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Ethics

Practices and Procedures of the Board of Ethics

About This Document: Latest revision published January 2020.

This statement is a revision of Practices and Procedures of the Board of Ethics (2018).

The Board of Ethics is a semi-autonomous entity of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association charged as follows by the Bylaws of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2017; hereinafter, “the Association” or “ASHA”):

“The Association shall establish a Board of Ethics that shall (1) formulate, publish, and, from time to time, amend a Code of Ethics (hereinafter, the “Code”) containing the professional responsibilities by which members and certificate holders shall be bound; (2) develop educational programs and materials on ethics for distribution to members and certificate holders, academic programs, and others; (3) adjudicate complaints alleging violations of the Code; and (4) make essential decisions as listed in the semi-autonomous entities agreement. Members of the Board of Ethics shall be appointed by the Committee on Committees. The Board of Directors shall approve any revisions to the Code and the procedures formulated by the Board of Ethics for processing allegations of Code violations to ensure that they comply with basic due process considerations. The Board of Ethics shall determine sanctions for violations in its discretion as it deems appropriate, including a Reprimand; Censure; Suspension of membership and/or certification; Revocation of membership and/or certification; Withholding of membership and/or certification; ethics examination; and/or continuing education hours. Any appeal from a Board of Ethics Further Consideration shall be decided by the ASHA Ethics Appeal Panel.”

A fundamental precept that guides the Board of Ethics (hereinafter, the “Board”) in the discharge of its responsibility is that an effective Code requires an orderly and fair administration and enforcement of its terms and requires full compliance by all members of the Association and all holders of Certificates of Clinical Competence (CCC). The Board recognizes that each case must be judged on an individual basis and that no two cases are likely to be identical. Thus, the Board has the responsibility to exercise its judgment based on the merits of each case and on its interpretation of the Code.

Table of Contents

Terminology

  • Address for Board of Ethics: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Standards and Ethics, 2200 Research Boulevard, #309, Rockville, MD 20850

  • Address for self-reporting in writing: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Standards and Ethics, 2200 Research Blvd., #313, Rockville, MD 20850

  • Answer: A timely, written submission to the Board by the Respondent named in a complaint.

  • Ethics appeal: A timely, written request from the Respondent to the Board alleging error in a Board decision and asking that it be reversed, in whole or in part, by the ASHA Ethics Appeal Panel.

  • Association: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

  • Cease and Desist Order: A public or private order directing a Respondent to stop engaging in a particular course of unethical conduct.

  • Code: Applicable Code of Ethics of the Association

  • Certificate(s): Certificate(s) of Clinical Competence (CCC)

  • Certification disclosure(s): In applications for ASHA Certification, three questions about the applicant’s history of criminal pleas and convictions as well as professional discipline.

  • Complainant(s):The person(s) alleging that a violation of the Code occurred. The Board itself may also be a Complainant, when appropriate.

  • De minimis: An alleged Code violation that fails to present an issue sufficient to hold an Initial Consideration hearing.

  • Dismissal: A decision by the Board to terminate a case due to lack of jurisdiction, not timely filed, corrected violation, insufficient evidence, or other good cause, which results in a closed case and a written notice of the dismissal to the Respondent and, if applicable, Complainant.

  • Further Consideration: Further consideration by the Board of its Initial Determination decision requires a quorum of the full adjudicating body of the Board and, except as otherwise noted, renders its decision by a majority vote. A Further Consideration decision is subject to appeal in an Ethics Appeal Panel hearing of the finding and the proposed sanction(s).

  • Initial Consideration: Consideration by the Board of a complaint by a quorum of the adjudicating body of the Board, except as otherwise noted, renders its decision by a majority vote.

  • Initial Determination: Initial decision of the Board, subject to appeal in a Further Consideration hearing of the finding and proposed sanction(s) as to whether or not a violation of the Code occurred.

  • Jurisdiction: The authority of the Board over an individual holding or applying for ASHA membership and/or certification.

  • Nolo contendere: No contest plea to a criminal charge.

  • Petition for Reinstatement After Violation of the ASHA Code of Ethics : The Respondent who has previously received a sanction of Revocation or Withholding of membership and/or certification for any period of time must first petition successfully for reinstatement from the Board. Once approval is received from the Board, the Respondent may then apply to the ASHA Certification Unit for reinstatement of ASHA membership and/or certification.

