The professions of audiology and speech-language pathology are regulated at the state level and each state maintains its own standards for licensure, registration or certification.
State regulation is different from certification by a national or professional association, such as the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC), which is awarded by ASHA. That being said, many states do model their regulatory requirements after the CCC requirements.
Certification provides a different level of consumer protection by assuring that an individual has met rigorous and valid standards endorsed by a national professional body. State licensure and certification dovetail with one another and should be regarded as equal partners in the delivery of speech-language pathology and audiology services.
Licensure ensures basic consumer protection and provides a mechanism by which incompetent and/or unethical practitioners may be removed from practice.
By designating only certified and, where applicable, licensed professionals as providers of speech and hearing services, you will assure a level of quality to this very important employee health benefit.
The Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) is granted by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in both speech-language pathology and audiology. It is the only universally recognized credential for the professions.
Only individuals who meet specific requirements may obtain the CCC. Holders of the CCC must abide by the ASHA Code of Ethics, which incorporates the highest standards of integrity and ethical principles.
Every individual who holds the CCC has:
- Earned a graduate degree
- Completed a minimum of 30 semester hours of professional course work,
- Taken at least 27 semester hours in the basic sciences,
- Earned at least 21 graduate credits,
- Completed a minimum of 350 clock-hours of clinical practicum under a certified supervisor,
- Completed 36 weeks of supervised clinical fellowship, and
- Passed a national examination.
Maintaining the CCC is contingent upon participation in 30 contact hours of professional development activities every three years.
Speech-language pathologists and audiologists are qualified to practice under the Medicare and Medicaid programs, which are administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, if they have the equivalent education and experience required for certification by ASHA.
Certain employment settings require certification; in the U.S. Military, the CCC is required for promotion as an audiologist.