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Win a 6 Month Subscription to Topics in Language Disorders Journal

Exciting news for all the SLPs for Evidence-Based Practice Group members! The editors of the journal truly appreciate that we share information about the latest SLP research, and would like to give 3 group members a complimentary journal subscription for a period of 6 months.

All you need to do to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway is be a verified member of the SLPs for Evidence-Based Practice group on Facebook.

Then in the comments section below please briefly state how you can benefit from this FREE subscription and THAT’S IT!    Winner will be randomly chosen at the end of the giveaway! So have fun and EBP on! 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Improving Accountability of ASHA Approved Continuing Education Providers

Image result for accountabilitySeveral days ago I had a conversation with the Associate Director of Continuing Education at ASHA regarding my significant concerns about the content and quality of some of ASHA approved continuing education courses. For many months before that, numerous discussions took place in a variety of major SLP related Facebook groups, pertaining to the non-EBP content of some of ASHA approved provider coursework, many of which was blatantly pseudoscientific in nature.

The fact is while there is a rigorous process involved in becoming an ASHA approved continuing education provider, once that approval is granted, ASHA is not privy to course content. In other words, no staff member at ASHA is available to screen course documents (pdfs, pptx, handouts, etc.) to ensure that it is scientifically supported and is free of pseudoscientific and questionable information.

Furthermore, in order to account for the lack of review of course content, ASHA has an explicit disclaimer, which is placed on all the accredited promotional CEU material. It states that: “ASHA CE Provider Approval does not imply endorsement of course content, specific products, or clinical procedures.”

However, this creates a significant disconnect between what is being ‘preached’ and what is being ‘practiced’. This is especially important because many SLPs are spending their hard-earned money on ASHA approved courses, which they leave not only feeling significantly disappointed and disillusioned but also feeling like they had completely wasted their money.

As a result, it is very important for ASHA to know when the SLPs has taken a particularly disappointing and pseudoscientific slanted course. For a review of what constitutes pseudoscientific practices, I highly recommend becoming familiar with the body of work of Dr. Gregory Lof as well as reading a serious of block posts on this topic by Mary Huston.

 So if you are unhappy with an ASHA approved continuing education course (PRESENT or PAST) because its content him is/was heavily biased and unscientific in nature, it is important that ASHA knows about it! Be as vocal as you can in order to raise the alarm about pseudoscientific CEUs from ASHA approved providers.  Below are some ways members can complain to ASHA (these complaints can be copied and pasted to save time).

Provider Complaint Submission Form:https://www.asha.org/Form/CE-Provider-Complaint-Submission/

SLP Advisory Council: https://www.asha.org/About/governance/Speech-Language-Pathology-Advisory-Council-Members/

Audiology Advisory Council: https://www.asha.org/About/governance/Audiology-Advisory-Council-Members/

Provide Feedback to the Board of Directors:http://www.asha.org/Form/Board-of-Directors-Feedback/

SLPs can also access a letter template in the files section of the SLPs for Evidence-Based Practice group on Facebook, to voice their dissatisfaction when encountering questionable coursework presented by ASHA  approved providers.

Remember that you are not obligated by any means to take ASHA Approved CEU Courses in order to maintain your certification!  As such, you do NOT have to spend your hard earned money on low-quality coursework! Continuing education is a significant revenue stream for ASHA. Refusing to participate, unless a meaningful change is implemented, will go a long way in delivering a serious message to the association that things cannot remain as they are now.

So go ahead and make your voice heard! ASHA relies on member feedback in order to implement meaningful and constructive change. Don’t depend on others to complain, get involved yourself first, and make sure that ASHA hears you loud and clear. The first step on the long road to making a difference needs to be taken by you!  Please take it!

 

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Some Facts About ASHA CEUs, Registry, and Approved Provider Courses

Related imageTypically, approximately twice a year, right around late December or at the start of summer vacation in the schools, a flurry of SLPs begin to inquire on a variety of social media forums regarding “free or cheap ASHA CEU’s”.

So today I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about how these CEUs can be acquired in accordance with ASHA compliance.  For newly graduating SLPs as well as Clinical Fellows, CEU’s or Continuing Education Units are the continuing education hours needed by speech pathologists to stay abreast of current developments in the field and maintain their Certificate of Clinical Competence or CCCs. ASHA requires that all holders of CCCs “accumulate 30 Certification Maintenance Hours (CMHs) of professional development during each 3-year certification maintenance interval in order to maintain their ASHA Certificates of Clinical Competence (CCC).”

