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Chapter 609-3 REQUIREMENTS FOR LICENSURE

Rule 609-3-.01 Requirements for Licensure by Examination for Speech - Language Pathology or Audiology for Applications Received Prior to January 1, 2007

In order to be eligible for licensure as a speech-language pathologist or as an Audiologist prior to January 1, 2007, the applicant must satisfy the following requirements:

(a) Degree. The applicant shall submit evidence of completion of a master's or higher degree, with a major emphasis in speech-language pathology or audiology, or both, from an accredited educational institution;
(b) Academic Hours. The applicant should submit certified evidence of the completion of 60 semester hours of academic credit from one or more accredited colleges or universities constituting a well-integrated program that includes 12 semester hours in courses that provide fundamental information applicable to the normal development and use of speech, hearing and language and 30 semester hours in courses that provide information about, and training in, the management of speech, hearing and language disorders or that provide information supplementary to these fields. Of these 30 semester hours, no fewer than six must be in audiology for the speech-language pathologist, or in speech language pathology for the audiologist; no more than six of these 30 semester hours may be in courses that provide academic credit for clinical practice. Of these 30 semester hours, at least 24, not including credit for thesis or dissertation, must be in courses in their field in which the license is requested. Furthermore, 30 of these 60 semester hours must be in courses acceptable toward a graduate degree by the accredited or approved college or university in which these courses are taken;
(c) Supervised Clinical Practicum.
1. The applicant shall submit certified evidence of direct clinical experiences in both diagnosis and treatment with children and adults. The supervised practicum must include experience in a variety of settings with client populations across the life span from culturally/linguistically diverse backgrounds, and with various types and severities of communication problems and related disorders, differences and disabilities.
2. The applicant shall submit certified evidence that of the required 300 clock hours, a minimum of 25 clock hours must be with adults (person 18 years of age and older) and a minimum of 25 clock hours must be with children (persons under the age of 18).
3. The experience must be obtained within an accredited academic institution or in one of its cooperating programs.
(d) Paid Clinical Experience. In order to meet the requirements for paid clinical experience, applicant must satisfy the following:
1. Paid Clinical Experience (PCE) Fellow. In order to be eligible to become a Paid Clinical Experience Fellow, the applicant must have met the academic and clinical experience requirements set out in Rule 609-3-01 above. See O.C.G.A. Section 43-44-8(a)(4).
2. Paid Clinical Experience Duration. The applicant for licensure must submit evidence of satisfactory completion of no less than nine months of full-time of paid clinical experience in the area in which the license is requested. The applicant must specify the duration of the PCE on the application.
(i) Full-Time. "Full-time" is defined as at least 30 hours per week. The nine month equivalent of full-time paid experience should be completed from continuous employment, but must be completed no more than 24 months after initial application.
(ii) Half-time. The requirement may also be fulfilled by 18 months of half time paid experience of at least 15 hours per week which should be completed from continuous employment, but must be completed no more than 36 months after initial application.
3. Required Supervision During the PCE.
(i) At all times during the period of PCE, the PCE Fellow shall be under the direction of one or more supervisors.
(ii) Supervision of the PCE Fellow must entail the personal and direct monitoring of the Fellow's work.
(iii) Personal and direct monitoring activities shall include but not be limited to observations, evaluations of written reports, evaluation by professional colleagues and discussions of clinical work.
(iv) Personal and direct monitoring activities shall be conducted at a minimum of one per month in order to evaluate the progress of the PCE Fellow.
4. Qualifications and Responsibilities of the PCE Supervisor.
(i) The PCE must be obtained under a supervisor who is either:
(I) a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist or Audiologist who is licensed in the area(s) for which the PCE Fellow seeks clinical experience and is ultimately liable for the quality of services provided; or
(II) a person whose education and experience is substantially equivalent to that of a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist or Audiologist and who provides supervision when that person holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association in the area in which the PCE Fellow is applying for licensure, and is ultimately liable for the quality of services provided. A person may obtain an equivalency statement from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association if she/he is not so certified, or may submit qualifications to the Board for a ruling on whether or not this standard is met.
(ii) The supervisor shall supervise no more than two (2) PCE Fellows under the provisions of this rule.
(e) Application for PCE Fellow Temporary License.
1. Within 14 calendar days of initiation of PCE, the supervisor and PCE Fellow applicant shall submit to the Board an Application for Temporary License which may be obtained from the website or the Board Office. This application must be accompanied by the notarized application for full licensure and appropriate fees.
2. Upon receipt of the applications and appropriate fees, the Board may, at its discretion, approve the plan for nine (9) months of full-time PCE or up to but not longer than eighteen (18) months of part-time PCE, and grant a temporary license to the applicant as a PCE Fellow for the purpose of practicing during the PCE.
(i) The temporary license shall be valid for a period of one year from the beginning date of the PCE period.
(ii) The temporary license may be renewed for one additional year if the approved PCE period extends beyond one year, but may not be renewed solely for the purposes of the applicant's completion of other license requirements.
(iii) If the PCE Fellow has been approved for permanent license, the temporary license shall be rescinded. If the PCE Fellow is not approved for permanent license, the temporary license may be voided or continued through the remaining period of validity of the license.
(f) Documentation of Completion of the PCE.
1. Within 14 calendar days of completing the approved PCE period, the PCE Fellow and supervisor shall complete and provide to the Board the appropriate notarized forms to document completion of the PCE.
2. The documentation shall provide information on the approximate hours per week engaged in diagnostic evaluations, therapy, recordkeeping, staff meetings and in-service training.
3. The supervisor and PCE Fellow shall provide the documentation of the monitoring activities.
4. The documentation shall include a statement on the supervisor's assessment of the PCE Fellow's clinical competency as demonstrated by performance during the PCE.
(g) Change(s) to the PCE. The PCE Fellow shall notify the Board within 14 calendar days of any changes in the PCE during the approved period, including but not limited to:
1. the dates and duration of any breaks in service,
2. change in PCE supervisor,
3. change in the place of employment, or 4. change of employer.
(h) Any week in which the PCE Fellow has not worked a minimum of 30 hours shall not be counted toward the PCE. The Board may approve the changes at its discretion, and specify allowable adjustments in the PCE.
(i) Failure to Obtain a Temporary License for the PCE.
1. A person who fails to apply for and be approved for a temporary license shall be considered practicing without a license and may be subject to sanction of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated.
2. A supervisor who allows a person to practice without a temporary license for the PCE may be subject to sanction of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated.
(j) Examination. The applicant shall be required to pass an examination, as specified in Chapter 609-3-.06.

