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

When can the clinical fellowship (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. Completing the Clinical Fellowship (CF) Experience and ASHA's Clinical Fellowship Experience (video) explain the steps that take you from CF through to ASHA certification.

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 his/her 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 she/he serves as the CF mentor. The mentor will work with the 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. The means of assessment that must be used is the SLP CF Report and Rating Form [PDF], which will be submitted to the Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC) at the conclusion of the CF experience.

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 the mentor and Clinical Fellow use the SLPCF Report and Rating form?

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 Clinical Fellowship Skills Inventory form [PDF] and areas of accomplishment or concern. These ratings will be transferred to the SLPCF Report and Rating form and both the Clinical Fellow and mentor will sign the form. CF experiences beginning on or after January 1, 2020, must use the 2020 CFSI form [PDF] regardless of the standards under which the Clinical Fellow applied.

At the conclusion of the experience, the mentor and Clinical Fellow will complete and submit the completed SLPCF Report and Rating form. In the final segment of the experience, ratings of "3" or above in the core skills must have been achieved in order for the experience to be accepted. If there are core skills that are not judged to be acceptable, the Clinical Fellow and mentor should work out an arrangement where additional work can be performed in those areas. Once successfully completed, the additional work performed must be submitted via a follow-up SLPCF Report and Rating form that has been signed by both the mentoring SLP and the Clinical Fellow.

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 application and that once the CF has been completed graduates must apply for the CCC-SLP within 5 years.

Can CF mentors/supervisors accept payment for the supervision they provide?

It is the interpretation of the CFCC that CF mentors/supervisors should not accept compensation for supervision or mentorship from the Clinical Fellow being mentored or supervised, 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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