Wait a minute you might say. Weren’t you just talking about continuing education units? And the truth is, I was, but ASHA does not require you to specifically obtain CEU’s from ASHA Approved Providers in order to maintain your credentials. According to ASHA what you need to accrue are your professional development hours, which you can obtain from a number of sources.

Let’s look at the difference between CEU’s and CMH’s. CEU’s are continuing education units.  You can obtain them by going to conferences and workshops presented by ASHA approved providers.  In contrast, CMH’s are your Certification Maintenance Hours -1 contact hour (60 minutes)=1 CMH.

Image result for certificate of trainingHere before the continue, it is very important to discuss the role of the ASHA registry, you know the one for which you pay $28 a year.  The ASHA registry is a paid service provided by ASHA.  The way it works is as follows. You find a conference being offered by an ASHA approved provider, attended it and earn your CEUs. The conference organizers will then forward the information that you attended the conference to ASHA and if you are presently paying for an ASHA registry, CEUs will be recorded in your transcript. Essentially this works similarly to a college registrar office. You accumulate CEUs, ASHA maintains a record of your CEUs, and forwards you an official transcript once a year upon request.  According to the ASHA website there are numerous benefits to their service (you can see them all HERE).

But must you absolutely purchase the ASHA registry? The answer is absolutely NOT!  Here is where we can go back to our discussion of CEU’s and CMH’s.   As mentioned before CMHs are professional development hours. ASHA will accept them, no questions asked, provided they are one of the following activities:

  • Teacher Trainings 
  • Private Practice Training/Seminars
  • Supervisor Trainings
  • Employer-sponsored in-services 
  • State association workshops
  • College/university course work

All you need to do is to obtain a certificate of attendance and keep it for your records in case you are audited. That’s it!  You do not need to pay for these courses if they are offered through your job for free (or if you can find them for free)!   As long as you can provide proof of PD attendance, ASHA will accept it and will grant you your certificate renewal.

Image result for liability insuranceOf course, there may be several instances in which it may be desirable for SLPs to maintain their ASHA registry in addition to the pure convenience of not keeping one’s own records.  SLPs who take a significant amount of continuing education coursework through ASHA approved providers are eligible for the ACE award, which is given by ASHA after 7.0 ASHA CEUs (70 contact hours) are accumulated in the period of three years or less.  One practical reason why the ACE award is desirable, beyond the overall recognition of the SLPs diligence in pursuing continued education, is that upon its receipt, SLPs are eligible for professional liability insurance discount of 15% (by possessing CCC+ACE).

However, for SLPs who attain less than 7.0 CEUs in a three-year period (or less), the ASHA Registry represents pure convenience at best, and not much else. So, if you want to save $28, and are willing to keep your own CEU records, not only do you not have to pay for the CEU registry, you don’t even have to take courses from ASHA approved continuing education providers in order to maintain your certificate of clinical competence.

For more information regarding obtaining evidence-based coursework in speech pathology as well as current controversies pertaining to the evidence base of select ASHA-approved CEU providers, visit SLPs for Evidence-Based Practice on Facebook for a variety of discussions on this topic.

 

 

 

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Professional Development Hours

Image result for professional development

Smart Speech Therapy LLC is excited to present its new professional development service. Now we offer Continuing Maintenance Hours (CMHs) on select purchased text-based products.  These hours fulfill the requirement set forth by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) for certification maintenance.

Here’s how it works.  Select products from the Smart Speech Therapy LLC online store are eligible for professional development hours.  These products are identified in the online store ONLY under the heading: CMH Quiz.

Customers purchasing particular products from our store can also purchase a text-based quiz for an additional fee. Upon completing a  quiz and attaining 80% accuracy on it, customers will receive a certificate of course completion worth a specific amount of hours (ranging from 1 CMH- 6 CMHs depending on the length of the product).

Each quiz description states the number and type of test questions (typically a combination of multiple choice as well as essay questions) as well as how many continuing maintenance hours the course is eligible for.

All customers who have purchased qualifying products in the past calendar year are eligible for this professional development opportunity upon a provision of proof of purchase after the purchase of the quiz.  Customers who have purchased their products more than a year ago can reach out to us to inquire regarding their eligibility, which would be established for them for a small surcharge to cover the course processing fee.

So get your continuing maintenance hours today!