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Complaints

Accreditation Handbook—Chapter XIII: Complaints


The CAA is obligated by federal regulations to review complaints it receives about any accredited program or program in candidacy status. A complaint process is also in place for considering complaints filed against the CAA.

Processing Complaints During COVID-19 Restrictions

The CAA and Accreditation Office staff are maintaining normal operations as much as possible. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the ASHA National Office is closed and staff are working remotely. As a result, we are unable to retrieve any mail sent to us via U.S. Postal Service or other delivery services.

Per CAA’s complaint policy and procedures, you are required to submit the complaint form in writing, via U.S. mail, overnight courier, or hand delivery. While the ASHA National Office remains closed, we request the following temporary alterations to procedures to ensure prompt processing:

  • Send via U.S. Mail the completed complaint form and any attachments to the Accreditation Office as required. We do not recommend using an overnight courier or hand delivery during this time as it may not comply with the current restrictions; AND
  • Email a copy of your completed complaint form and any attachments to accreditation@asha.org. If you mailed a complaint on or after March 15, 2020, please email the complaint to accreditation@asha.org to initiate the review.

Any complaints that were mailed to the Accreditation Office without also being emailed as directed above will be processed when staff are able to return to the ASHA National Office.

Please make sure to visit the ASHA coronavirus resource page to stay on top of all the latest resources and supports specific to issues related to COVID-19. Updates from the CAA and CFCC about the impact to academic programs and graduate students are posted to the CAA’s COVID-19 resource page.

Complaints Against Programs

The CAA will address concerns via the complaint process that are clearly related to a program’s compliance with accreditation standards. The CAA cannot intervene in disputes between individuals and programs, and cannot affect outcomes such as grade changes, reinstatement to the graduate program, employment, etc., as part of this complaint process.

Before filing a complaint, it is strongly recommended that you read Chapter XIII: Complaints in the Accreditation Handbook [PDF].

Criteria

Complaints about programs must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be against an accredited graduate education program or program in candidacy status in audiology or speech-language pathology
  • Relate to the Standards for Accreditation of Entry-Level Graduate Education Programs in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology in effect at the time that the conduct for the complaint occurred, including the relationship of the complaint to the accreditation standards
  • Be clearly described, including the specific nature of the charge and the data to support the charge
  • Be within the timelines specified below:
    • If the complaint is being filed by a graduate or former student, or a former faculty or staff member, the complaint must be filed within one year of separation* from the program, even if the conduct occurred more than 4 years prior to the date of filing the complaint
    • If the complaint is being filed by a current student or faculty member, the complaint must be filed as soon as possible, but no longer than 4 years after the date the conduct occurred
    • If the complaint is being filed by other complainants, the conduct must have occurred at least in part within 4 years prior to the date the complaint is filed

*Note: For graduates, former students, or former faculty or staff filing a complaint, the date of separation should be the date on which the individual was no longer considered a student in or employee of the graduate program (i.e., graduation, resignation, official notice of withdrawal or termination), and after any institutional grievance or other review processes have been concluded.

Submission Requirements

  • Complaints against a program must be filed in writing using the CAA’s official Complaint Form [DOC]. The Complaint Form must be completed in its entirety, which includes submitting a waiver of confidentiality with the complaint. Failure to provide a signed waiver of confidentiality will result in dismissal of the complaint. The CAA does not accept complaints over the phone.
  • The complainant’s name, address, and telephone contact information and the complainant’s relationship to the program must be included in order for the Accreditation Office staff to verify the source of the information. The CAA does not accept anonymous complaints.
  • The complaint must include verification, if the complaint is from a student or faculty/staff member, that the complainant exhausted all pertinent institutional grievance and review mechanisms before submitting a complaint to the CAA.
  • Documented evidence in support of the complaint must be appended, including as appropriate relevant policies/procedures, relevant correspondence (including email), timelines of referenced events, etc. Do not enclose entire documents, such as a handbook or catalog; only the specific pages should be included that present content germane to the complaint. Page numbers to these appendices should be referenced in the complaint. Materials may be returned to the complainant if not properly organized to support the complaint.
  • The complaint must be complete at the time of submission, including the complaint, waiver, and all appendices; if a complainant submits an amended complaint, including providing additional appendices, it will void the original submission and initiate a new process and timeline.
  • All complaints and supporting evidence must be submitted in English, consistent with the business practices of the CAA.
  • The complaint must be signed and submitted with any relevant appendices via U.S. mail, overnight courier, or hand delivery—not via e-mail or as a facsimile—to:
    Chair, Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
    American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
    2200 Research Boulevard, #310
    Rockville, MD 20850

The complainant’s burden of proof is a preponderance, or greater weight, of the evidence. It is expected that the complaint includes all relevant documentation at the time of submission.

Copies of the CAA’s complaint procedures, relevant Standards for Accreditation, and the Complaint Form are available in paper form by contacting the Accreditation Office at accreditation@asha.org or 800-498-2071. All complaint materials (completed and signed complaint form and relevant appendices) must be typewritten or printed from a computer.

Complaints Against the CAA

The CAA also has a process in place for complaints to be filed against the CAA. Before filing a complaint, it is strongly recommended that you read Chapter XIII: Complaints in the Accreditation Handbook [PDF].

Criteria

Complaints against the CAA must meet the following criteria:

Submission Requirements

Complaints also must meet the following submission requirements:

  • Include the complainant’s name, address, and telephone contact information in order for the Accreditation Office staff to verify the source of the information;
  • Must be complete at the time of submission, including the complaint and all appendices;
  • Append documented evidence in support of the complaint, including as appropriate relevant policies/procedures, relevant correspondence (including email), timelines of referenced events, etc. Complainants should not enclose entire documents; only the specific pages should be included that present content germane to the complaint. Page numbers to these appendices should be referenced in the complaint. Materials may be returned to the complainant if not properly organized to support the complaint.
  • Submit all complaints and supporting evidence in English, consistent with the business practices of the CAA;
  • Be signed and submitted in writing via U.S. mail, overnight courier, or hand delivery—complaints will not be accepted via e-mail or as a facsimile— to the following address:
    Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs (“Vice Presidents”)
    American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
    2200 Research Boulevard, #310
    Rockville, MD 20850

There is no formal complaint form for filing complaints against the CAA. However, the complaint must address all the criteria for the complaint to be considered and be submitted as outlined above. The complainant’s burden of proof is a preponderance or greater weight of the evidence.

About ASHA

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

Connect With ASHA

About the CAA

The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) accredits eligible clinical doctoral programs in audiology and master's degree programs in speech-language pathology. The CAA relies on a dedicated corps of volunteers serving as Council members and site visitors to accomplish the work of the accreditation program.

Contact the CAA

Questions and/or requests for information about accreditation or the CAA can be directed to:

The Council on Academic Accreditation in
Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
2200 Research Boulevard, #310
Rockville, MD 20850

800-498-2071

Email the CAA