Rule 609-3-.02 Requirements for Licensure by Examination for Speech - Language Pathology on January 1, 2007 or After

On or after January 2007, in order to be considered for licensure as a speech-language pathologist, an individual must submit the required application, pay applicable fees and satisfy the following requirements:

(a) Degree.

The applicant shall submit evidence of completion of a master's or higher degree, with a major emphasis in speech-language pathology from an accredited educational program.

(b) Academic Hours.

The applicant should submit certified evidence of the completion of 75 semester hours of academic credit from one or more accredited programs in development and disorders of basic human communication and swallowing processes across the life span, standards of ethical conduct, cultural and linguistic diversity, processes used in research, and contemporary professional issues. Thirty-six (36) of these academic hours must be earned at the graduate level from an accredited program.

(c) Supervised Clinical Practicum.
1. The applicant shall submit certified evidence of completion of 375 clock hours of directly supervised clinical practicum, and 25 clock hours of observation with cases representative of a wide spectrum of ages and communicative disorders. At least 325 of the 400 hours must be obtained at the graduate level.
2. The applicant shall submit certified evidence of direct clinical experiences in both diagnosis and treatment with children and adults. The supervised practicum must include experience in a variety of settings with client populations across the life span from culturally/linguistic diverse backgrounds and with various types and severities of communication problems and related disorders, differences, and disabilities.
3. The clinical practicum experience must be obtained within an accredited program or in one of its cooperating programs.
(d) Paid Clinical Experience/Required Professional Experience.

The applicant shall complete a paid clinical experience/required professional experience, as specified in Board Rule 609-3-.04.

(e) Examination.

The applicant shall be required to pass an examination, as specified in Board Rules.

Rule 609-3-.03 Requirements for Licensure by Examination for Audiology January 1, 2007 or After

In order to be considered for licensure as an audiologist on or after January 1, 2007, the applicant must satisfy the following requirements.

