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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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