  • Preponderance of the evidence: A greater than 50% chance that the alleged Code violation is true.

  • Publicly sanctioned: A formal disciplinary action of public record that may be, for example, a sanction imposed by the Board of Ethics or a state licensing decision upon which the Board of Ethics relies, in part.

  • Quorum: The minimum number of voting members of the Board required to adjudicate a case.

  • Respondent: The individual alleged to have violated the Code.

  • Sanction(s): Penalties imposed by the Board. These include the following:

    • Reprimand: A formal rebuke or condemnation with limited disclosure.

    • Censure: A public Reprimand with broad disclosure.

    • Withholding of membership and/or certification: This public sanction prohibits future Association membership and/or certification for the period of time imposed. Withholding of membership and/or certification requires a majority vote of the adjudicating body of the Board. This sanction applies in situations where (a) the Respondent is in the membership and/or certification application process when a violation is found or (b) the Respondent allows membership and/or certification to expire for nonpayment during the pendency of Board adjudication. When the sanction time period has ended, the Respondent must submit a Petition for Reinstatement After Violation of the ASHA Code of Ethics to the Board and must be approved by the Board to be eligible to apply to the ASHA Certification Unit for reinstatement of ASHA membership and/or certification.

    • Suspension of membership and/or certification: A public sanction that temporarily interrupts the Respondent’s membership in and/or certification by the Association for the period of time imposed. Suspension of membership and/or certification requires a majority vote of the adjudicating body of the Board. The Respondent need not request reinstatement from the Board to regain membership and/or certification at the end of the suspension period. The Respondent must have met all certification maintenance requirements and paid any/all outstanding dues/fees for a suspension to be lifted.

    • Revocation of membership and/or certification: A public sanction that terminates the Respondent’s membership in and certification by the Association for the period of time imposed. Revocation of membership and/or certification requires a two-thirds vote of the adjudicating body of the Board. The Respondent must submit a Petition for Reinstatement After Violation of the ASHA Code of Ethics to the Board and must be approved by the Board to be eligible to apply to the ASHA Certification Unit for reinstatement of ASHA membership and/or certification.

  • Self-reporting under the Code of Ethics (2016): A professional obligation of self-disclosure of certain criminal convictions or pleas and certain professional discipline from other sources that requires reporting within 30 days by (a) notifying ASHA Standards and Ethics and (b) mailing a hard copy of a certified document to ASHA Standards and Ethics (address for self-reporting is provided in the second item of this Terminology section, above). All self-reports are subject to an internal Board review process that, depending on the seriousness of the self-reported information, may take additional time.

I. Complaint Adjudication

A. Case Review Procedures

  1. Every individual who is (a) a member of ASHA, whether certified or not, (b) a nonmember of the Association holding the CCC, or (c) an applicant for certification, or for membership and certification, is subject to the Code and the jurisdiction of the Board. See the Code’s Preamble.

  2. To be considered timely and eligible for consideration, any complaint must be received by the Board within 10 years of the date of the alleged violation. Complainants can be individuals or the Board itself. Respondents must have been, at the time of the alleged violation, under the jurisdiction of the Board. The Board has the discretion in compelling cases to hear complaints based on events that occurred outside the 10-year statute of limitations that allege egregious misconduct, such as sexual abuse or significant financial misconduct.

  3. Alleged violations shall be reviewed by the Board in such manner as the Board may, in its discretion, deem necessary and proper. Upon review of all information provided by the Complainant(s), Respondent, and any other relevant source, a determination shall be made by the Board Chair as to whether sufficient evidence exists to warrant review by the full adjudicating Board. The Board Chair has the discretion to determine that a complaint is not actionable because the alleged Code violation(s) is/are de minimis and therefore fail(s) to present an issue sufficient to convene an Initial Consideration hearing.

  4. If a complaint is determined to be de minimis, a “No Further Action” notice will be provided to the Complainant and to the individual named in the complaint. This confidential written notice informs the individual named in the complaint that, while the Board has declined to take further action in the current complaint of alleged violation(s), the Board reserves the right to reconsider the complaint (and underlying materials) in the future if it should become aware (from any source) of further potential violations of the Code.