(a) For Doctoral Degree applicants.
1. Education Requirements. Applicants whose degree was earned on or after January 1, 2007 must have earned a doctoral degree program with a major emphasis in audiology that addresses the knowledge and skills pertinent to the profession of audiology, from an institution of higher learning that is, or at the time the applicant was enrolled and graduated was, accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education or its successor organization.
2. Clinical Practicum Requirements. Applicants must submit certified evidence of completion of post-baccalaureate directly supervised clinical practicum with cases representative of a wide spectrum of ages and communicative disorders within the first three years of doctoral degree program.
3. Applicants must complete and provide documentation of one of the following:
(i) Certified evidence of having obtained required professional experience that is equivalent to a minimum of 12 months of full-time supervised clinical practicum. The required professional experience must be approved by an academic program. The students must obtain a variety of clinical practicum experiences in different work settings and with different populations so that the applicant can demonstrate skills across the scope of practice of audiology. Acceptable required professional experience includes clinical and administrative activities directly related to patient care. A calendar week of clinical practicum is defined as a minimum of 35 hours per calendar week in direct patient/client contact, consultation, record keeping, and administrative duties relevant to audiology service delivery. The required professional experience must be obtained with an accredited program or one of its cooperating programs or,
(ii) A paid clinical experience that meets the requirements of Rule 609-3-.04(a)1, for Masters Degree audiology licensure candidates.
4. Examination. The applicant shall be required to pass an examination as specified in Board rules.
4. Recency of Study.

In order for an applicant to demonstrate recency of study, he/she must have completed a minimum of two (2) continuing education units within the two (2) years preceding the date the application is received by the Board.

(b) For Masters Degree applicants.
1. Educational requirements
(i) Applicants shall have earned a master's degree with a major emphasis in audiology which was conferred before January 1, 2007 from an institution of higher learning which was, at the time the applicant was enrolled and graduated, accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education or its successor organization.
(ii) Applicants shall submit certified evidence of completion of a minimum of 75 semester hours of academic credit from one or more accredited programs constituting a well-integrated program that includes classes that reflect a well integrated program of study dealing with the nature, prevention, evaluation and treatment of hearing and related disorders. At least thirty-sic (36) hours of these academic credits must be earned at the graduate level from an accredited program.
2. Clinical Practicum Requirement.
(i) Applicants shall submit certified evidence of completion of at least 25 clock hours of supervised clinical observation and 375 clock hours of directly supervised clinical practicum with cases representative of a wide spectrum of ages and communicative disorders across the scope of practice of audiology. At least 325 of the 400 hours must be completed at the graduate level.
(ii) Applicants shall submit certified evidence of direct clinical experiences in both diagnosis and treatment with children and adults. The supervised practicum must include experience in a variety of settings with client populations across the life span from culturally/linguistic diverse backgrounds and with various types of severities of communication problems and related disorders., differences and disabilities.
3. Required Professional Experience.

Applicants shall complete a paid clinical experience pursuant to Board rule 609-3-.04(a)1.

4. Applicants shall be required to pass an examination as specified in Board rules/
5. Recency of Study.

In order for an applicant to demonstrate recency of study, he/she must have completed a minimum of two (2) continuing education units within the two (2) years preceding the date the application is received by the Board.

Rule 609-3-.04 Paid Clinical Experience/Required Professional Experience

In order to meet the requirements for paid clinical experience/required professional experience, an individual must submit the required application, pay applicable fees and satisfy the following requirements:

(a) Paid Clinical Experience (PCE)/Required Professional Experience (RPE) Fellow.

In order to be eligible to become a Paid Clinical Fellow Experience/Required Professional Experience Fellow, the applicant must have met the academic and clinical experience requirements set out in Board Rules. The applicant must have been issued an official transcript showing degree earned and date of issue.

