Contact Us  | Member Login  |  Site Map
 
Go to:

 

SLP Assistant General Information

FAQs For Licensee/Superviosr

FAQs For Employers

FAQs for Caregivers

SLPA Can and Cannot Chart

SLP Assistants

General Information

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Registration for Assistants

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Code defines an assistant as, "An individual who works under the direction and supervision of a licensed audiologist, speech-language pathologist or teacher of the hearing-impaired "and who meets the specified education and training requirements. It further specifies that an assistant must receive direct onsite supervision (i.e., "a licensed audiologist, speech-language pathologist or teacher of the hearing-impaired" must be physically present "in the facility or location where the assistant is working who is immediately available to exercise supervision, direction and control."), and that "a licensee may not supervise more than three assistants." (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of State, Bureau of Professional & Occupational Affairs, State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language and Hearing. (1988). Pennsylvania Code. (Title 49, Professional & Vocational Standards. Chapter 45, State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language and Hearing Pennsylvania Code.)

The Bureau of Professional & Occupational Affairs stipulates that the licensed audiologist, speech-language pathologist or teacher of the hearing impaired who will supervise the work of an assistant must file with the Licensure Board (a) the name of their assistant (b) the location where the assistant will work, and (c) certification that the assistant has met the education and training requirements within 30 days of the assistant's employment or a change in the assistant's employment or supervision. Use of an unregistered assistant or a person serving in the capacity of an assistant who has not fulfilled the specified training requirements or who is positioned to provide service without appropriate supervision is strictly proscribed.* ( Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of State, Bureau of Professional & Occupational Affairs, State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language and Hearing. (1988). Pennsylvania Code. (Title 49, Professional & Vocational Standards. Chapter 45, State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language and Hearing Pennsylvania Code.)

In order to work as an assistant the individual must have met one of the following education and training requirements:

  1. completed 30 semester hours or the equivalent from an accredited institution of higher education in the area of speech-language and hearing for a certificate of clinical competence from the council of professional standards of the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association or the Council on Education of the Deaf, or
  2. practiced as an assistant in the area of speech-language and hearing since at least June 8, 1989, under the supervision of an audiologist, speech-language pathologist or teacher of the hearing-impaired licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, or
  3. practiced as an assistant in the area of speech-language and hearing since at least June 8, 1989, under the supervision of an
    audiologist, speech-language-pathologist or teacher of the hearing-impaired licensed in another state or the District of Columbia which has requirements for assistants substantially equivalent to the provisions of the Commonwealth.

(Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of State, Bureau of Professional & Occupational Affairs, State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language and Hearing (1988). Pennsylvania Code. (Title 49, Professional & Vocational Standards. Chapter 45, State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language and Hearing Pennsylvania Code.)

Prior to assigning a duty to an assistant, a licensed supervisor is required to "perform a task analysis of the expected duties of each assistant the licensee supervises, and shall train the assistant, with an emphasis on competency-based skill acquisition, in accordance with the analysis. Training may be provided through formal coursework, workshops or directly supervised observation or practicum; training shall encompass all areas of activities which the assistant will perform. An assistant trained in one area (audiology, speech-language pathology, teaching of the hearing-impaired) may not perform duties in another area, unless training in that area has been given. An assistant is not permitted to perform a duty for which, in the opinion of the licensed supervisor, the assistant is neither trained nor qualified. A minimum of 20 hours of practical training for each duty is required." (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of State, Bureau of Professional & Occupational Affairs, State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language and Hearing. (1988). Pennsylvania code. (Title 49, Professional & Vocational Standards. Chapter 45, State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language and Hearing Pennsylvania Code.)

An assistant may engage in only duties that are planned, designed and supervised by a licensed professional. Examples of appropriate duties include:

  1. The screening of speech, language or hearing.
  2. The recording, charting, graphing or otherwise displaying of data which reflects the performance of a person serviced.
  3. The maintaining of clinical records.
  4. The reporting of changes in the performance of a person served to the licensee who is responsible for that person.
  5. The preparing of clinical materials, including ear molds.
  6. The testing of hearing aids to determine whether they meet published specifications.
  7. The participating with the licensee in research projects, in-service training, public relations programs and similar activities.

(Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of State, Bureau of Professional & Occupational Affairs, State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language and Hearing. (1988). Pennsylvania code. (Title 49, Professional & Vocational Standards. Chapter 45, State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language and Hearing Pennsylvania Code.)

Assistants may not engage in one or more of the following activities:

  1. The formulating of diagnostic statements or clinical management strategies or procedures.
  2. The determining of who will be served.
  3. The transmitting of clinical information, including data or impressions bearing on the performance, behavior or progress of a person served, either verbally or in writing, to anyone other than the licensee.
  4. The independent composing of clinical reports, except for progress notes to be held in the file of the person served.
  5. The referring of a person served to other professionals or other agencies.
  6. The using of a title, either verbally or in writing, other than one which complies with [the stated definition of an assistant].
  7. Activities which require the formal education or training, and the skill and knowledge of a licensed audiologist, speech-language pathologist or teacher of the hearing impaired.
(Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of State, Bureau of Professional & Occupational Affairs, State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language and Hearing. (1988) Pennsylvania Code. (Title 49, Professional & Vocational Standards. Chapter 45, State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language and Hearing Pennsylvania Code.)

