Frequently Asked Questions about the MedSLP Ed Certification Program
Certification / Accreditation:
Why a Certification:
There are currently over 600 optional certificate programs and certifications for SLPs. SLPs may consider a certification if they want more specialized training to help a specific population or to improve their knowledge. Other SLPs might pursue a certification in order to climb the clinical ladder at their place of employment. There are different options, such as certificates, certificate programs, and actual certifications, all of which meet different needs and have different standards.
According to the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE), professional certifications and assessment-based certificate programs serve different purposes and may require separate business approaches, governance structures, and development processes. ICE helps determine the correct program type and can help evaluate the program's goals, purpose, assessment, and maintenance requirements and identify the correct program path to meet those needs. According to ICE, there is no superior program type – just the right program.
The purpose of a certificate is to provide instruction and training and build capacity and recognition of a specialty area of practice or set of skills. A certificate recognizes mastery of the specific learning outcomes. In contrast, a certification assesses knowledge, skills, and competencies previously acquired, recognizes professionals who meet established knowledge, skills, or competencies, and awards designations to recognize achievement.
Is an accrediting body required? Who is the accrediting body for MedSLP Ed?
There are plenty of certifications offered that do not have an accrediting body behind them, and there is no requirement for certifications to be accredited. However, it helps with credibility and keeps the program as reputable as it was initially intended. MedSLP Ed is pursuing accreditation with the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). This accrediting body credentials many other medical certifications and maintains exceptionally high standards.
In 1977, in cooperation with the federal government, the National Commission for Health Certifying Agencies (NCHCA) was formed to develop standards of excellence for voluntary certification programs in healthcare. In 1989, the name was changed to the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) to accommodate all professions and industries. The NCCA's Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs were the first standards developed by the credentialing industry for professional certification programs. The NCCA Standards were developed to help ensure the public's health, welfare, and safety. The NCCA uses a peer review process to:
- Establish accreditation standards;
- Evaluate compliance with these standards;
- Recognize programs that demonstrate compliance;
- Monitor and enforce continued compliance; and,
- Serve as a resource on quality certification.
The NCCA standards are consistent with The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (AERA, APA, & NCME, 1999) and apply to all professions and industries. NCCA-accredited programs certify individuals in various professions, including nurses, physicians, respiratory therapists, counselors, and more. NCCA has accredited more than 315 programs from more than 130 organizations. Some examples of NCCA accredited certifications include Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT), Music Therapy Board Certification (MT-BC), Certified Cardiac Rehabilitation Professional (CCRP), and Emergency Nurse Practitioner (ENP).
The MedSLP Ed Certification program is about 12-18 months out from getting accredited with the NCCA. Just as grad programs have to run their curriculums for a few semesters before they can apply for accreditation, and the same way companies that want to apply to provide ASHA CEUs, the same applies to certifications. A few iterations must be run first to ensure that all of the proper procedures are in place and running before the application can be submitted.
What is included in the MedSLP Ed Certification Program:
- 128+ continuing education hours of foundational and advanced medical SLP courses and LIVE Q&As with practicing clinicians (each participant must take 16 courses in order to test for the certification)
- 1:1 mentorship calls with an experienced practicing clinician in our field
- 8 months of support within a cohort of 50 medically-driven SLPs (see the mentorship program details below)
- The first cohort currently has access to all courses offered on the MedSLP Ed website and those released within the next five years. (31 courses, 8-10 hours long each, with ASHA CEU reporting)
What is the cost of the certification?
The current certification enrollment fee is $8,000. There are payment plans available.
How do the cost and value compare to other certification programs?
Each certification program made available to SLPs provides its own value. There are several differences when comparing the price of the MedSLP Ed Certification program to others. Certifications can range in price between several hundred to several thousand dollars for 1-7 day training or a 3-4 year process with a comprehensive assessment. The MedSLP Ed Certification tuition provides compensation for mentors, educators, business team members, the costs of accreditation (including hiring psychometricians to ensure the validity of the comprehensive assessment and test administration and scoring), and ASHA maintenance (including a database for compliance with reporting ASHA CEUs).
Although not a certification program, some cost and structure comparisons can be drawn between this program and the Advanced Pediatric Dysphagia Certificate Program, which costs $7,950 and includes an online curriculum (4 courses), access to online chats, and one virtual practicum, all designed to be completed in three semesters.
Here is a breakdown of the program's cost that was provided to employers for potential reimbursement by some of the current participants in the program.
What if I have already taken courses on MedSLP Ed?
We will take the amount that you paid toward any course and deduct it from your enrollment fee at the time that you enroll for the MedSLP Ed Certification Program.
How long does it take to complete the certification program?
This program is structured to be completed in eight months when it is finalized. However, participants have up to 18 months to complete each required course and finish each quiz and the comprehensive exam to earn certification.
Is there an exam I’ll need to take in order to earn the certification?
Yes. The participant will be required to pass a comprehensive exam with requirements for psychometric testing by the NCCA in order to earn the certification. There will also be quizzes after each course to earn ASHA CEUs.
Is there currently a recertification requirement for this certification?
Yes, in order to uphold the NCCA requirements for accreditation, recertification is required. Per the credentialing excellence website, “The NCCA Standards currently require a maintenance or renewal process for all accredited programs.” NCCA guidelines require a five-year recertification interval, which matches other accredited certification programs such as the Board Certification of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders. This also aligns with ASHA’s requirement to update courses for ASHA CEUs every five years to remain up-to-date on new evidence and advanced clinical practice techniques.
Certifications that require recertification may be a part of a health system’s clinical ladder requirements. We encourage SLPs to ask their employer about their requirements for climbing the clinical ladder.
What about the MSLP-C credentials? What is the reason for adding this to the certification?
