Page last updated: February 9, 2021
The Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) and the Council for Clinical Certification (CFCC) offer the following guidance related to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 and its impact on academic programs, clinical practicum/supervised clinical experience, students, clinical fellows (CFs), and other stakeholders.
The CAA and the CFCC sincerely realize that these disruptions are significantly affecting all of our professional and personal lives, especially graduate students and CFs who have been working for several years to take the next steps in their careers in the upcoming months. The CAA and CFCC have responsibility to assure stakeholders that graduates, CFs, and certificate holders are clinically competent to practice. The accreditation and certification standards have been developed and refined throughout the years by undergoing a vigorous vetting process to protect the public, students, and payers. These standards ensure standardization in the amount and quality of education and training that students receive prior to beginning their clinical fellowship and that a CF receives before practicing as an independent clinician.
The CAA hosted “Chair Chats” on October 14, 2020, July 29, 2020, and April 9, 2020. The CFCC hosted online sessions on April 28 (audiology), April 30 (speech-language pathology), and September 15. These events provided an opportunity to hear your concerns and questions, and to provide information and clarification to the extent possible. Additional content has been generated in response to many of the questions posted during these events.
After extensive, thoughtful consideration in light of these parameters, the CAA and the CFCC have concluded:
These decisions were made because of the essential health care and education roles that these students will be expected to assume upon graduation; we believe that it is in the best interest of graduate students and ultimately client/patient care and safety to uphold these accreditation and certification standards. CFCC and CAA are trusting that programs will ensure that students are safe and ready to participate in clinical education experiences and that they will graduate with entry-level knowledge and skills. We believe that any further accommodations would not be responsible in light of the assurances these standards are designed and expected to provide to the public, employers, and tax payers.