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Moving Towards Universal Licensure

What are we talking about?

Consolidating speech-language pathology licensure in the state of Oregon. Currently the Oregon Board of Examiners of Speech Pathology and Audiology (BSPA) has the authority to license all speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in Oregon. Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) also licenses SLPs through an exemption in the Oregon Revised Statutes. 
ORS 681.321(2) states: 

Nothing in this chapter restricts or prevents a person from engaging in speech-language pathology or audiology activities or from using the official title of the position for which the person is employed if the person: 
(A) Holds a valid and current teaching license with a communications disorder endorsement issued by the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission; and
(B) Is employed by an education service district, a school district or a charter school


Why is Oregon Speech-Language-Hearing Association (OSHA) talking about universal licensure for SLPs? 

As the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) recognized professional association for the state of Oregon, the OSHA board decided that it was OSHA’s role to determine if OSHA had a position, if any, on the issue of universal licensure in 2009 when TSPC began considering “getting out of the business of licensing SLPs.” This fits with OSHA’s mission statement to facilitate advocacy for the professions by supporting the collective professional interests of the Association’s members and empowering members to improve clinical services by enhancing and maintaining the highest level of knowledge and skills.


What is OSHA's position regarding universal licensure?

The OSHA executive board met on July 21, 2011 and agreed on a position supporting investigation into universal licensure and moving towards a process of license consolidation. On June 2, 2012, the OSHA board adopted a position to support universal SLP licensure in Oregon.


How did the OSHA board come to this conclusion?

Primarily through two volunteer ad hoc committees formed specifically to investigate this issue and work with stakeholders: Professional Standards Review and Educational Liaison Committees. Both committees submitted reports that can be reviewed in the links below. Multiple means were used for eliciting OSHA member feedback, such as Town Hall meetings held across the state during summer 2010 and input from the membership at the fall 2010 and fall 2011 OSHA conferences.


Review relevant documents below.  You can also read more, ask questions, and comment on the issue on OSHA's licensure blog.

Results from 2010 Fact Finding Committee

Recommendations from Professional Standards Review Committee 2010

Review of round table discussions 2010

What can I do now?

  • Express your opinion and join the discussion on the Universal Licensure Committee Blog
  • Join the OSHA Universal Licensure Committee by contacting John Tracy or the OSHA Office
  • Contac  BSPA for clarification on Oregon statutes if you are aware of a situation where an individual or agency is insisting on TSPC licensure for a SLP

Oregon Speech-Language & Hearing Association l OSHAOregon@gmail.com
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