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Become a Certified Speech-Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA)

Follow the step-by-step guide to apply for ASHA SLPA certification (C-SLPA), which includes submitting a completed application and supporting documents, and paying the appropriate certification fee.

Individuals who apply for the C-SLPA credential must also do the following:

  1. Meet current SLPA certification standards and requirements.
  2. Follow all published policies and procedures.
  3. Abide by the ASHA Assistants Code of Conduct.

Once your application and supporting documents have been reviewed and approved, you will be notified by e-mail and provided with an Eligibility Exam ID to register for the national Assistants Certification Exam.

Eligibility Pathways

To be eligible to take the SLPA certification exam, applicants must complete one of three pathway options that best fits their education and qualifications.

Education Option 1

  • 2-year SLPA program degree from an accredited institution (e.g., associate's degree from a community college or technical training program)
  • Complete the three 1-hour prerequisite courses listed below
  • Complete the clinical field work requirement listed below

Education Option 2

Education Option 3

  • College degree (associate's or bachelor's) from an accredited institution
  • Complete an SLPA certificate program with equivalent coursework, or complete academic coursework from an accredited college institution, in the areas below:
    • Introductory or overview course in communication disorders
    • Phonetics
    • Speech sound disorders
    • Language development
    • Language disorders
    • Anatomy and physiology of speech and hearing mechanisms
  • Complete ASHA’s Online Assistant Education Modules or academic equivalent
  • Complete the three 1-hour prerequisite courses listed below
  • Complete the clinical field work requirement listed below

Prerequisite Requirements

In addition to finishing all the requirements of the selected pathway option, applicants must also complete the following mandatory requirements:

  • Completion of a 1-hour of ethics course*
  • Completion of a 1-hour course in universal safety precautions*
  • Completion of a 1-hour patient confidentiality training course (HIPAA, FERPA, etc.)*
  • Clinical field work** (also called "clinical practicum" or "on-the-job" hours): A minimum of 100 hours, to include
    • 80 hours of direct patient/client/student services under the supervision of an ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist (SLP)
    • 20 hours of indirect patient/client/student services under the supervision of an ASHA-certified SLP
    • Observation hours cannot be used toward this requirement.

*These three prerequisite courses must be completed no more than 2 years prior to application. These requirements may also be met as part of an academic course. Applicants who have not had specific academic training in the roles and responsibilities of working as an assistant must also complete ASHA's online education modules for assistants, or an equivalent academic course.

** Supervised clinical experience as an SLPA student or SLPA—for purposes of assistants certification—must have been completed no more than five years before applying for the C-SLPA; hours may be verified by your clinical practicum supervisor or a former/current supervisor after graduation. Required hours of direct and indirect patient/client/student services (a) must be completed before individuals may apply for assistants certification and (b) may be obtained as part of an academic program or on-the-job training/work. Clinical hours will be verified as part of the online application process; no documentation needs to be submitted. Any hours completed January 1, 2020, or after must have been supervised by an ASHA-certified SLP who has met 2020 Standard V-E.

SLPA Exam Resources

Exam Blueprint

The SLPA Exam Blueprint [PDF] was developed through a research-based practice analysis by SLPAs, SLPs, and educators to ensure that the certification reflects emerging data, applied knowledge, and best practices. The SLPA national exam will be based the information in the blueprint.

Additional Resources

The ASHA resources provided are not exclusive to the SLPA exam but will allow you to review topic material. Please review to the Exam Blueprint for specific topic areas.

The following references may provide you with additional information but are not required for exam review.

  • Bleile, K. (2020). Speech Sound Disorders: For Class and Clinic. Plural Publishing.
  • Duffy, Joseph R., Ph.D. (2012). Motor Speech Disorders: Substrates, Differential Diagnosis, and Management. Mosby.
  • Dwight, D. (2014). Here's How to Do Therapy: Hands-on Core Skills in Speech-Language Pathology. Plural Publishing.
  • Gillam, R.B., and Marquardt, T.P. (2015). Communication Sciences and Disorders. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
  • Hegde, M.N. (2020). Clinical Methods and Practicum in Speech-Language Pathology. Plural Publishing.
  • Hyter, Yvette and Salas-Provance, M. (2019). Culturally Responsive Practices in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. Plural Publishing.
  • Kaderavek, J. (2014). Language Disorders in Children: Fundamental Concepts of Assessment and Intervention. Pearson.
  • Kent-Walsh, J. & Binger, C. (2009). What Every Speech-Language Pathologist/Audiologist Should Know about Alternative and Augmentative Communication. Pearson.
  • Manasco, H. (2016). Introduction to Neurogenic Communication Disorders. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
  • Owens, Robert E., Jr., Farinella, Kimberly A., and Mertz, Dale E. (2010). Introduction to Communication Disorders - A Lifetime Evidence-Based Perspective. Pearson.
  • Pence Turnbull, Khara L. and Justice, Laura M. (2016). Language Development From Theory to Practice. Pearson.
  • Shriberg, Lawrence D. and Kent, Raymond D. (2018). Clinical Phonetics. Pearson.

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We’re glad you’re interested in ASHA’s assistants certification program. We’d love to learn more about you. We’ll be in touch with more information and resources to help you prepare for certification.

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About Us

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 211,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students.

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