1. Paid Clinical Experience/Required Professional Experience (RPE) Duration - Speech-Language Pathology or Masters Degree Audiology. The speech-language pathology or master's degree audiology applicant for licensure must submit evidence of satisfactory completion of no less than 36 weeks of full-time professional employment. A minimum of 30 hours of work per week constitutes full-time employment. At least 80% of the clinical fellowship work week must be in direct client contact (assessment, diagnosis, evaluation, screening, habilitation, or rehabilitation) related to the management process. Thus, in a 30-hour work week, at least 24 hours must be devoted to direct clinical activities. The PCE/RPE must be completed no more than 12 months after the initial application. The PCE/RPE requirement can also be met by less than full-time employment, but must be completed no more than 24 months after initial application. For example, if the PCE/RPE Fellow works:
(i) 25-29 hours per week, the length of the PCE/RPE must be at least 48 weeks.
(ii) 20-24 hours per week, the length of the PCE/RPE must be at least 60 weeks.
(iii) 15-19 hours per week, the length of the PCE/RPE must be at least 72 weeks. Professional employment of less than 15 hours per week may not be used to fulfill any part of the PCE/RPE.
2. Paid Clinical Experience (PCE)/Required Professional Experience (RPE) Duration -Doctoral Degree Audiology.
(i) The applicant who has completed a clinical externship as outlined in the Board Rule 609-3-.03 has satisfied the Required Professional Experience.
(ii) The applicant who did not complete the clinical externship as outlined in Board Rule 609-3-.03 shall follow the required professional experience as outlined for the master's degree audiology applicant.
(b) Required Supervision During the PCE/RPE.
1. At all times during the period of PCE/RPE, the PCE/RPE Fellow shall be under the direction of one or more supervisors.
2. Supervision of the PCE/RPE Fellow must entail the personal and direct monitoring of the Fellow's work.
3. Personal and direct monitoring activities shall include but not be limited to observations, evaluations of written reports, evaluation by professional colleagues and discussions of clinical work.
4. Personal and direct monitoring activities shall be conducted at a minimum of one per month in order to evaluate the progress of the PCE/RPE Fellow.
(c) Qualifications and Responsibilities of the PCE/RPE Supervisor.
1. The PCE/RPE must be obtained under a supervisor who is either:
(i) a Georgia licensed Speech-Language Pathologist or Audiologist who is licensed in the area(s) for which the PCE/RPE Fellow seeks clinical professional experience and who is ultimately liable for the quality of services provided;
(ii) The supervisor shall supervise no more than two (2) PCE/RPE Fellows under the provisions of this rule; and
(iii) A family member or individual related in any way to the PCE/RPE Fellow may not serve as a PCE/RPE supervisor.
(d) Application for PCE/RPE Fellow Provisional License.
1. The PCE/RPE Fellow applicant and supervisor must submit to the Board an application and all required information for provisional license. The Board must receive official undergraduate and graduate transcripts indicating degree(s) earned and date of issue.
2. The PCE/RPE applicant may not begin the PCE/RPE until Board approval is received and provisional license number issued. The Board may, at its discretion, approve the plan for PCE/RPE and grant a provisional license to the application as a PCE/RPE Fellow for the purpose of practicing during the PCE/RPE.
3. The provisional license shall be valid for a period of one year from the beginning date of the PCE/RPE period.
(i) The provisional license may be renewed for one additional year if the approved PCE/RPE period is for part time experience and the period extends beyond one year, but may not be renewed solely for the purposes of the applicant's completion of other license requirements.
(ii) If the PCE/RPE Fellow has been approved for permanent license, the provisional license shall be superceded. If the PCE/RPE Fellow is not approved for permanent license, the provisional license may be voided or continued through the remaining period of validity of the license.
(e) Grounds for denial/suspension/revocation of PCE/RPE.

The Board shall have the authority to refuse to grant a provisional license to, suspend or revoke a provisional license pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 43-1-19.