  5. The Board will not accept a single complaint against multiple Respondents. Individuals seeking to make a complaint against more than one Respondent must file a separate complaint for each individual who is the subject of a complaint. Each complaint must stand on its own merits.

  6. The Board does not accept the filing of online or electronic complaints.

  7. Three (3) days for mailing shall be added to the deadline for all submissions to the Board (i.e., a Respondent’s request for Further Consideration must be received by the Board no later than 30 days plus 3 additional days for mailing after the date that the notice of Initial Determination was mailed to the Respondent).

  8. Except when the Complainant is the Board, the Complainant shall submit a signed waiver (and nondisclosure agreement in cases where the Complainant is not an ASHA member or certificate holder) to the Board consenting to allow the Board to send a copy of the complaint to the Respondent for the Respondent’s response. In cases where the Board issues a sanction of Censure or the Withholding, Suspension, or Revocation of membership and/or CCC, the Complainant shall also consent to allow the Board to send its Final Decision and any relevant case information

    1. to any state agency providing a license to the Respondent, and/or to which the Respondent has applied for a license or other credential, and/or to any state agency located in the state where the Respondent resides or resided;

    2. to any other professional organization that enforces a code of ethics or a code of professional conduct of which the Respondent is a member or is an applicant for membership; and

    3. as required by law.

  9. Upon receipt of the signed waiver (and nondisclosure agreement, if applicable), a copy of the complaint shall be sent to the Respondent, and the Respondent’s answer to the allegation shall be in writing and must be received by the Board no later than 45 days after the date that the Board notice is mailed to the Respondent. Resignation of membership or other termination and/or surrender of the CCC shall not preclude the Board from continuing to process the alleged violation to conclusion, and the notice from the Board to the Respondent requesting an answer shall so advise the Respondent.

  10. When a Respondent is initially contacted regarding a complaint filed against them, the Respondent shall be advised that in cases where the Board issues a sanction of either Censure or the Withholding, Suspension, or Revocation of membership and/or CCC, the Board may provide its Final Decision and any relevant case information

    1. to any state agency providing a license to the Respondent, and/or to which the Respondent has applied for a license or other credential, and/or to any state agency located in the state where the Respondent resides or resided;

    2. to any other professional organization that enforces a code of ethics or a code of professional conduct of which the Respondent is a member or is an applicant for membership; and

    3. as required by law.

B. Notices and Answers

  1. All notices shall be in writing and are effective on the date sent to the Respondent—via certified mail, restricted delivery, return receipt requested—to the address then listed in the ASHA membership and/or certification records or, if this method is not available, by any other method reasonably calculated to send the notice to that address. Notices to Respondent’s counsel shall be sent via regular mail, return receipt requested without restricted delivery to the address provided by such counsel. All answers shall be in writing and are effective when received by the Board.

  2. Respondents are encouraged to submit a written answer to the Board (Section A.8). A knowing failure to file a timely answer will not preclude adjudication of a complaint.

  3. All Respondents shall disclose with a written answer if they have ever been publicly disciplined or sanctioned by any professional association, licensing authority or board, or other credentialing regulatory body (other than for checks returned for insufficient funds, student loan defaults, or late payment of fees or penalties imposed not resulting in unlicensed practice) or if they have ever been denied a license or other credential by any professional association, professional licensing authority or board, or other professional regulatory body. If that answer is yes, they must take the following actions:

    • Explain the underlying facts fully, including all relevant factors that they would like ASHA to consider, such as the nature and date of the offense(s), rehabilitation, and restitution.

    • Submit a certified copy of documentation from the professional agency (or agencies) that includes the denial, discipline, or sanctions imposed and that demonstrates, if applicable, remediation.

    • Include a résumé reflecting their work history since the time of the offense.  

C. Initial Consideration Hearings

  1. Complaints determined to have sufficient evidence are reviewed by the Board in Initial Consideration hearings. Initial Consideration hearings require the presence of a quorum and a majority vote of those Board members present, and may be held before a minimum six-member panel from the full adjudicating body of the Board. The presence of five members constitutes a quorum. The outcome of an Initial Consideration hearing is the Boards Initial Determination.