*"A licensee shall inform the Board when he has reason to believe that a licensee under the act may have violated this Code of Ethics."

[For additional information regarding Licensure in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and/or its Code of Ethics*, please contact: Department of State, Bureau of Professional & Occupational Affairs, State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language and Hearing, P. O. Box 2649, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649]

[ Back to Top ]

FAQs for Licensee/Supervisors

Question: In Pennsylvania, what are the educational requirements for a registered Speech or Hearing Assistant?

30 semester hours (undergrad) in speech, language, hearing from an accredited institution of higher education, or evidence of supervised practice as an Assistant since at least June 8, 1989.

ASHA has provided information on their website regarding Skill Building Resources for Speech-Language Pathology Assistants (SLPAs). 

At the ASHA Schools Conference in July 2011, SLPs were encouraged to invite their SLPAs and an educational track was provided for them.  They can join ASHA as Associate Members. 

Question: What is the process for registering the Assistant?  Who should initiate the registration?

A Licensee/Supervisor must file the name, location, certification of education and training requirements and confirmation that the Licensee/Supervisor and Assistant have read the appertaining statutory chapters.  This must be done within 30 days of the employment of the Assistant.  You can find a Link to the form on the state website.

Question:  How many Assistants is the Licensee/Supervisor permitted to supervise at one time? 

No more than 3 Assistants may be assigned to a Licensee/Supervisor at one time. 
No specific amount of years of experience is stated in the 49 PA code.  PSHA feels that at least 3 years experience is necessary. 

Question: What are the allowable responsibilities of the Assistant? 

The PSHA Task Force developed a Can and Cannot Chart, and collaborated with the State Licensure Board for guidance and review.  You can view this chart by clicking on this link.

Question: Tell me the amount of time that I must directly supervise the Assistant.

Any Licensee/Supervisor must directly observe (in line of sight) 25% of each clinical session provided by the Assistant. Direct observations shall be documented and the quality of the Assistant’s performance shall be reviewed with the Assistant.

Question:   What does "directly supervise" mean -  does this mean training?   What types of continuing education should the Assistant attend, and how often?

The Assistant is assigned only duties and responsibilities for which the Assistant has been specifically trained and which the Assistant is qualified to perform.

Initial task analysis by the Licensee/Supervisor should determine the training, practicum and/or continuing education needed.  A minimum of 20 hours of practical training for each duty is required.  Employee review should contain suggestions for further education.  The Assistant must be fully aware of standards of practice, conduct and ethics. 

If the Licensee/Supervisor feels additional education is needed for the Assistant, the Assistant may be required to take specific courses.  The Pa. Licensure Board does not require formal continuing education for Assistants.  ASHA has developed training protocols and materials for Assistants, and the Assistant may become an Associate Member of ASHA.
Reference  §  45.306 (relating to supervision and responsibility).

Question:   Do the clients or caregivers of the clients need to be notified that an Assistant will be providing service to their family member?

Persons who will be receiving services from an Assistant must be informed that services are being rendered by an Assistant.  This notification should include information about the requirements of Supervision.  PSHA has developed another list of FAQ's that inform the caregivers.

Question:   When a family member wishes to observe the Assistant working with their child or family member, what advice should be followed?

The Speech-Language Pathologist or the Audiologist that has registered the Assistant with the PA. Licensure Board is responsible for directing and managing the Assistant.  This Licensee/Supervisor must hold a Pennsylvania license in Speech and/or Hearing.  That is the person to contact with your questions.

[ Back to Top ]

 

Frequently Asked Questions For Employers


Question:  In Pennsylvania, what are the educational requirements for a registered Speech or Hearing Assistant?

30 semester hours (undergrad) in speech, language, hearing from an accredited institution of higher education, or evidence of supervised practice as an Assistant since at least June 8, 1989.

ASHA has provided information on their website regarding Skill Building Resources for Speech-Language Pathology Assistants (SLPAs). 

Question: What is the process for registering the Assistant?  Who should initiate the
registration

A Licensee/Supervisor must file the name, location, certification of education and training requirements and confirmation that the Licensee/Supervisor and Assistant have read the appertaining statutory chapters.  This must be done within 30 days of the employment of the Assistant.  You can find a Link to the form on the state website.

Question:   Who must supervise the Assistant? Is the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence required? 

The Licensee/Supervisor must hold a Pennsylvania speech or hearing license; however, does not need to have the ASHA CCCs.


Question:  What does this supervision entail?

A Licensee/Supervisor is responsible for:
   Hiring Assistants who meet the minimum requirements
   Assigning duties (see Assistant Can and Cannot Perform Chart)
   Making professional decisions about the services provided
   Assigning only duties and responsibilities for which specific training has been
        completed
   A Task Analysis of the expected duties shall be performed, with subsequent training.          A minimum of 20 hours of practical training for each duty is required.

