ASHA Advisory Council
Advocacy & Issues Survey
Practitioners holding an active or inactive license, issued by
the Pennsylvania State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language and
Hearing, in accordance with the amendment to section 5 (7) of the
Speech-Language and Hearing Licensure Act (63 P.S. § 1705 (7)
and its accompanying regulations (49 PA. Code 45.501-45.507) must
complete 20 clock hours of continuing education between August 1,
2008 and July 31, 2010. What does this mean for you and how do you
accrue and document your continuing education activities?
Beginning August 1, 2008, renewal of a license by a speech-language
pathologist, audiologist or teacher of the hearing impaired will
not be granted unless the licensee certifies that he or she has
completed the required 20 clock hours of continuing education. These
hours can be obtained by attending any approved continuing education
program. Programs pre-approved for continuing education credit are
sponsored by ASHA and AAA, as are courses offered by academic programs
in speech-language pathology, audiology or teaching of the hearing
impaired associated with institutions accredited by any state’s
department of education (Act 48 hours) or a regional commission
on institutions of higher education.
A clock hour consists of 50 to 60 minutes of instruction
or participation in an approved continuing education (CE) course
or program. Clock hours differ from continuing education units (CEUs).
One clock hour is equivalent to one tenth (.1) of a CEU. Therefore,
to meet the continuing education requirement per biennium, a renewing
licensee must have accrued 2.0 CEUs of instruction or participation
in an approved CE course or program.
In most cases, yes, you can “double dip.” For individuals
who are both licensed by the State Board of Examiners and certified
by the Department of Education, the Board will accept all approved
credits that conform to its proposed regulation even if a licensee
used the same education experience to fulfill his or her requirements
from the Department of Education. In other words, continuing education
activities approved by the Department of Education, which are also
approved by the Board, can be used to fulfill the requirements under
both professional educator certification and license renewal. Be
aware that some continuing education activities approved by the
Department of Education for maintaining certification as a professional
educator may not be approved by the licensure Board as beneficial
or adequate for maintaining state licensure.
In order to certify that one has completed the required 20 clock
hours of continuing education, the licensee must sign a statement
on the license renewal application provided by the Board, certifying
that the continuing education requirement has been met during the
preceding biennial period. Because the Board will utilize random
audits of renewal applications to determine compliance with this
CE requirement, each licensee should maintain a continuing education
record of courses and/or activities completed for a minimum of four
years. If verification is requested, the audited licensee must be
able to provide a continuing education record that documents the
dates attended, continuing education hours claimed, title of course,
description of content, and location of course. PSHA has created
a tracking form you might wish to use for documenting your continuing
Credit for continuing education may be obtained for any program
approved in advance by the Board. To apply for approval of a continuing
education course or program, an application must be completed and
submitted to the Board at least 90 days in advance of the date the
course or program is scheduled. Board evaluation takes 45 to 90
days depending upon the volume of application requests and there
is a nonrefundable cost of $40.00 for submitting an application.
The Board will not approve continuing education programs in office
management or practice building. Preapproval for a continuing education
course or program is contingent upon compliance with the standards
of provider responsibilities. For each proposed continuing education
course or program, the provider must:
- disclose to prospective participants the objectives, content,
teaching method, and number of hours of continuing education credit;
- provide adequate facilities and appropriate instructional materials
for the number of anticipated participants; and
- utilize a verifiable method of certifying participation and
issue a certified continuing education record to each participant.
Additional information can be found on the application form found
Finally, any licensed speech-language pathologists, audiologist,
or teacher of the hearing impaired who fails to complete the required
CE requirement within any biennial renewal period or who submits
fraudulent continuing education records, may be subject to disciplinary
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.
After many years of attempting to amend the Speech-Language and
Hearing Licensure Act to include a requirement for continuing education,
PSHA was finally successful! On October 18, 2000, Governor Ridge
signed HB 398 into law as “Act No. 71 of 2000”. Thanks
to the sponsor of the bill, Representative Wilt, the co-sponsors,
our lobbyist David Tive, and all our PSHA members and allies who
took the time to write or call their elected officials in Harrisburg
about this issue! A copy of the law may be obtained on the PA General
Assembly’s website www.legis.state.pa.us
through the “electronic bill room” (look up HB 398 or
the 99-00 session).
The new law will require 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 the State Board of Examiners in Speech, Language and
Hearing has not yet issued these regulations.
The continuing education requirement under Act 71 will apply to
all individuals who are licensed by the State Board of Examiners
in Speech, Language and Hearing.
- At this time, the State Board of Examiners have
not set any dates when the continuing education requirements will
- The law indicates that no credit may
be given for courses in office management or practice building.
Other details (e.g. requirements regarding the sponsorship of
continuing education and other issues pertaining to quality) will
probably be expanded upon in the State Board’s regulations.
Act 71 provides for a waiver for individuals who are unable to
comply with the continuing education requirement due to illness,
emergency, or hardship. The request for the waiver must be made
in writing, and must include a description of the circumstances
sufficient to show why a licensee is unable to comply. Waiver
requests will be evaluated by the board on a case-by case basis,
and the decision of the board will be communicated in writing.
- Act 48 addresses continuing education for
“professional educators”, e.g. the maintenance of
one’s teaching credential as issued by the Pennsylvania
Department of Education. If you maintain both the teaching certification
and your state license, it is likely that you will be able to
“count” hours earned for Act 48 IF those hours meet
the guidelines that are spelled out in Act 71 and in subsequent
regulations. (For information on whether Act 71 hours will be
accepted under Act 48, consult the PSHA Fact Sheet on Act 48!).
Yes. The law addresses issues pertaining to “impaired professionals”,
i.e. an individual who has an addictive disease or who is otherwise
mentally or physically incompetent to carry out the duties of
the profession. There are specific requirements in the law regarding
the reporting of such persons, corrective actions of the board
regarding the impaired professional, the suspension or revocation
of license when such a person is in treatment or leaves treatment.
All licensees are encouraged to review the actual text of the
law and, once they are promulgated, the regulations.
- Feel free to contact Kathleen R. Helfrich-Miller,
In addition, the State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language and
Hearing can be contacted at
Current members are:
Joseph Donaher - SLP
Roy Shinn - Audiology
What are the issues that are most important to you? Are you willing
to help change the systems to improve access to, payment for, and
the quality of speech, language, and hearing services for Pennsylvanians
with disabilities? Please take a few moments to tell us what your
interests and concerns are, and how you wish to join our advocacy
efforts by clicking here.
- Don't know who your federal or state elected officials are?
Go to www.usa.gov/elected-officials
A treasure trove of government links can be found through the Mesa
University Political Science home page, www.mesastate.edu.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
Our professional association has a well-maintained web site (www.asha.org)
that can help you learn about issues relating to the profession,
and how you can advocate for political change. Resources include
information on the legislative process; writing, calling, or visiting
your elected officials; definitions and other legislative links;
action alerts; etc. You can join ASHA's electronic advocacy networks,
HealthNet and EdNet, via the web site search.
You can also call the ASHA Director of Grassroots Advocacy at 301-897-5700.
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