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Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Teaching Certification

Continuing Education - Act 48

Voluntary Inactive Certificate

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Licensure

Continuing Education - Act 71

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Registration for Assistants

Commonwealth of PA Teaching Certification

About Certification

In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, speech-language pathology, audiology and hearing therapy services are provided by individuals who hold various credentials. The purpose of this section is to describe the credentials recognized in the Commonwealth and their requirements.

In all cases, the Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association (PSHA) maintains that the welfare of individuals served is paramount. The PSHA Code of Ethics describes in detail the appropriate scope of duties of each of the professions, and additional ethical responsibilities related to practice as speech-language pathologists, audiologists and teachers of the hearing impaired.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC)

ASHA Standards

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the national professional organization for speech-language pathologists and audiologists. It grants the "Certificate of Clinical Competence" to those individuals who have satisfied stringent requirements in education and training within these fields.

Individuals who hold the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence must have completed at least the M.A. or M.S. degree from an approved training institution, have satisfied the training requirements (including at least 375 hours of supervised clinical practicum in at least two different sites, as well as an internship program [the Clinical Fellowship Year {CFY}] during which their work has been supervised), and have passed the NTSB examination in the field of specialty (i.e., speech-language pathology or audiology).

For additional information regarding the ASHA CCC visit http://www.asha.org/certification/AboutCertificationGenInfo.htm

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Teaching Certification

Teachers of Speech/Language Impaired and Teachers of Deaf/Hard of Hearing The Commonwealth of PA grants certification to speech- language clinicians and teachers of the deaf/hearing impaired who have completed the following. This is an educational certification. Individuals who have this credential are eligible to provide service in the schools only. If this is the only credential an individual holds, he/she is not eligible to provide therapy privately or in any setting other than a school. (For additional information regarding Commonwealth of PA Certification for Teachers of the Speech and Language Impaired and Teachers of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing, please contact: Bureau of Teacher Certification and Preparation, PA Department of Education, 333 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333.)

Continuing Education - Act 48

The Law States, educators must maintain their education certificates as active by earning 6 collegiate or 6 PDE approved in-service credits or 180 continuing education hours or any combination of the above every 5 years. The five-year period began July 1, 2000. For those individuals who were issued their certificates in August 2000 and thereafter, the five-year period begins with the effective date of issuance of the initial certificate.

Voluntary Inactive Certificate

Educators who are not employed as a professional or temporary professional may request voluntary inactive certification status from PDE to suspend requirements. If this option is used, the educator must earn 30 hours before the certificate can be reactivated

The Act does permit educators with an inactive certification to serve as a substitute teacher for up to 90 days during a school year.

For additional information regarding the PA Teacher Certification visit http://www.education.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/certifications/7199

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Licensure
Speech/Language Pathology, Audiology or Teacher of Hearing Impaired

The Commonwealth of PA's State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language and Hearing of the Bureau of Professional & Occupational Affairs (a division of the Department of State) is the entity which grants licensure for qualified individuals to
practice as speech/language pathologists, audiologists and teachers of the hearing impaired. Licensed individuals are bound by a professional Code of Ethics.*

Pennsylvania Speech Language and Hearing Licensure Act

Chapter 45 State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language and Hearing

The requirements for licensure stipulate that applicants hold an M.A./M.S. degree or its equivalent from an accredited academic institution, have completed a practicum in the appropriate specialty consisting of a minimum of 375 hours (of which 250 supervised clock hours of the practicum shall be obtained at the graduate level in the area in which licensing is sought; practicum experience shall include a minimum of 50 clock hours in at least two distinctly different environments), have completed a Year of Supervised Professional Experience, and have passed an examination approved by the Licensure Board.

*"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."
(Commonwealth of Pa., 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.)

For additional information regarding Licensure in the
Commonwealth of Pa. 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.

Continuing Education - Act 71

The law requires the demonstration of satisfactory completion of 20 CLOCK hours of continuing education related to the practice of speech language pathology, audiology, or teaching hearing impaired “in accordance with board regulations” for renewal. Note that at this time the State Board of Examiners in Speech, Language and Hearing has not yet set implementation dates for continuing education.