Direct observation in line of sight (25% of each clinical session) of the Assistant’s performance with subsequent documentation and review of quality with the Assistant.     
Ensuring that full disclosure is made that services are provided by an Assistant
Ensuring that the Assistant is familiar with and follows the standards of practice and ethical conduct

Cross References
This section is cited in 49 Pa. Code §  45.302 (relating to required filing); and 49 Pa. Code §  45.306 (relating to supervision and responsibility).

Question:  Are there any examples of a task analysis?

The Licensure Board does not have any specific examples.  However, the Licensee/Supervisor and the Assistant should review 49 PA Code §  45.305 which references the duties and functions of Assistants.

PSHA has compiled an Assistant Can and Cannot Perform Chart

Question:  Does the Licensee/Supervisor need to have a specific amount of years of experience?

No specific amount of years of experience is stated in the 49 PA code.  PSHA feels that at least 3 years experience is necessary. 

No more than 3 Assistants may be assigned to a Licensee/Supervisor at one time. 

Question:  How much supervision time is required?  Is this supervision to be direct (line-of-sight) or indirect (availability in the building)?

The Assistant must have direct line of sight supervision in 25% of each clinical session. Documentation and performance review is required between the Licensee/Supervisor and the Assistant. 

Question:  What does the employee review for the SLPA look like, and who is responsible for that?

Initial task analysis by the Licensee/Supervisor should determine the training, practicum and/or continuing education needed.  Employee review should contain suggestions for further education and training.

If the Licensee/Supervisor feels additional education is needed for the Assistant, the Licensee/Supervisor may require that the Assistant take specific courses.  Be aware that the PA Board does not require formal continuing education for Assistants.

Cross References:  This section is cited in 49 Pa. Code §  45.306 (relating to supervision and responsibility).

Question:  Are CEUs needed for Assistant registration renewal?

Assistants are not licensed by the Board, but are registered under the Licensee/Supervisor.  Therefore, formal CEUs are not required.

Question:  My agency wants to place the Assistant with multiple Licensee/Supervisors.  How must these Licensee/Supervisors fulfill the required 25% supervision time?

Any Licensee/Supervisor must directly observe (in line of sight) 25% of each clinical session that they are supervising. Documentation of the direct observation and review of the quality of the Assistant's performance is necessary and required. 

Question:  Can the Licensee/Supervisor bill Medicare or Medicaid for services provided by an Assistant? 

The PA License Board has no jurisdiction over billing.  Employers should check with the billing agency for guidance on this question.

An Assistant may not engage in activities reserved by the act to Licensee/Supervisors, nor may the Assistant hold himself out to the public, either by title or by description of services, as an Audiologist or  Speech-Language Pathologist.   Titles may be used only in conjunction with the appendage ‘‘Assistant;’’ for example, ‘‘Audiology Assistant.’’

A Licensee/Supervisor may not assign, delegate or permit Assistants to perform activities which require the formal education or training, and the skill and knowledge of a licensed Audiologist or Speech-Language Pathologist.

Cross References:  This section is cited in 49 Pa. Code §  45.306 (relating to supervision and responsibility).

[ Back to Top ]

 

FAQs for the Caregiver


Question:  In Pennsylvania, what are the educational requirements for a registered Speech or Hearing Assistant?

30 semester hours (undergrad) in speech, language, hearing from an accredited institution of higher education, or evidence of supervised practice as an Assistant since at least June 8, 1989.

Question:  Who is in charge of the Assistant?

The Licensee/Supervisor of the Assistant is a Pennsylvania licensed speech-language pathologist or audiologist.  They do not need to hold the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence.  The Licensee/Supervisor is required to register the Assistant and document training hours and credentials. 

Question:  Is there an internship or on-site training provided?

The Licensee/Supervisor performs a Task Analysis of the duties of the Assistant, and trains the Assistant with a competency based skill analysis. A minimum of 20 hours of practical training for each duty is required. Coursework, workshops and/or supervised observations may be part of this training.  Ethics training is essential and required. 

Question:  What determines the amount of time that the Assistant works with my loved one?

The Licensee/Supervisor assigns the duties of the Assistant, once that Assistant is fully prepared.  Then, the Licensee/Supervisor directly observes (line of sight) 25% of each clinical session, with documentation of the observation. A review of the performance is conducted between the Licensee/Supervisor and the Assistant.

Question:  Whom should I contact regarding any questions about what the Assistant is providing for my loved one?

The Speech-Language Pathologist or the Audiologist that has registered the Assistant with the State Licensure Board is responsible for directing and managing the Assistant.  This Licensee/Supervisor must hold a Pennsylvania license in Speech and/or Hearing.  That is the person to contact with your questions.

Question:   What duties and responsibilities may be performed by a registered SLPA?

PSHA has compiled a Can Do/Cannot Do Chart.

 

[ Back to Top ]

Pennsylvania Speech Language Hearing Association
700 McKnight Park Drive, Suite 708 | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15237
412-366-9858 | 412-366-8804 fx
psha@psha.org
ASHA.org
 
©2010 Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association | All rights reserved.