Certification Standards for Speech-Language Pathology Frequently Asked Questions: General Information

When did the 2020 certification standards go into effect?

The 2020 certification standards were effective January 1, 2020. View the SLP Standards Crosswalk [PDF] for more specific information on the differences between the 2014 and the 2020 standards. 

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

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)

When can I apply for ASHA certification in speech-language pathology?

Individuals seeking ASHA certification in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) must have a master’s degree from a university accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). Once academic and practicum requirements have been met, prospective applicants may apply any time before, during, or after the completion of the Clinical Fellowship (CF) experience. 

What is the best time for me to apply for ASHA certification?

Please review ASHA’s New Professional Membership Package to explore your options.

What is the difference between ASHA certification and state licensure?

Licensure is designed to protect the public from harm. Certification is the public’s assurance that an individual has voluntarily met rigorous, peer-developed and reviewed standards endorsed by a national professional body.

Do I need to apply for ASHA certification?

The Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) is a credential that offers many benefits. Holding the CCC is voluntary; it is your decision whether or not to apply.

What is the difference between "certification with ASHA membership" and "certification without ASHA membership" for new applicants?

In section 2 of the application for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP), you have the option of applying for either the "CCC-SLP with ASHA membership" or the "CCC-SLP without ASHA membership." If you choose certification with membership, you may be eligible for either the NSSLHA-to-ASHA conversion discount, and/or the New Professional Membership Package. If you choose certification without membership, you are not eligible for ASHA’s New Professional Membership Package and will not be able to enjoy the benefits of ASHA membership.

Once I have submitted all of my paperwork, can I begin working without supervision?

No. Submission of paperwork does not mean that you are certified.

Until you receive notification from the National Office that certification has been awarded

  • you may not present yourself as holding the CCC-SLP
  • you may not represent that you are certified by ASHA
  • you may not act in any manner that signifies ASHA certification
  • the hours students spend under your supervision will not count towards their ASHA certification requirements

After I apply for certification, how much time do I have to complete the certification process?

Applicants have 2 years from the initiation of the certification process to begin their clinical fellowship and 4 years to complete the experience. Your certification status will remain "in process" during this period of time until certification is awarded.

How do I make sure that I receive all important communications from ASHA about my certification?

Help ASHA keep our records current by updating your account with any changes to your name, address or e-mail address. This will help ensure that you receive important information regarding your certification status, maintenance interval, and annual invoices for dues/fees.

How will I be informed that I have been awarded certification?

You will receive notification via email and regular mail. Your mailed information will contain:

  1. a letter of congratulations on your newly received certification
  2. a letter verifying your certification that can be shown to your employer
  3. a Certificate Order Form to order your copy of the Certificate of Clinical Competence

When will I receive the actual Certificate of Clinical Competence?

If you wish to receive a printed Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC), you will need to complete the Certificate Order Form included in the packet of information mailed to you after you are awarded certification (see above question). The order form must be returned to the National Office within 1 year of the date you were awarded certification in order to receive your certificate at no charge; additional certificates are available for a fee. Please allow 3 weeks after submission of your order form to receive the certificate.

Will ASHA notify my state licensure board/regulatory agency once I am certified?

ASHA only sends verification of certification upon request. If you need a verification letter once you have been awarded the CCC, use the online Certification Verification system to download and print an official ASHA verification letter. You may also contact the Action Center at 800-498-2071 to have a letter prepared and sent directly to the professional agency you designate.

If I have more questions or need help, is there anyone I can talk with?

Yes, there is assistance available. You can contact the Action Center at 800-498-2071 if you have general questions about the certification process. For specific information regarding your file, please contact your certification manager who has access to the materials you have submitted. The phone number for your certification manager also appears within the information you receive after submitting your application for certification.

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