Certification Maintenance Frequently Asked Questions: Earning Professional Development Hours

When should I begin accumulating professional development hours (PDHs) for my 3-year maintenance interval?

If you are newly certified, you may start accumulating your PDHs on January 1 following the date your certification was awarded. Current certificate holders can begin earning PDHs beginning January 1 of the first year of each 3-year maintenance interval. For example, if your 3-year maintenance interval is 2019–2021, you can earn hours from January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2021.

Beginning with certificate holders in the January 1, 2023–December 31, 2025 maintenance interval: Out of 30 required PDHs for certification maintenance, at least 2 hours must be in cultural competency, cultural humility, culturally responsive practice, or diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)

Beginning with certificate holders in the January 1, 2020–December 31, 2022 certification maintenance interval: Out of 30 required PDHs for certification maintenance, at least 1 hour must be in the area of ethics.

What qualifies as acceptable professional development activities for certification maintenance?

The ASHA certification maintenance standard has defined professional development and acceptable professional development activities. Your activities should be documented using PDHs as reporting units.

Do I have to earn ASHA CEUs to maintain my ASHA certification?

No. ASHA CEUs are just one way that you can meet the professional development requirement for certification maintenance. You may also use any acceptable professional development activities that are not registered for ASHA CEUs, such as:

  • employer-sponsored in-service training programs
  • other professional organizations' continuing education activities
  • college or university course work from an institution that holds regional accreditation or its equivalent
  • courses offered by any provider authorized by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET)

I s there a limit to the number of PDHs that can be completed online?

There is no limit to the number of PDHs that can be completed online.

Is there a restriction on the number of professional development activities that can be completed and submitted in one topic/area?

There is no limit, although you are encouraged to vary your activities to maximize your acquisition of new knowledge and skills.

Do I need prior approval for my professional development activities?

No. Your activity will be accepted as long as

  • it occurred during your 3-year maintenance interval
  • you have determined that the activity's content meets the certification maintenance standard's definition of professional development
  • you have obtained acceptable documentation

Do dual certificate holders have to earn 60 PDHs every 3 years?

No. Dual certificate holders only need to accumulate 30 total PDHs. The hours can be earned in either the field of audiology or speech-language pathology, and certificate holders submit one Compliance Form to cover both areas of certification.

What if I can't afford the cost of professional development?

Conferences and workshops can be expensive, but they aren't the only way to earn professional development hours. You can also earn needed hours by:

  • joining an ASHA Special Interest Group to take advantage of CEUs offered for a nominal fee through the Perspectives newsletter—affiliation costs only $45 per year;
  • requesting ASHA Learning Pass hardship access—members who are experiencing significant financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic can get short-term free access; and
  • using ASHA CEFind to find courses offered by all ASHA Approved CE Providers.

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