Certification Standards for Speech-Language Pathology Frequently Asked Questions: Speech-Language Pathology Clinical Fellowship (CF)

When can the CF be started?

The CF (also called the SLPCF) can be started once all graduate academic course work and graduate clinical practicum requirements for certification have been completed. Your graduate school's program director can verify this date.

What are the CF requirements?

Please consult Speech-Language Pathology Clinical Fellowship for the complete list of requirements.

Can the Clinical Fellow work less than 35 hours per week?

Yes, but if less than full-time employment is used for the CF, the length of the CF must be extended. Professional experience of less than 5 hours per week is not accepted toward meeting the CF requirements. The Clinical Fellow should check their state regulatory agency's regulations regarding acceptable hours per week of professional experience.

If the Clinical Fellow works more than 35 hours per week, can those additional hours shorten the length of the CF?

No. Experience of more than 35 hours per week cannot be used to shorten the CF to less than 36 weeks.

The standards use the term "mentoring SLP" rather than supervisor. Is this person one and the same?

They may be, but not necessarily. While an employment supervisor is not required to hold current ASHA certification, the mentoring SLP must hold certification during the period of time they serve as the CF mentor. The mentor is responsible for verifying hours worked in pursuit of ASHA certification, providing clinical mentorship to the Clinical Fellow and recommendations based on clinical performance through use of the Clinical Fellowship Skills Inventory (CFSI) form [PDF]. They will work with the Clinical Fellow to establish outcomes and performance levels to be achieved during the CF and will provide guidance throughout the experience. It will be the mentoring SLP's responsibility to engage in periodic assessments of performance, and to evaluate progress toward meeting the established goals and achievement of clinical skills necessary for independent practice.

How much observation/supervision is required during the CF experience?

There must be no fewer than 18 hours of on-site observation of the clinical fellow providing clinical services throughout the CF experience. Additionally, at least 18 other monitoring activities must occur during the experience. The mentoring SLP will use these observations to assess performance and evaluate progress toward achieving the skills necessary for independent practice.

How will progress in clinical skills be tracked throughout the CF?

The Clinical Fellow and mentor must participate in regularly scheduled formal evaluations where they will discuss the Clinical Fellow's progress on the skills listed in the CFSI form [PDF] and areas of accomplishment or concern. While other clinically appropriate tools specific to the area of practice may also be used (such as self-rating scales), best practice is to use the CFSI to track progress throughout each segment. Tracking scores will help the Clinical Fellow and mentor determine areas that may need continued exposure or mentorship.

At the conclusion of the experience, the mentor and Clinical Fellow will complete the CFSI. In the final segment of the experience, ratings of "2" or above on all skills must have been achieved in order for the experience to be accepted. If there are skills rated "1" at the end of the third segment, it is acceptable to extend the CF experience to provide the time necessary to further develop necessary skills. Once successfully completed, the mentor must verify clinical hours completed and CFSI ratings for the third and final segment through the CF Mentor Portal by logging into their ASHA account.

Can I wait until I complete my CF experience to apply for ASHA certification?

Yes; however, applications for ASHA certification are also accepted prior to starting your CF and during your CF. Whenever you decide to apply for certification, keep in mind that

  • the CF must be completed within 4 years of the date your application was submitted, and
  • once the CF has been completed graduates must apply for the CCC-SLP within 5 years.

Can CF mentors accept payment for the supervision they provide?

It is the interpretation of the CFCC that CF mentors should not accept compensation for supervising or mentoring a Clinical Fellow, beyond reasonable reimbursement for direct expenses. If reimbursement is anticipated, acceptable direct expenses should be specifically delineated prior to the start of the CF experience.

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