One thing I’ve found to be more confusing that it needs to be are continuing education requirements for SLPs. There are so many acronyms, and different requirements, and it can get very overwhelming! Today, I’d like to help sort through it all for you.
One thing to keep in mind – ASHA and your state *may* have different requirements.
We’re going to go through the requirements for ASHA here.
ASHA requires every SLP to have 30 clinical maintenance hours (CMHs) every three years to maintain their CCC’s (Certificate of Clinical Competence). More info here: https://www.asha.org/certification/maintain-ccc/
What are clinical maintenance hours?
These clinical maintenance hours must meet the following guidelines:
- The content must be related to the field of speech-language pathology, audiology, or speech-language-hearing sciences.
- The content must be new information or enhance your current knowledge or skills.
- Your attendance can be verified by a third party (organization, employer, educational institution, etc.)
Currently, the only specific topic required by ASHA is one hour of ethics in every three year cycle.
Do you notice how I keep using the term clinical maintenance hour (CMH), and not continuing education unit (CEU)? This is where quite a bit of the confusion comes in!
You are not required to have 30 CEUs… you are required to have 30 CMHs.
CEUs are one type of CMHs, but not the only type! CEUs are continuing education courses that are pre-approved by ASHA … and if you choose to pay the $28 every year for the continuing education registry when you renew your ASHA dues, CEUs (and CEUs only) will be recorded there.
[To become an ASHA pre-approved provider is a lengthy and extensive process, which you can read more about here. https://www.asha.org/ce/for-providers/]
So what other types of CMHs are possible?
Generally accepted activities include employer-sponsored in services, university courses, and online or in-person conferences (such as the Speech Retreat), and they do not need to be pre-approved by ASHA. You can read the whole list from ASHA here: https://www.asha.org/Certification/FactDef/
Does ASHA have any other guidelines on courses?
No, ASHA does not have any other requirements. However, your state may have additional requirements, such as requiring a course on medical errors or sexual harassment, or guidance on how many hours must be taken that are live vs. recorded. Some states may accept proof of your CCCs for continuing education, and others may require pre-approved hours. Make sure to become familiar with the guidelines where you live, as they vary widely.
How do I submit my continuing education courses to ASHA?
Actually, no one “submits” courses to ASHA, whether they are CMHs or CEUs. When you click “submit” on your three year maintenance interval for your CCCs and pay your dues that year, there is a place to indicate that you have met the requirements… and that’s it! You simply need to keep proof (certificates) in case you are ever audited and need to provide evidence.
Personally, I try to keep digital copies of all my certificates in my Dropbox, sorted by year, so they are all easily accessible if they are ever needed.
What other questions do you have?
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