  2. At its discretion, the Board may inform the appropriate staff of the Association that the Respondent is the subject of a complaint alleging violation of a Code and may instruct such staff that no change in membership and/or certification status shall be permitted without the Board’s approval.

  3. The Board shall consider all information provided by the Complainant(s), Respondent, or other relevant source and shall base its Initial Determination on that information in light of the version(s) of the Code in effect at the time of the alleged violation(s). Board determinations shall be based on facts established by a preponderance of the evidence/information submitted to the Board. The Board does not have subpoena powers.

  4. The Board may consider certified documentation of professional discipline to be conclusive evidence of the commission of professional misconduct. Certified documentation of a criminal conviction shall be conclusive evidence of the commission of that crime in a Board ethics proceeding. The Final Decision or final disposition of any state, federal, regulatory, or judicial body may be considered sufficient evidence that the Code was violated.

  5. For Initial Determinations in which the finding is that a violation occurred, the Initial Determination will include the Code principle(s) and rule(s) violated, a brief rationale, the proposed sanction, and, if appropriate, a Cease and Desist Order.

  6. The Board may, as part of its Initial Determination, order that the Respondent cease and desist from any practice found to be a violation of the Code. Failure to comply with such a Cease and Desist Order is, itself, a violation of the Code and shall normally result in Revocation or Withholding of Membership and/or Revocation or Withholding of the CCC. The Board may require the Respondent to attest in writing that he or she has complied with the Cease and Desist Order.

  7. The Board shall give the Respondent notice of its Initial Determination. The notice shall also advise the Respondent of the right to request Further Consideration by the Board. The procedure to be followed in exercising that right is described in Sections F and G of this document.

D. Board of Ethics Sanctions

Board sanctions shall consist of one or more of the following: Reprimand; Censure; Cease and Desist Order; and Withholding, Suspension, and/or Revocation of Membership and/or of the CCC. At its discretion, the Board may add terms and conditions. If the Respondent holds or is pursuing both membership and certification, a decision to revoke, suspend, or withhold shall include both membership and certification. A decision to withhold either membership or certification occurs when the Respondent holds, or is pursuing, only one. A Cease and Desist Order may become part of any sanction and may be public or private.

E. Publication and Release of Information

  1. The Board decision, upon becoming final, shall be published in an ASHA publication that is distributed and available to all members and shall be provided to any person or entity requesting a copy of the decision if the sanction(s) include Censure or the Withholding, Suspension, or Revocation of Membership and/or of the CCC. In the case of Reprimand, the Board decision shall be disclosed only to the Respondent, Respondent’s counsel (if applicable), Complainant(s), and, when appropriate, to Association staff and counsel, each of whom shall be advised that the decision is strictly confidential and that any breach of that confidentiality by any party who is a member and/or certificate holder of the Association is, itself, a violation of the Code.

  2. In cases where the sanction is Censure or the Withholding, Suspension, or Revocation of Membership and/or of the CCC, the Board may provide its Final Decision and relevant case information

    1. to any state agency providing a license to the Respondent, and/or to which the Respondent has applied for a license or other credential, and/or to any state agency located in the state where the Respondent resides or resided;          

    2. to any other professional organization that enforces a code of ethics or a code of professional conduct of which the Respondent is a member or is an applicant for membership; and 

    3. as required by law.

F. Further Consideration of the Initial Determination by the Board of Ethics

  1. When the notice of Initial Determination from the Board states that the Respondent has violated the Code and imposes a proposed sanction, the Respondent may request that the Board give Further Consideration to the Initial Determination.

  2. The Respondent's request for Further Consideration shall be in writing and must be received by the Board no later than 30 days after the date that the notice of Initial Determination was mailed to the Respondent. In the absence of a timely request for Further Consideration, the Initial Determination shall be the Board’s Final Decision, and there shall be no further right of appeal.

  3. If the Respondent submits a timely request for Further Consideration by the Board, the Board shall schedule a hearing and notify the Respondent. The Respondent shall be entitled to submit a written defense or brief, which must be received at least 45 days before the hearing. The Complainant(s) is permitted to provide additional relevant or material documentation at any time during the complaint adjudication.

  4. Further Consideration hearings are held before the full adjudicating body of the Board, which is a maximum of 12 members. The presence of nine members constitutes a quorum.

