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Legislation & Advocacy

License Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements

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.

Is it an hour, a unit, or a credit?
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.

Can I “Double Dip” and Use Act 48 Hours for Licensure Renewal?
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.

How Do I Document My Hours for the Licensure Board?
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 education activities.

How Do I Get A Continuing Education Course or Program
Pre-Approved by the Licensure Board?

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:

  1. disclose to prospective participants the objectives, content, teaching method, and number of hours of continuing education credit;
  2. provide adequate facilities and appropriate instructional materials for the number of anticipated participants; and
  3. 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 at

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 action.

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.

Act 71
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 through the “electronic bill room” (look up HB 398 or the 99-00 session).

  • What does Act 71 require? 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.
  • To whom does this requirement apply? 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.
  • When does this requirement take effect? At this time, the State Board of Examiners have not set any dates when the continuing education requirements will begin.
  • What kinds of courses will “count”? what won’t? 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.
  • What if something happens and I am unable to complete the continuing education requirement? 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.
  • How does Act 71 relate to requirements under Act 48? 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!).
  • Does the law do anything else? 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.
  • Who can I contact if I have additional questions? Feel free to contact Kathleen R. Helfrich-Miller,

In addition, the State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language and Hearing can be contacted at or

ASHA Advisory Council

Current members are:

Joseph Donaher - SLP
Roy Shinn - Audiology

Advocacy & Issues Survey

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.

Legislative Links

  • Don't know who your federal or state elected officials are?
    Go to
  • A treasure trove of government links can be found through the Mesa State
    University Political Science home page,
  • The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
    Our professional association has a well-maintained web site ( 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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