§ 870-X-4-.08. Mandatory Continuing Education
(1) Continuing Education Requirements.
(a) Each licensee shall annually complete and report at least twelve (12) hours of continuing education. A minimum of ten (10) shall be in the area of licensure - Content Area I; one of the ten hours should be in the area of ethics; and a maximum of (2) may be in areas related to the profession of speech-language pathology or audiology - Content Area II, all which must contribute to professional competency of licensee. The Board shall not issue a renewal of a licensee's certificate of registration unless the licensee documents completion of twelve (12) hours of continuing education. The period for completion of the continuing education requirements shall be the period beginning January 1 and ending December 31 of each renewal period.
(b) Any speech-language pathologist or audiologist whose license has been placed on inactive status must obtain at least twelve (12) continuing education hours for each year of inactive status (refer to 870-X-4-.05 for inactive status) prior to license reactivation. These twelve (12) hours must be in compliance with the content area requirements.
(c) Any speech-language pathologist or audiologist whose license has been revoked due to failure to renew must demonstrate that they have obtained at least twelve (12) continuing education hours for each year during which the license was in revoked status in addition to the continuing education hours that were required for renewal at the time the license was revoked prior to the granting of a new license.
(d) Individuals with dual licenses in both speech-language pathology and audiology shall complete at least twenty-four (24) hours of continuing education on an annual basis as a condition of licensure renewal. All twenty-four (24) required hours must meet the qualifying criteria specified. The required hours must be equally distributed between the two areas of speech-language pathology and audiology and must be completed in the twelve (12) month period beginning January 1 and ending December 31 of each renewal period. At the time of renewal, the licensee is required to specify the applicable area for each continuing education activity. Licensees with dual licenses should complete two of the 24 hours of continuing education in ethics.
(e) A single continuing education activity shall not apply to both areas of dual licensure.
(2) Record Keeping, Recording and Monitoring.
(a) It is the responsibility of each speech-language pathologist or audiologist to maintain and compile accurate records relating to all continuing education courses or activities attended and completed. It shall be the responsibility of each speech-language pathologist and audiologist to maintain the above described documentation and information pertaining to each renewal period for a period of five (5) years and this information shall be submitted on line or a form approved by and provided by the Alabama Board of Examiners for Speech Language Pathology and Audiology at the time of license renewal. The Board will not be responsible for maintaining the licensee's documentation of the continuing education hours.
(b) Each speech-language pathologist or audiologist must submit by December 31 (the time of annual license renewal) of each year evidence of satisfactory completion of the required hours of continuing education provided for in these rules. This information shall be submitted on a form provided by the Board or online. Upon receipt, the Board shall have the authority to review this information. Each speech language pathologist and audiologist will be notified that either (1) the requirements of these rules have been fulfilled (by automatic renewal of their license) or (2) that there are deficiencies resulting in noncompliance with rules and regulations relating to license renewal. Licensee with deficiencies will be notified that their license(s) may not be renewed until the noncompliance has been remedied in accordance with the rules relating to license renewal.
(c) Auditing. The Board requires documentation of continuing education for audit purposes. If a licensee fails to renew his/her license on time, this will result in an automatic audit. Each year 10% of all licensees will be randomly selected for audit of their continuing education hours. If it is determined that the speech-language pathologist or audiologist submitted false or misleading documentation to ABESPA, such person may be subject to penalties outlined in Code of Ala. 1975, § 34-28A-26.
(d) Each licensee shall certify by signature, electronic or otherwise, on his/her licensure renewal form, under penalty of perjury, that she/he has completed the required twelve (12) hours of continuing education, and that the continuing education obtained meets the qualifying criteria specified.
(e) Any speech-language pathologist or audiologist who receives notification that the license will not be renewed because of noncompliance with these rules will have until January 31 to remedy noncompliance/deficiencies, without penalty.
(f) If noncompliance/deficiencies are not remedied by February 28, the speech-language pathologist or audiologist has an additional thirty (30) days to appeal, in writing, to the Board. Upon the receipt of the written appeal, the Board may request the submission of additional information or records, or may require the speech-language pathologist or audiologist to appear before the Board in conjunction with the appeal. All applicable late renewal penalties apply during the appeal period.
(3) Extension. An extension to the Continuing Education submission/completion timelines may, at its sole discretion, be granted by the Board under the following:
(a) A written request including documentation and justification for the request per the conditions set forth herein, shall be submitted to the Board, by January 31. The speech-language pathologist or audiologist who seeks such an extension shall submit to the Board any additional documentation required by the Board to make a decision concerning the extension.
(b) Extensions shall be granted by the Board only when in their judgment some extraordinary circumstances beyond the control of the licensee could reasonably have prohibited, with a good faith effort on the part of said licensee, compliance with this requirement (e.g. extended illness; force majeure).
(c) When an extension is approved by the Board, a new date for compliance shall be specified by Board.
(d) All late renewal penalties apply until deficiencies are remedied.
(4) Criteria for Approval of Continuing Education.
(a) Continuing Education in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology shall consist of a series of planned learning experiences beyond the educational programs that have led to the degree that qualifies one for licensure. The licensee must participate in CEU activities of at least twelve (12) clock hours for each license period. A minimum of ten (10) of the required twelve (12) hours of continuing education must improve the professional clinical competency of the licensee in the area of licensure - Content Area I. A maximum of two (2) of the required twelve (12) hours can be in an area related to the area of licensure but must improve the professional competency of the licensee - Content Area II. Dual licensees must complete twenty-four (24) clock hours with a minimum of ten (10) hours in each discipline from Content Area I.