  5. The Respondent may choose to appear in person before the Board to present evidence. The Respondent also may choose to be accompanied by counsel and/or to have (an) evidentiary witness(es). All personal costs incurred in connection with the Further Consideration hearing, including travel and lodging costs incurred by the Respondent and, if applicable, the Respondent’s counsel as well as witnesses and other fees, shall be the Respondent’s sole responsibility. The proceedings shall be informal, but the Respondent will be sworn in at the start of the Further Consideration hearing. Strict adherence to the rules of evidence shall not be observed, but all evidence shall be accorded such weight as it deserves. The Respondent must be available for questioning by the Board on the date and time of the hearing. Failure to comply will result in a denial of the Further Consideration hearing. The Respondent should be prepared to answer all factual questions from the Board. The Respondent’s counsel may make opening and closing statements on behalf of the Respondent. The Board shall afford, as an alternative to Respondent’s appearing in person at the hearing, the opportunity to present to the Board and to respond to questions from the Board by a conference telephone call that is placed by the Board to the Respondent.

  6. After the Further Consideration hearing, the Board shall render its decision and notify the Respondent. Based on the evidence presented at the hearing, the Board has the following options for affirming or modifying the findings and sanction(s) that were included in the notice of Initial Determination to the Respondent:

    1. Affirm the Code provisions violated and/or the sanction cited in the Initial Determination.  

    2. Modify the findings by removing Code provisions cited in the Initial Determination.

    3. Modify the findings by adding Code provisions not cited in the Initial Determination. If new evidence is disclosed at the Further Consideration hearing that (a) was not available to the Board at the Initial Determination hearing and (b) if known at that time would have resulted in the Board’s finding the Respondent in violation of one or more additional Code provisions, the Board may modify its Initial Determination findings by adding those provisions. In that situation, the Board must make available to the Respondent the opportunity to continue the Further Consideration hearing based on the added violation(s) and reschedule the Further Consideration hearing for the next planned Board Meeting.

    4. Increase or decrease the severity of the sanction(s).

    5. Modify the extent of disclosure of the Board’s findings.

    6. Dismiss the complaint.

  7. This decision shall be the Board of Ethics Decision After Further Consideration and, in the absence of a timely appeal to the ASHA Ethics Appeal Panel, the Board of Ethics Decision After Further Consideration shall become the Board’s Final Decision.

G. Initial Consideration and Further Consideration Hearing Dismissals

Upon review of all the information provided by the Complainant, Respondent, and any other relevant source(s), the Board may choose to dismiss a complaint at the Initial Consideration or Further Consideration hearing for any of the following reasons.

  1. Lack of Jurisdiction. The Respondent is not (a) a member of ASHA, whether certified or not, (b) a nonmember of the Association holding the CCC, or (c) an applicant for certification, or for membership and certification, and therefore not subject to the Code of Ethics.

  2. Not Timely Filed. The alleged violation of the Code is determined to have occurred more than ten (10) years before the filing of the complaint, and no compelling circumstances exist to waive that time limit.

  3. Adequate Correction. The Board of Ethics might find that a violation in a given case has been adequately addressed, or is being adequately addressed, by another decision-making body. Other authorities upon which the Board of Ethics may choose to rely include but are not limited to state licensing boards, other semi-autonomous bodies within ASHA, arbitrators, administrative law judges, employers, educational institutions, or courts.

  4. Insufficient Evidence. The evidence does not establish a violation of the Code. 

  5. Other Good Cause. The Board of Ethics may choose to dismiss a case when compelling evidence exists that the Respondent will never return to practice, such as when the Respondent is severely disabled, institutionalized for an indefinite duration, or has died.  

For cases that are dismissed at the Initial Determination or Further Consideration hearing, the Board shall give the Respondent and Complainant notice of its decision and advise both parties that the case is considered closed.

H. Appeal of the Board of Ethics Decision After Further Consideration to an ASHA Ethics Appeal Panel

  1. The Respondent may appeal the Board of Ethics Decision After Further Consideration to a three-person panel of the ASHA Ethics Appeal Panel. The request for appeal shall be in writing and must be received by the Board no later than 30 days after the date that the notice of the Board of Ethics Decision After Further Consideration was mailed to the Respondent. If the Respondent appeals the Board of Ethics Decision After Further Consideration to the ASHA Ethics Appeal Panel, a copy of the Further Consideration hearing transcript shall be made available to the Respondent at the Respondent’s expense. The Respondent’s request for the hearing transcript must be received by the Board within 45 days of mailing of the Board of Ethics Decision After Further Consideration to the Respondent.

