Update May 22, 2017:
Great news! Provisional licensing now available!
PSHA was notified on May 17, 2017 that the State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology delivered the final form of our regulations, known as Licensure Act 106 of 2014, to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) and the designated standing committees of the PA House and Senate for consideration. IRRC will vote on the rulemaking at its June 15, 2017 public meeting. Once the IRRC review and vote are completed in June, the official publication in the PA Bulletin will make the law fully legal.
In the meantime, Board of Examiners notified PSHA that provisional license applications are now available for new graduates online through the Pennsylvania Licensing System, (PALS) at www.pals.pa.gov.
Update January 16, 2017:
Dave Tive, Lobbyist and Anne Gilbertson, President, attended the Board of Examiners meeting on Friday 1/3/17.
The BOE reviewed all the comments sent in by PSHA, PAA, Roy Shinn and IRRC. Board Counsel Judy Schulder, had everything prepared with each comment arranged by which section of the proposed regs it dealt with. Where she felt it was necessary, she had prepared possible changes to the proposed form of the regs. In the end the BOE approved both the changes and the comments on a unanimous vote.
With regard to the two changes recommended by PSHA, the BOE accepted the first one, to change the reference to the ASBA Scope of Practice for SLP to the 2016 version instead of the previous outdated version. Our other suggested change, to replace all references to “supervisor” and “supervision” with “mentor” and “mentoring”, as preferred by ASHA, was rejected. The rationale for that was that the licensure law specifically uses the “supervisor” and “supervision” language so the BOE has no flexibility to change the wording in the regulations.
Each of the comments from IRRC was discussed, and in a couple of places small changes were made to address those comments. In other places, such as the IRRC request for a 10-year budget projection, that was approved and the document will be sent to IRRC.
The regulations are now to be referred to as “final form” instead of “proposed”. They were sent on Tues, 1/17/2017 to the Department of State legal office for review and from there on to the Governor’s office and the Attorney General for further review. After that they will be looked at by the House and Senate licensure committees, and then there will be a final vote taken by IRRC.
It seems that the Department now understands the urgency for getting this done before spring graduation. Since everything was ready to go at the conclusion of the BOE meeting, there would be no delay in getting the approved document sent to the Department legal office, and Schulder is already looking at trying to find a way to begin the application process for provisional licenses even before we have final approval by IRRC. She made it clear that she could not promise anything along those lines, but she is trying to find a way to get it started.
Just a brief reminder that this could all still fall apart if any of the legal offices, the legislative committees or IRRC discover that they have a problem. BUT if we all cross our fingers and toes, hopefully this will be completed by spring for May graduates to apply for provisional licensure.
Update November 22, 2016:
GREAT NEWS! The proposed licensure regulations have been published in the 29 Oct 2016 Pennsylvania Bulletin. There was a 30-day public comment period which ended on November 28. Please take a moment to review the proposed regulations.
The PSHA Executive Board has thoroughly studied the proposed regulations and are quite pleased with them. I have shared our comments below. We have sent our comments to the Board of Examiners Counsel for consideration. The BOE is required to consider and respond to all comments made by the public. We hope that you are in agreement with our comments, therefore may not see the need to also send a comment. The next step is the comments then need to be sent to the IRRC and the standing committees in the House and Senate that deal with professional licensure.
We have requested a swift completion of the regulatory review process so that Pennsylvania's new speech language pathologist graduates can obtain a provisional license and obtain jobs in PA, in addition to all of the other benefits of our new law.
In addition to the comments, I wanted to point out that the regulations include an increase in the PA application and renewal fees. The state of PA has not had a fee increase since prior to 1984! The fee increase is modest and the biennial renewal increases to $65. Neighboring states biennial fees exceed $100!
Special thanks to Dave Tive, PSHA Lobbyist, for his constant focus, monitoring, and guidance regarding the status of our regulations.
We are almost there! Keep an eye on our website for updates!
Update July 30, 2016:
PSHA has recently been made aware of some information that may have been miscommunicated regarding Act 106 Regulations – PA Licensure.
PSHA lobbyist, David Tive, has prepared an update on the status of Act 106. Read more.