Certification Program FAQs
What is the Certification program?
From 1 July 2022 a new Certification Program comes into effect to replace the Professional Self-Regulation (PSR) program. The Certification program still includes recency of practice (RoP) and continuing professional development (CPD)requirements.
Why has the new Certification Program been introduced?
The changes have been introduced in response to member feedback and to align the Certification Program with the Professional Standards (2020), the Code of Ethics (2020) and to support the aspirations of the profession as outlined in Speech Pathology 2030: making futures happen (2016).
What are the main changes?
- The Certification Program has an outcome focus and more inclusive and contemporary definitions of practice and continuing professional development.
- Practice in speech pathology is no longer restricted to direct services to individuals and is now inclusive of all activities related to the provision of services to individuals, communities and populations with communication and swallowing needs
- Instead of points, speech pathologists will record CPD ‘hours of learning’. Speech pathologists will determine the number of hours of learning for each engagement in CPD.
- There are now only 3 CPD categories: cultural learning (Code C), professional support (Code S) and other learning (Code O)
- There are no specified maximum hours of learning
- A minimum 2 hours of cultural learning per membership year is require
- A minimum 2 hours receipt of professional support per membership year is required.
Do I need to do anything different when I renew my membership for 2022/2023?
No, submit a minimum of 20 CPD points earned during the previous membership year from 1 July 2021 – 30 June 2022 (i.e.using the same PSR system as for previous years). Graduates with an initial 18-month membership from 1 January 2021-30 June 2022 will submit a minimum of 20 CPD points earned during this period.
From June 2023, to renew as a Certified Practising member, speech pathologists will submit a minimum of 20 hours of learning which includes at least 2 hours of cultural learning and 2 hours of professional support, to maintain certification.
What should I be doing from 1 July 2022?
- Develop your new learning plan
- Start recording your ‘hours of learning’
- Engage in at least 2 hours of professional support
- Engage in at least 2 hours of cultural learning.
Have the recency of practice requirements changed?
The requirements regarding the minimum number of practice hours per specified period have not changed. However, the definition of speech pathology practice and scope of practice have been updated which may impact the number of hours some speech pathologists can report.
Do the new CPD requirements apply to speech pathologists with Provisional certification?
Yes, the new CPD requirements apply to all Certified Practising speech pathologists, including those with Provisional certification.
I have a CPD extension, how will this affect me?
If you have a CPD extension over the two membership years spanning 2021/2022 to 2022/2023, make sure you have met the new CPD requirements when you renew your membership in 2023 i.e. you must have earned a minimum of 20 hours of learning that includes at least 2 hours of professional support and 2 hours of cultural learning.
When you renew your membership in 2023, the hours of learning submitted across the preceding two membership years must total at least 20. Any CPD points earned between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022 will be included as ‘hours of learning’.
I joined as a new graduate in early 2022 and have an 18-month membership that expires 30 June 2023. How will the new requirements affect me?
Make sure you have met the new CPD requirements when you next renew your membership i.e., a minimum of 20 hours of learning that must include at least 2 hours of professional support and 2 hours of cultural learning. CPD points earned during the first half of 2022 can be submitted as ‘CPD hours of learning’ when you renew your membership in 2023. For example, 10 CPD points earned between 1 January 2022 and 30 June 2022 can be recorded as 10 CPD hours of learning.
Is there a specified format for a CPD plan and goals?
The Association is not prescriptive about what your CPD plan or goals look like. The Association recognises that people plan in different ways. The Association also recognises that not all CPD is planned.
Can I earn hours of learning for delivering a presentation or workshop?
You can claim CPD hours of learning for preparing or delivering a presentation or workshop if you have learnt something new, or your learning has been enhanced through these activities. Speech pathologists are encouraged to refer to the Association's definition of CPD when discerning if an activity can be claimed as CPD.
Can I earn hours of learning for providing mentoring or supervision?
You can claim CPD hours of learning for providing professional support if you have learnt something new, or your learning has been enhanced through these interactions. CPD hours of learning for provision of professional support can be recorded under the ‘Other learning’ category (Code O).
Can I earn hours of learning for active participation on a SPA committee?
You can claim CPD hours of learning for active participation in Association business if you have learnt something new, or your learning has been enhanced through these activities. Speech pathologists are encouraged to refer to the Association's definition of CPD when discerning if an activity can be claimed as CPD.
Does professional support need to be provided by a speech pathologist?
No, professional support can be provided by an experienced speech pathologist or another professional with expertise in the clinical or professional area in which support is needed.
The Association's Professional Support position statement provides more details about different forms of professional support.
Can I include learning about other cultures under cultural learning (Code C)?
No, ‘cultural learning’ refers specifically to learning that supports culturally safe and responsive practice when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
Have the requirements for moving from Provisional to Full CPSP status changed?
The eligibility requirements for Full CPSP have not changed. Within three years of degree completion, Provisional Certified Practising speech pathologists must accrue a minimum of 200 practice hours, receive at least 12 hours of supervision or mentoring from an experienced speech pathologist and complete the specified Ethics and Evidence-Based Practice education modules. At least six of the minimum 12 hours of supervision or mentoring must be in a 1:1 setting.
What happens if I have not met the Certification Program requirements?
If you submit less than 20 hours of learning at renewal, without an extension in place, your membership status will be updated to Non-Certified. Non-Certified membership is time-limited.
If you cannot declare that you have met the applicable recency of practice requirement, you cannot renew as a Certified Practising member. You have the option of renewing as a Non-Certified member or applying for the Return to Practice program.
Is a practice hour extension available?
No, a practice hour extension is not available. It is strongly recommended that members who are planning extended leave from the profession and would like to maintain CPSP status be aware of their recency of practice and CPD obligations.
The COVID-19 practice hour extension is no longer available. If your practice hours have been affected by the pandemic and you will not be able to meet the recency of practice requirement, you can apply for special consideration. Please refer to the Association's Policy No 2.17 for information on how to apply.
Can I have an extension to allow me more time to earn the minimum 20 hours of learning?
The Association's Policy No 10.06 outlines the criteria for a CPD extension. Extensions may be granted to members:
- on leave for a period of more than six months,
- who have a significant illness, and/or
- on compassionate grounds.
An extension allows members an additional 1 membership year to meet the minimum CPD requirement. When the extension period has lapsed, members must have submitted at least 20 CPD hours of learning including at least 2 hours of cultural learning and 2 hours of professional support over the two membership years to maintain CPSP status.
It is not permitted to have an extension two membership years in a row.
If you are eligible for an extension, mark the relevant box on the Certification Program declaration form when you renew.
Why can’t I access my membership certificate?
If you cannot access a membership certificate it is likely that your membership status is Non-Certified. A membership certificate is not issued to Non-Certified members. The membership status of members who submit fewer than 20 CPD hours of learning without an extension is automatically updated to Non-Certified.
When I renew my membership, do I need to submit my CPD log or evidence of practice hours?
No, you do not need to submit a CPD log or evidence when you renew your membership. However, if you are selected for an audit you will be required to submit evidence. Speech Pathology Australia audits 5% of Certified Practising members annually. This is a requirement of the National Alliance of Self-Regulating Health Professions (NASRHP).
Can I attach certificates to my online log?
Unfortunately, at present documents cannot be uploaded to the online log.
How long do I need to keep my CPD log and evidence?
Certified Practising speech pathologists must retain their CPD records and evidence for two membership years in case they are selected for an audit.