  2. The Respondent may appeal a Board of Ethics Decision After Further Consideration only if the claim is based on a showing that the Board did not adhere to procedural requirements and/or that the decision of the Board was arbitrary and capricious and without any evidentiary basis. The ASHA Ethics Appeal Panel may not receive or consider any evidentiary matters not included in the official record of the Further Consideration hearing.

  3. The procedures for a hearing before the ASHA Ethics Appeal Panel are described in the Practices and Procedures for Appeals of Board of Ethics Decisions (2017).

I. Reinstatement

  1. Persons whose ASHA membership and/or certification has been revoked or withheld by the Board generally may petition the Board for approval to seek reinstatement of such membership and/or certification at the completion of the revocation or withholding period by submitting a Petition for Reinstatement After Violation of the ASHA Code of Ethics .

  2. Persons whose ASHA membership and/or certification has been suspended by the Board are not required to petition for approval from the Board at the end of their suspension period. Instead, they must contact the ASHA Certification unit to learn what must be done to bring their membership and/or certification current.

  3. Any submitted Petition for ReinstatementAfter Violation of the ASHA Code of Ethics will be reviewed by the Board at its next scheduled meeting, assuming that the petition and supporting documentation are sufficient and are received at least 30 days before the meeting. Depending on when the next Board meeting is scheduled, it may be several months before the Board can act on a petition.

  4. Reinstatement hearings are held before a minimum nine-member panel from the full adjudicating body of the Board. Approval to apply for reinstatement of ASHA membership and/or certification requires the presence of a quorum and a two-thirds vote of those Board members present. The presence of seven members constitutes a quorum.

  5. In all cases, the individual bears the burden of demonstrating, with appropriate documentation and by a preponderance of the evidence, that the conditions that led to revocation or withholding have been rectified and that, if reinstated, the individual will abide by the Code. Board deliberations will be guided by the premise that reinstatement must be in the best interests of the Association, the professions, and the persons served professionally. The Board may inquire as relevant about restitution, rehabilitation, continuing education, remediation, substance abuse, employment, change(s) in lifestyle, health considerations (if health considerations have been raised or relied upon by the individual Respondent at any stage of the proceeding), and acknowledgment of violations found. The Board may set any conditions subsequent or any requirements that it deems necessary for the protection and benefit of the public and the professions, including an ethics exam.

  6. If the Board approves a Petition for Reinstatement After Violation of the ASHA Code of Ethics, the individual may then (a) apply for reinstatement of ASHA certification in accordance with the policies and procedures set forth by the Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC) and/or (b) reinstatement of ASHA membership in accordance with the requirements that are in effect at the time of application. The CFCC defines the standards for clinical certification, applies those standards in granting certification to individuals, and has final authority to deny or withdraw certification.

  7. If the Board denies a Petition for Reinstatement After Violation of the ASHA Code of Ethics, the Board will provide guidance to the individual as to if and when they may re-petition the Board.

J.  Required Self-Reporting Under Code Principle IV, Rules S and T

  1. Individuals who have been convicted, have been found guilty, or have entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to (1) any misdemeanor involving dishonesty, physical harm—or the threat of physical harm—to the person or property of another or (2) any felony shall self-report by notifying, ASHA Standards and Ethics (see Terminology section for mailing address), in writing within 30 days of the conviction, plea, or finding of guilt.

    1. Individuals shall also provide a certified copy of the conviction, plea, nolo contendere record, or docket entry to ASHA Standards and Ethics within 30 days of self-reporting (Principle IV, Rule S).

    2. All certified documentation must have been obtained no more than 6 months before the submission of, or date of, the self-report.

    3. Certified documentation of a criminal conviction shall be conclusive evidence of the commission of that crime in an ethics proceeding initiated by the Board.

  2. Individuals who have been publicly sanctioned or who have been denied a license or a professional credential by any professional association, professional licensing authority or board, or other professional regulatory body shall self-report to ASHA Standards and Ethics (see Terminology section for mailing address), in writing within 30 days of the final action or disposition.