Per the Institute of Credentialing Excellence, a certification “awards designations to recognize achievement,” while a certificate program “awards a certificate to recognize mastery of the intended learning outcomes.” Because this is a certification program, designations are awarded upon completing the curriculum and comprehensive exam. MSLP-C was the only designation specific to medical speech-language pathology that cleared potential conflicts of interest and could be submitted to the trademark office for initial approval. Although not all employers require this, multiple requests from applicants and participants were received for letter designations after completing the certification program. In their situations, their employer required a certification that results in new credentials/letter designations to advance their clinical ladder.
Why is the MedSLP Ed Certification application private on the website?
Because of the format and schedule of the mentorship program, enrollment periods can only be offered periodically. After the enrollment period ended, the cohort was filled, and applications for the certification program closed. Applications will reopen in 2023, and a waitlist option will be posted on the website soon.
Why are mentors involved, and what does the mentorship program look like?
Upon scouring many online groups or forums for MedSLPs, posts or comments of SLPs looking for mentorship can be found. They may be the only SLP in their facility, or they may be seeking more medical knowledge and were hoping that a mentor could help them identify their gaps. Regardless of the reasoning, MedSLP Ed wanted to provide a professional mentorship program.
On top of the courses created for the MedSLP Ed Certification program, 1:1 support is included for every participant, and the mentors facilitate weekly group calls to discuss tough clinical cases. The mentors came highly recommended by others in the field, have years of experience mentoring other SLPs, and have extensive clinical or teaching experience.
The mentorship portion of this program includes the following:
- Assignment to a group of 10 participants with 1 mentor to assist the group based on the participant's (desired) clinical setting.
- Access to the mentor and group through a texting app.
- Two 1:1 phone calls with a mentor.
- Each group meets with its mentor twice monthly to answer questions or break down case studies. (these calls are recorded)
- Each mentor does a live (and recorded) Q&A for the entire cohort each month. (currently 5 additional calls per month)
Do mentors evaluate their mentees and determine whether they are certified?
The mentor program is a supplemental and supportive part of the certification, and passing a mentorship evaluation is not required to complete the certification. The mentors do not determine who gets certified; the MedSLP Ed Certification is earned upon completing the curriculum and passing the comprehensive exam.
What if I do not need mentorship or want the certification but still want to take some courses?
Every single course inside the certification program IS available for individual (or bundle) purchase in the MedSLP Ed Library! The education is not limited to those who complete the certification program; it is available to any SLP.
How are the course presenters chosen?
Course presenters come highly recommended by consultants in med SLP higher education. There are multiple consultants who contribute to these decisions.
If I take a course, can I talk about what I learn with others, or am I not allowed to discuss the content?
You can absolutely discuss the content you learn in MedSLP Ed, and are encouraged to share what you learn. This is how our field grows. Whether you’re a clinician who wants to share what you’ve learned with colleagues or you’re a professor who wants to update your lectures with anything you learn inside MedSLP Ed, we fully support that (and are excited to hear that this has already been occurring)!
Is the MedSLP Ed Certification required in order to become a medical SLP or to be recognized as a competent medical SLP?
No, the MedSLP Ed Certification is not required to become a medical SLP, nor is it required to become a recognized or competent medical SLP. The path to clinical growth and education is, and always should be, the SLP's choice. This certification is for anyone that desires supplemental education in medical speech-language pathology with mentorship and a comprehensive examination to demonstrate competency in what was taught in the program.
Will this certification affect my employability if I choose not to take it, or will it devalue my existing credentials?
No, just like every other certification program out there, this program has been created as an additional option to consider should the SLP seek more education and support in this particular area of our field.
Does this certification help me earn more money or climb the clinical ladder at my current job?
Professional advancement and additional compensation are possible in many industries through continuing education and certifications. Several program participants have informed us that they will receive a pay increase with certification through the advancement of their clinical ladder. We cannot guarantee it, however. To learn about any additional benefits to your current position, we recommend sharing the program information with your employer and asking them what the requirements are for climbing the clinical ladder.
Is the MedSLP Ed Certification meant to replace grad school programs?
No, the MedSLP Ed Certification program does not replace a graduate program, nor is that the intention. It is supplemental support for practicing clinicians that build upon the graduate school and clinical experience.
This is an in-depth training and mentorship program that allows the participant to gain specialized knowledge and support across medical speech-language pathology.
Can anyone take the program, including students?
This program is for Med SLPs who are just getting started, veteran Med SLPs who have been practicing for years, SLPs transitioning from non-medical to medical, and new graduates. This program is not for non-SLPs, undergrad and grad students, or SLPs who do not (and do not plan to) work in a medical setting or with medical diagnoses.
Does ASHA approve of this certification? Has MedSLP Ed been in contact with ASHA regarding this?
MedSLPEd has been in contact with ASHA leadership and has remained transparent with ASHA throughout the process and in line with all ethical guidelines and standards. ASHA encouraged MedSLP Ed to seek accreditation from a reputable credentialing agency as they do not regulate businesses or certifications.
Is the MedSLP Ed Certification part of the Medical SLP Collective?
No. MedSLP Ed is a limited liability company and a separate ASHA CE Provider from the Medical SLP Collective. These are two businesses with separate tax ID numbers and ASHA provider numbers. The MedSLP Collective will continue to be an affordable low-cost inclusive membership option accessible to Medical SLPs and is not tied to this company or certification.
Can anyone provide feedback regarding the courses and certification programs on MedSLP Ed?
Yes, there are multiple ways to provide feedback to MedSLP Ed. Per ASHA CEU course requirements, a survey is presented at the end of every course for participants to provide feedback, and participant surveys are also offered throughout the certification program. Anyone may provide anonymous feedback regarding content, messaging, or any other issues here. For specific questions, please email email@example.com.