measure changes in service delivery (where applicable).

Standard 7: Satisfactory Completion of Continuing Education

The provider must have a process in place to accurately and appropriately capture and report learner participation and satisfactory course completion so that the CE Registry can award the correct number of ASHA CEUs to learners.

7.1 Satisfactory Completion

Related Policies: Required Course Information; Verifying Satisfactory Completion; ASHA Continuing Education Units; What Must Be Reported; Special Circumstances for Partial Credit; Inaccurate Reporting; Policies for Participants

The provider must:

7.1.1 Have a process for calculating the number of ASHA CEUs available for each course.

7.1.2 Changed Establish satisfactory completion requirements for each course based on the course’s purpose and learning outcomes—and communicate the completion requirements to learners before the course.

7.1.3 New Have a systematic process for identifying learners who (a) satisfactorily complete a course and (b) indicate the intent to earn ASHA CEUs.

7.1.4 Have a system in place for collecting information required to report learners’ successful completion to the ASHA Continuing Education Program.

Adapted from Standards for Substantive Equivalency Between CPD/CME Accreditation Systems, International Academy for CPD Accreditation, 2020. Used with permission.

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