    1. Individuals shall also provide a certified copy of the final action, sanction, or disposition to ASHA Standards and Ethics within 30 days of self-reporting (Principle IV, Rule T).

    2. All certified documentation must have been obtained no more than 6 months before the submission of, or date of, the self-report.

    3. Certified documentation of professional discipline may be conclusive evidence of the commission of that misconduct in an ethics proceeding initiated by the Board.

II.   Application Certification Disclosure Appeal From the CFCC

  1. The Appeal hearing is the last opportunity that an applicant for certification has to appeal a CFCC denial based on affirmative certification disclosures in an initial or reinstatement application. The Policies and Procedures Related to Certification Disclosure Appeals can be found online.

  2. One member of the three-member Appeal Panel shall be a current member of the Board, as appointed by the Board Chair. (The other two members of the Appeal Panel shall be (1) a member of the Board of Directors appointed by the ASHA President, and (2) a former CFCC member appointed by the CFCC Chair.)

  3. Unless otherwise stated by the CFCC, all applicants must wait until 1 year after their application for certification is closed before reapplying for certification.

III.  Affirmative Disclosures by Renewing Certified Members

  1. Certificate holders who have not met deadlines for earning and/or reporting certification maintenance hours and/or paying annual dues/fees will have their certification status changed to “Not Current.”

    1. Certificate holders who are Not Current solely due to nonpayment of annual dues/fees must pay dues/fees by August 31 to complete their certification maintenance requirement for the current year.

    2. Certificate holders who are Not Current for not earning and/or not reporting certification maintenance hours must

      1. complete and submit a Certification Maintenance Compliance Form, which includes three affirmative disclosure questions;

      2. complete and submit a Record Keeping Form;

      3. submit any required audit materials;

      4. answer certification disclosure questions and provide documentation to the Board in the form requested; and

      5. pay any outstanding annual dues/fees.

  2. Affirmative answers to any of the three certification disclosure questions on the Certification Maintenance Compliance Form will necessitate additional processing by ASHA Certification and will require the timely submission of certified documentation explaining fully

    1. the nature and date of the offense(s);

    2. the denial, professional discipline, or sanctions imposed;

    3. the court or agency of jurisdiction;

    4. the individual’s age at time of discipline, sanction, conviction, finding, or plea;

    5. whether incarceration, fine, or probation was imposed;

    6. rehabilitation, if any; and

    7. any other relevant factors that the individual would like ASHA to consider.  

  3. All certified documentation must have been obtained no more than 6 months before the submission of, or date of, the self-disclosure.

  4. When the required certified documentation is received and deemed sufficient, ASHA Certification will continue to process the renewal submitted by the Not Current member.

  5. The certified documentation and a copy of the Certification Maintenance Compliance Form will be reviewed by ASHA Ethics, the Director of Ethics, and/or the Chair of the Board. The Board shall review any potential violations of the Code in such a manner as the Board may, in its discretion, deem necessary and proper.

  6. If an affirmative disclosure becomes the basis for a Board-initiated ethics complaint, all notices from the Board to the individual shall be in writing and are effective on the date sent to the individual, via certified mail, return receipt requested, to the address then listed in the ASHA membership and/or certification records, or if this method is not available, by any other method reasonably calculated to send the notice to that address. It is the responsibility of certificate holders and/or members to keep their ASHA records current through the timely updating of their ASHA account with any address changes so that they may receive important correspondence from the Association.

  7. Board-initiated complaints derived from affirmative disclosures submitted through ASHA Certification from Not Current members will be adjudicated through Board Initial Consideration hearings.

  8. All costs incurred by the Not Current member in connection with completing the disclosure questions on the Certification Maintenance Compliance Form and submitting the required certified documentation in a timely manner shall be the member’s sole responsibility.

IV. Amendment

This statement of Practices and Procedures may be amended upon a majority vote of the members of the Board and upon approval of the ASHA Board of Directors.

Reference this material as: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2020). Practices and procedures of the Board of Ethics [Ethics]. Available from www.asha.org/policy/.


© Copyright 2020 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association disclaims any liability to any party for the accuracy, completeness, or availability of these documents, or for any damages arising out of the use of the documents and any information they contain.