For additional information regarding the PA State Licensing visit http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/state_board_of_speech-language_and_hearing_examiners/12525

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

American Academy of Audiology

The American Board of Audiology (ABA), an autonomous organization, is dedicated to enhancing audiologic services to the public by promulgating universally recognized standards in professional practice. The ABA encourages audiologists to exceed these prescribed standards, thereby promoting a high level of professional development and ethical practice

For additional information on American Board of Audiology visit http://www.americanboardofaudiology.org/

Commonwealth of PA Teaching Certification

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) grants educational certification to professionals providing services in the schools. Individuals with this type of certification are eligible to provide services in the schools only. If this is the only credential an individual holds, he/she is not eligible to provide therapy privately or in any setting other than a school.

There are two types of educational certifications: Instructional and Educational Specialist. Instructional certification is designed for professionals whose primary responsibilities involve classroom teaching, while Educational Specialist certification is designed for professionals whose primary responsibilities involve professional service other than classroom teaching.

Prior to 2014, speech-language pathologists could obtain employment in schools only if they met requirements for the instructional certification, Special Education – Speech/Language Impaired PK-12. This required that speech-language pathology students complete education coursework, including a student teaching practicum in a school. The instructional certification also allowed schools to assign certified speech-language clinicians to non-SLP teaching activities, such as substituting in a classroom and proctoring state tests. As of 2014, PDE offers two options for speech-language pathologists in Pennsylvania.

In 2014 PDE developed the Educational Specialist certification, Specialist – Speech-Language Pathologist PK-12. PSHA has worked diligently with PDE to achieve the Educational Specialist certification in speech-language pathology in response to the new licensure law. It allows speech-language pathologists the option to work in the school setting provided they have a current Pennsylvania license. Requirements for this option are consistent with ASHA professional level requirements for certification, and with PA regulations for professional licensure in speech-language pathology. It acknowledges the difference in professional preparation and roles/responsibilities of SLPs in all work settings, including schools. SLPs who meet ASHA and State licensure requirements may now apply for Educational Specialist certification to work in schools, regardless of whether they have had any education coursework. Highly qualified SLPs who previously were ineligible to work in schools are now eligible to do so. The instructional certification for speech-language clinicians, Special Education – Speech/Language Impaired PK-12 still exists. Those SLPs who already hold this certification are NOT eligible to apply for Educational Specialist certification, as indicated in PDE policy. For all other ASHA certified and State licensed SLPs, the instructional certification is no longer needed.

Teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing are eligible to apply for an instructional certification only, Special Education – Hearing Impaired PK-12.

For additional information regarding PDE Certification for Educational Specialists in Speech-Language Pathology, Teachers of the Speech/Language Impaired and Teachers of the Hearing Impaired, please contact: Bureau of Teacher Certification and Preparation, PA Department of Education, 333 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333.)

Education Specialist Certification for Speech language pathologists in the schools
CSPG No. 086 Educational Specialist  Certification for Speech Language Pathologist was established by the Pa Department of Education (PDE) in the summer of 2014 and has the potential to change the landscape of SLPs in the schools. The finalization of this certificate was spearheaded by Rep. Julie Harhart as part of the final negotiations for the passage of Senate Bill 137 which became Act 103 of 2014, our new licensure law.
The benefits of the Educational Specialist – Speech-Language Pathologist PK-12Certificate Program include:

  • Candidates for the Educational Specialist Certificate are required to take the Praxis test, Speech-Language Pathology (5331), which is the NESPA, the national professional test required by ASHA. This requirement differs from the five Praxis exams currently required for a Special Education – Speech/Language Impaired PK-12 Instructional I certificate.
  • Removing such testing requirements removes road-blocks and provides an incentive for professionals to seek out service in public schools in lieu of hospital settings.
  • The Educational Specialist certificate properly aligns the types of service being provided by many speech and language professionals.
  • A pathway is provided to certification for licensed speech pathologists to perform services in a public school that may significantly reduce the number of emergency permits issued.

Regulations for the certification have been established by PDE. There are essentially two pathways to the certificate. New master’s degree graduates from schools in PA can get the Educational Specialist certification rather than the Instructional 1 certification. Since the Educational Specialist certification is not a teacher certification and does not allow a therapist to act as a teacher, it moves therapists in the schools in the right direction as they cannot be assigned a duty as a teacher, nor can they be evaluated as a teacher. They would be evaluated much like a school psychologist or a school nurse. As SLPs in the schools re-invent themselves they have a robust opportunity to increase not only their value but also their respect as a highly educated professional who is different from a teacher

The second pathway is for those who come to PA from other states or those who do not have the Instructional 1 certificate in PA and wish work in the public schools. These cases would be handled by PDE on an individual basis. Once the individual obtains a PA license and their educational program obtains approval from PDE they will be granted the Educational Specialist Certification.

 

 

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