Speech Language Pathologist State Licensing and the Role of the CCC-SLP Credential

Like other medical professionals, speech-language pathologists have to be licensed through a state licensing authority in order to practice their specialty. The licensing process helps to establish and maintain high standards for licensure candidacy and practice. It also assures the public that practitioners have been through a thorough vetting process that involves qualifying candidates through education, supervised experience and examination.

Who Determines License Requirements for Speech Language Pathologists?

Each state has separate legislation that describes the process and requirements for becoming licensed as a speech language pathologist. There is no single nationally accepted license for the profession. However, most states have fairly uniform requirements and most of them will accept a speech pathologist license from another state as an acceptable interim document until a local license is acquired through a reciprocal licensing process.

Each state licenses SLPs independently, designating a board or other agency as being responsible for administering the process and issuing licenses.

In most states this authority is delegated to a board of speech-language pathology and audiology made up of experienced practitioners in the field. These boards perform an individual evaluation of each licensure candidate in addition to ensuring that basic education and experience qualifications are met.

In other states, a state licensing department rather than an SLP board will issue the credentials directly and assess candidate qualifications.

The Role of the CCC-SLP Credential in the State Licensing Process

Like other medical professions, speech language pathologists have their own umbrella non-profit association to help set licensing standards and promulgate best practices to members. ASHA, the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, has existed since long before states began to impose licensing requirements on speech-language pathologists.

ASHA offers a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) that serves as a nationally-recognized board certification denoting competence in the field. Though the CCC-SLP credential is accepted as one possible path to licensure in many states, it is usually considered optional and not a requirement for earning a state SLP license.

Because ASHA was well established before most states created licensing requirements for speech language pathologists, the organization has had a strong hand in shaping those requirements over the years. ASHA publishes model bills, suggesting language that state legislatures often go on to adopt in establishing their requirements and licensing laws.

Qualifying for the CCC-SLP involves meeting requirements that often exceed basic licensing requirements the state has in place.

The standards for being awarded a CCC-SLP are strict. Candidates must:

  • Possess a master’s, doctoral, or other recognized post-baccalaureate degree in the field from an ASHA-accredited institution
  • Meet a minimum of graduate semester credit hours including academic coursework and supervised clinical experience
  • Demonstrate knowledge of:
    • Human communication
    • Biological processes related to speech
    • Social and behavioral sciences
    • Standards of ethical conduct
    • Oral and written communication
  • Complete a minimum of 400 clock hours of supervised clinical experience
  • Pass the national Praxis Examination in Speech-Language Pathology
  • Successfully complete a speech language pathology clinical fellowship

Even in those states that do not explicitly accept the CCC-SLP, standards are such that qualifying for the certification is usually sufficient to meet most of the separate requirements. Although specifics vary, most states specify:

  • A master’s degree or equivalent from an accredited school
  • A certain number of clinical practice hours
  • Completion of a clinical fellowship
  • Passing scores on the national licensing exam

Some states also require candidates to pass the jurisprudence exam, testing knowledge of that state’s particular rules and regulations for the field.

State-By-State Licensing Overview

All 50 states and the District of Columbia require a license in order to practice speech pathology professionally.

States fall into one of three categories when it comes to establishing a candidate’s qualifications for receiving a license:

Most states require a clinical fellowship of 36 weeks (equivalent to ASHA requirements) and around 400 hours of supervised clinical practicum. States that do not require a CCC-SLP still require candidates to meet similar educational standards and to pass the same Praxis exam used to meet CCC-SLP requirements.

Below, we list the states falling into each category together with any other notable variations from the national norms in license requirements and with a link to the board or agency that administers the licensing process.

States That Require the CCC-SLP for Licensure


Alaska

Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development


Delaware

Board of Examiners of Speech-language Pathologists, Audiologists, and Hearing Aid Dispensers


Hawaii

Board of Speech Pathology and Audiology

  • Does not require a clinical fellowship


Massachusetts

Board of Registration in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology

  • Does not require a clinical fellowship


Rhode Island

Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology


South Carolina

Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology


Virginia

Virginia Board of Audiology and Speech Pathology

  • Does not require a clinical fellowship

States That Accept the CCC-SLP as One Path to Licensure


Alabama

Alabama Board of Examiners for Speech Pathology and Audiology


Arkansas

Arkansas Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology


California

Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board


Connecticut

Speech Language Pathology Licensure


Florida

Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

  • Complete a course on HIV prevention
  • Complete a course on avoiding medical errors


Georgia

Board of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology


Illinois

Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology


Kentucky

Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

  • Requires proof of citizenship or legal residency


Louisiana

Louisiana Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology


Iowa

Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology


Michigan

Board of Speech-Language Pathology


Mississippi

Mississippi Department of Health, Professional Licensure Division


Missouri

Advisory Commission for Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists

  • Does not require a clinical fellowship


Montana

Board of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists

  • Pass a jurisprudence exam


Nebraska

Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

  • Requires proof of citizenship or legal residency


Nevada

Board of Examiners for Audiology and Speech Pathology

  • Does not require a clinical fellowship
  • Requires proof of citizenship or legal residency


New Hampshire

Speech-Language Pathology Governing Board


New Mexico

Speech-Language Pathology, Audiology, and Hearing Aid Dispensing Practices Board

  • Pass a jurisprudence exam


New York

Board for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

  • Does not require a clinical fellowship


North Carolina

Board of Examiners for Speech and Language Pathologists and Audiologists


Ohio

Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology


Oklahoma

Oklahoma Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

  • Requires proof of citizenship or legal residency
  • Minimum of three professional references


Oregon

Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

  • Demonstrate English competency


Pennsylvania

Department of State, Bureau of Professional & Occupational Affairs, State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language and Hearing

  • Does not require a clinical fellowship


South Dakota

Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology


Tennessee

Board of Communications Disorders and Sciences


Texas

Board of Examiners for Speech Language Pathology and Audiology

  • Pass a jurisprudence exam
  • Undergo a criminal background check


Vermont

Vermont Department of Education


West Virginia

Board of Examiners of Speech & Language Pathology and Audiology


Wisconsin

Hearing and Speech Examining Board


Wyoming

Board of Speech Pathology and Audiology

States That Accept CCC-SLP-equivalent Requirements for Licensure


Arizona

Arizona Department of Health Services, Office of Special Licensing

  • Requires proof of citizenship or legal residency


Colorado

Office of Speech-Language Pathology Certification

  • Proof of malpractice insurance for practitioners


District of Columbia

DC Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology


Idaho

Bureau of Occupational Licenses, Speech & Hearing Services Licensure Board


Indiana

Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Board

  • Pass a jurisprudence exam


Kansas

Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services, Health Occupations Credentialing


Maine

Board of Speech, Audiology and Hearing


Maryland

State Board of Examiners for Audiologists, Hearing Aid Dispensers, and Speech-Language Pathologists

  • Requires proof of citizenship or legal residency
  • Pass a jurisprudence exam


Minnesota

Speech Language Pathology and Audiology Advisory Council


New Jersey

Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Committee


North Dakota

Board of Examiners on Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology

  • Does not require a clinical fellowship


Utah

Speech Language Pathologist and Audiologist Licensing Board


Washington

Board of Hearing and Speech

  • Complete a course on HIV prevention

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