CONTENT AREA I:
1. Anatomic and physiologic bases for the normal development and of speech, language and hearing and balance
2. Physical bases and processes of the production and perception of speech, language and hearing
3. Linguistic and psycho-linguistic variables related to normal development and use of speech, language and hearing
4. Technological, biomedical, engineering and instrumentation information which would enable expansion of knowledge in the basic communication processes
5. Various types of disorders of communication, their manifestations, classification and cause
6. Evaluation skills, including procedures, techniques, and instrumentation for assessment
7. Principles in habilitation and rehabilitation of communication disorders
8. Principles in diagnosis and rehabilitation of balance and vestibular disorders
9. Ethical Practices
10. Any other professional competency area that is relevant to treatment and diagnosis.
CONTENT AREA II: (Must relate to the professional competency of Speech-Language Pathology and/or Audiology)
1. Regulations and implementation of federal and/or state regulated programs
2. Service delivery models
3. Administration for supervision issues
4. Related areas which interface with delivery of speech-language pathology and audiology services
(b) One (1) hour of continuing education credit shall be given for each clock hour of attendance
(c) Acceptable continuing education activities include, but are not limited to:
1. Workshops in the area of licensure approved by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) or the American Academy of Audiology (AAA);
2. Academic coursework at a regionally accredited college or university in the area of licensure taken for credit or official audit (three semester hours or five quarter hours = 12 hours of continuing education);
3. Distance learning and self-study provided the activity is approved by ABESPA (i.e. continuing education lending library (CELL), video conferences, telephone seminars and Internet courses sponsored by individual private practitioners, universities, schools, clinics, state agencies, hospitals, professional organizations, or related professional organizations);
4. Workshops and in-services that are university, school, clinic, hospital or state agency sponsored provided they are approved by ABESPA;
5. Publication of articles in a peer-reviewed journal for the year in which they are published (maximum of two (2) hours;
6. Scientific or educational lectures to include presentations such as poster sessions given by the licensee; the presenting licensee may count 1 ½ times the value of a workshop the first time it is presented to allow for preparation time (Example: a three hour workshop = 4 ½ hours.) No credit will be allowed for subsequent presentations of the same workshop;
7. Related areas of study pertain to the understanding of human behavior, both normal and abnormal, as well as services available from related professions which apply to the contemporary practice of speech-language pathology/audiology, e.g., theories of learning and behavior; services available from related professions that also deal with persons who have disorders of communication; information from these professions about the sensory, physical, emotional, social or intellectual states of child or adult; and other areas such as, clinical supervision, counseling and interviewing.
8. Teaching at the college level in the area of communication disorders is not acceptable.
(d) Pre-approval is required for continuing education events that do not meet the requirements as listed under (C).
(e) During the first cycle of licensure renewal, the graduated scale for the collection of continuing education hours is based on the date an applicant receives his/her initial license. One clock hour CEU is required for every month a new licensee is licensed in the state.
(f) Preapproval, by the Board, of a continuing education activity may be requested by the licensee. Preapprovals cannot be retroactive, that is, must be for activities to occur after the Board approval date.
(g) No continuing education credit shall be given for identical courses taken during the same year.
(5) Documentation of continuing education compliance, as required during an auditing period, shall be evidenced by:
(a) A Continuing Education Registry Form from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and/or the American Academy of Audiology (AAA), specifically listing the continuing education obtained by the licensee and the dates of obtainment; or
(b) A certificate of attendance provided by a sponsor which contains the date of program, the program title and presenter(s), program site, number of clock hours attended, name of sponsor and name of licensee; or
(c) A personal letter to the licensee which contains the date of the program, the program title and presenter(s), program site, number of clock hours attended, name of sponsor, name of licensee and is signed by a program official; or
(d) An official transcript, from a regionally accredited college or university, indicating successful completion of academic coursework in appropriate subject matter as specified of this rule.
(6) Any speech-language pathologist or audiologist who fails to comply with the provisions of these rules or who otherwise violates provisions of Code of Ala. 1975, § 34-28A-25 in connection with the requirements of these rules or relating to any information to be maintained or submitted to the Board as provided for in these rules shall be, upon notice of hearing, subject to the penalties outlined in the Code of Ala. 1975, Chapter 28A, § 34-28A-26.(Amended: Filed February 11, 1994; effective March 18, 1994. Amended: Filed October 18, 1994; effective November 22, 1994. Amended: Filed August 29, 1997; effective October 3, 1997. Amended: Filed October 25, 2000; effective November 29, 2000. Amended: Filed October 15, 2001; effective November 19, 2001. Amended: Filed September 24, 2002; effective October 29, 2002. Amended: Filed October 23, 2003; effective November 27, 2003. Amended: Filed September 14, 2006; effective October 19, 2006. Amended: Filed June 21, 2010; effective July 26, 2010. Amended: Filed July 19, 2013; effective August 23, 2013. Amended by Alabama Administrative Monthly Volume XXXII, Issue No. 12, September 30, 2014, eff. October 27, 2014. Amended by Alabama Administrative Monthly Volume XXXIII, Issue No. 11, August 31, 2015, eff. September 21, 2015. Amended by Alabama Administrative Monthly Volume XXXIV, Issue No. 11, August 31, 2016, eff. October 3, 2016. Amended by Alabama Administrative Monthly Volume XXXIX, Issue No. 06, March 31, 2021, eff. May 15, 2021.)
Authors: Ruth Tucker, Richard Sweitzer, Patsy Patton, Denise P. Gibbs, Lissa Van Doorn, Gina Murray, Doreen Oyadomari, Paul Stephens, Margaret Hemm, Carmen Taylor, Thomasyne Smith, Florence Cuneo, Richard Talbott, Mark Carroll
Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, §§ 34-28A-1, et seq.
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