(f) Documentation of Completion of the PCE/RPE.
1. After completing the approved PCE/RPE period, the PCE/RPE Fellow and supervisor shall complete and provide to the Board the appropriate notarized forms to document completion of the PCE/RPE.
2. The documentation shall provide information on the approximate hours per calendar week engaged in diagnostic evaluations, therapy, recordkeeping, staff meetings and in-service training.
3. Any calendar week in which the PCE/RPE Fellow has not worked a minimum of 30 hours for full-time or 15 hours for part-time shall not be counted toward the PCE/RPE.
4. The supervisor and PCE/RPE Fellow shall provide the documentation of the monitoring activities as provided for in Board Rules.
5. The documentation shall include a statement on the supervisor's assessment of the PCE/RPE Fellow's clinical competency as demonstrated by performance during the PCE/RPE.
(g) Change(s) to the PCE/RPE.
1. The PCE/RPE Fellow shall notify the Board within 14 calendar days of any changes in the PCE/RPE during the approved period, including but not limited to:
(i) the dates and duration of any breaks in service,
(ii) change in PCE/RPE supervisor,
(iii) change in the place of employment, or
(iv) change of employer.
2. The Board may approve the changes in its discretion, and specify allowable adjustments in the PCE/RPE.
(h) Failure to Obtain a Provisional License for the PCE/RPE.
1. A person who practices speech-language pathology and/or Audiology and who fails to apply for and be approved for a provisional license shall be considered practicing without a license and may be subject to sanction of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated.
2. A supervisor who allows a person to practice without a provisional license for the PCE/RPE may be subject to sanction of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated.

Rule 609-3-.05 Recency of Study

In order for an applicant to demonstrate recency of study the applicant must have completed a minimum of two continuing education units within two (2) years preceding the date the application is received by the Board.

Rule 609-3-.06 Examination

(1) Except as provided in Board Rules, all applicants for licensure as an Audiologist shall be required to pass a Board approved national examination in Audiology.
(2) Except as provided in Board Rules, all applicants for licensure as a Speech-Language Pathologist shall be required to pass a Board approved national examination in Speech-Language Pathology.
(3) The passing grade for the examinations shall be determined by the Board.
(4) An applicant for licensure who has completed the PCE/RPE shall not be eligible for licensure until such applicant has passed a Board approved national examination and has a current license application on file with the Board.
(5) The Board will not accept certification by the Georgia State Department of Education Professional Standards Commission in lieu of the Board's examination requirements.

Rule 609-3-.07 Licensure Without Examination

A person who holds a license in another jurisdiction or holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence as issued by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, or holds certification of the American Board of Audiology, provided the applicant otherwise meets the eligibility requirements as defined in Code Section 43-44-8, may apply for a Georgia license without examination.

(a) Licensure in another jurisdiction.
1. The applicant must submit an application and the required fees.
2. The applicant must request verification and status of the current license from the state or foreign country be sent to the Board office.
3. The applicant must submit a non-returnable copy of the current licensure law from the state or foreign country in which the license is held. For foreign countries, the applicant must submit an official English translated copy of that country's licensing law.
4. Applicants educated in foreign countries that wish to obtain license in Speech-Language Pathology and/or Audiology must have their credentials evaluated by an independent foreign-credential evaluation service. A listing of agencies that perform such evaluations is provided on the Board website or from the Board office. The Applicant must request a course-by-course evaluation in American semester hours with specific notation as to those courses completed at the graduate level. The applicant must also request that the agency indicate the equivalent highest level of education the applicant has completed.
5. The applicant must complete the application for licensure and submit the application, along with the official copy of the translation the applicant receives from the foreign credential evaluating agency.
6. The Board will review the application and the verification and compare the licensure law submitted with the current Georgia laws and rules. If the requirements for licensure in the other jurisdiction are equivalent to the current Georgia laws and rules and the application is approved, the applicant may be issued a license.
(b) American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Certificate of Clinical Competence
1. The applicant must submit an application and required fees.
2. The applicant must request the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association send a letter to the Board office documenting current Certificate of Clinical Competence and the date the Certificate was initially granted. If the date of initial certification is beyond two years, the applicant must demonstrate recency of study as specified in Board Rules. The Board will review the application and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association documentation. If the eligibility requirements as defined in current Georgia laws and rules are met, the applicant may be issued a license.
(c) American Board of Audiology Certification
1. The applicant must submit an application and required fees.
2. The applicant must request the American Board of Audiology send a letter to the Board office documenting current certification and the date the certification was initially granted. If the date of initial certification is beyond two years the applicant must show recency of study as specified in Board Rules. The Board will review the application and the American Board of Audiology documentation. If the eligibility requirements as defined in Georgia laws and rules are met, the applicant may be issued a license.

Rule 609-3-.08 Repealed

Rule 609-3-.09 Repealed