The Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) is a certification available to upcoming speech pathologists all over the country.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) provides this path as a gateway for upcoming professionals to achieve structured education and experience during and after their graduate degree program.
In a few different states, CCC-SLP certification may be an initial requirement for licensure. In states that do not require this type of certification for SLP licensing, the CCC-SLP could be a way to communicate your extensive learning and experience when applying for high-demand positions in your area.
In order to help you better visualize the steps required to receive this type of credential, our team of educational experts has outlined all of the expectations of upcoming certificants in this field. Read through the guide below to better plan for your future in the field of speech pathology.
Degree and Knowledge Outcomes
Upcoming students that are exploring graduate-level programs for their speech language therapy degree should research the accreditation of their intended programs prior to applying to them. ASHA has specific recommendations for prospective licensees to consider, which focus on the reliability of the degree program and its accreditation status.
While you sort through the different traditional and online programs, you should verify that your program holds accreditation from the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). Taking this step can help you confirm that your investment in the program can lead to licensing in your future.
The actual substance of the degree program is also vital for your success in the field. Specific degree requirements set forth by ASHA note that your chosen degree program must include 36 graduate hours specifically focusing on speech pathology. Most degree websites can provide you with a list of courses that you can compare to the board's certification requirements prior to enrollment.
ASHA standards for competencies in a speech pathology program outline specific skills and knowledge topics such as articulation, fluency, swallowing, and phonation, which guide institutions on what courses to provide in CAA-accredited degree programs. If the college you are researching already holds CAA accreditation, the course work within it should already cover the topics required through ASHA standards.
Clinical Field Requirements
ASHA's clinical field experience requirements for the CCC-SLP certification specify that trainees receive 400 clock hours of experience in the field. Specifically, 375 hours must consist of direct contact with patients in the field and 25 can be specifically in clinical observations.
Further expectations of the clinical experience requirement state that students involved in this portion of the certification requirements must achieve 325 hours of the 400 total at the graduate level. Only 75 hours of the total can be counted from undergraduate experience.
During your clinical experience, you can work one-on-one with clients in need of speech services. The services you provide should be reviewed and supervised by a licensed and certified SLP, so that you maintain compliant with regulations pertaining to CCC-SLP training. While you are working through this requirement, you can receive reviews and feedback from your supervisor that can help you develop into a better professional along the way.
Your clinical field requirements can be an important part of your professional development. In order to meet the guidelines set forth by ASHA for the CCC-SLP certification, the supervisor that you choose for your clinicals must currently hold current licensure in this field.
Your education and training through the clinical experience requirements can prepare you to take the Praxis Examination in Speech-Language Pathology. This test is required for licensing and CCC-SLP certification and may require extensive preparations prior to sitting for it.
The Praxis examination can test you on your knowledge of normal and abnormal speech development, clinical assessment and diagnosis, treatment, and ethics in speech pathology. You might also see questions pertaining to real-world practical issues, some requiring deep critical thinking and ethical consideration. Students are encouraged to seek out test preparation materials prior to testing in order to best prepare.
When you have successfully passed this test, your scores should be sent directly to ASHA as part of your total application process. Test scores are considered alongside documentation of your degree program and experience in the final certification decision.
After your initial application process, CCC-SLP prospects must then take part in a clinical fellowship in partnership with other certified speech pathologists in the field. The clinical fellowship must begin within 2 years of the initial application and must be completed within 4 years.
The first expectation for the clinical fellowship is that you choose a mentor/supervisor that currently holds CCC-SLP certification. This mentor can assist you with sharpening your skills in direct practice, which is another requirement for your fellowship.
The total hours required for completion of this fellowship period is 1,260. Trainees can indulge in a maximum of 35 hours per week of training, which can be completed in around 36 weeks. Students interested in completing their training at a part-time rate can do so as long as they are gaining more than 5 hours per week towards the total requirement.
Once you have ultimately received your certification, you may be expected to comply with the renewal standards set forth by ASHA. The period for renewal of your certification is 3 years, during which you may be required to gain 30 hours of continuing education credits.
ASHA has review processes and random audits that check for compliance to these standards, making it necessary for you to keep valid records of your experience and renewals throughout the duration of your career.