Board Certification FAQs

Below is a list of questions to help you get started with Board Certification. For full details please read the full Requirements and Process.

Why seek ANCDS certification?

Who is eligible?

What is the cost?

How long is the certification process?

What does the certification process include?

What does the written case summary require?

What does the oral presentation require?

What does the final evaluation include?

How is certification maintained?


Why seek ANCDS Certification?

  • Certification promotes the highest standard of practice in neurologic communication disorders.
  • Recognizes and supports clinical expertise.
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Who is eligible?

  • Hold a current Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, or current state licensure in Speech-Language Pathology;
  • Have a minimum of five (5) years of full-time equivalent clinical experience with neurologic communication disorders;

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What is the cost?

Certification application costs $125 for ANCDS members and $210 for non-members. The cost for maintaining board certification is $80 annually.

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How long is the certification process?

The applicant must complete the Board Certification process within two years from of the approval of his or her application. Certification is usually evaluated at the ANCDS Annual Meeting.

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What does the certification process include?

Those wishing to begin the certification process must complete the following:

  • Submit a CV or resume;
  • Complete the ANCDS CEC form included with the application;
  • Submit three (3) letters of recommendation from health care providers with firsthand knowledge of the applicant’s competence and skills, at least one of whom must be a speech-language pathologist, qualified to attest to the applicant’s competence in the clinical management of neurologic communication disorders;
  • Submit the Board Certification Candidacy Application materials and the applicable fees.

The certification process includes four steps: two written case studies, one oral presentation and discussion, and one final evaluation.

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What does the written case summary require?

The intent of the Written Case Studies is to demonstrate, as well as can be done in writing, advanced clinical competency in neurologic communication disorders.  The Candidate will prepare two distinct Written Case Studies that will include a diagnostic report, a treatment plan, results of its implementation, and analysis of the intervention for a patient with a neurologic communication disorder that the Candidate has treated or is currently treating. The Case Studies will be submitted successively.  In other words, the second Case Study cannot be submitted until the first Case Study is deemed a “pass.”

  • Selecting Patients for the Written Case Studies
  • Content Areas
    • Relevant History
    • Neurologic Considerations 
    • Assessment Methods/Tests and Results
    • Diagnostic and Prognostic Conclusions
    • Management Recommendations and Procedures
    • Data Documenting Outcome of Treatment
    • Rationale for Termination of Treatment and Follow-up Recommendations
    • Quality Assessment Statement
  • Review Process
    A three-member team, designated as the Review Team, will read the Written Case Studies.  The reviewers will have no knowledge of the Candidate’s name or other identifying information.  The Candidate, author of the Case Study, will also have no knowledge of the identity of the reviewers.  The Review Team will remain the same for both Case Studies and the Oral Presentation and Discussion. The Review Team will evaluate each Case Study and determine either:
    • Pass – Move to the next step (Oral Presentation and Discussion).
    • Revise – Either the content or quality of writing is insufficient to determine evidence of advanced clinical competency. The Written Case Study must be revised based on the reviewer’s comments and reviewed again by the same Review Team.
    • Does not meet standards – The Candidate cannot continue the process.
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What does the oral presentation require?

The Candidate will provide an Oral Presentation of one or both of his/her Written Case Studies followed by a Discussion of the Case(s).  This will take place with the members of the Review Team and, when possible, the Certification Board Chair.  When possible, the Oral Presentation should take place in conjunction with an ANCDS meeting or related professional event.  The Candidate is responsible for his/her own expenses incurred to attend the Oral Presentation and Discussion.  Face-to-face interactions are intended to be the major mechanism for this process; however, online video conferencing may also be used.  The Board Certification Chairperson will assist the Candidate in making online video conferencing arrangements.

Oral Presentation: The form of the Oral Presentation will resemble a “grand rounds.” It should focus primarily on the speech-language diagnosis, the rationale for the diagnosis, co-existing conditions that may impact evaluation and treatment, detailed specification of the treatment, and the rationale for selecting the treatment approach and the outcome of the treatment. Other aspects of the case might be presented as well, such as problems that were not the focus of the intervention and why they were not, reasons for discharge, changes that occurred in the course of treatment, and so forth.

The formal presentation of the case should take no longer than twenty (20) to thirty (30) minutes. The case presentation can, but need not, include videotapes or audiotapes, prepared at the expense of the Candidate. Statements of informed consent must be submitted for any videotape materials that are to be used or the Candidate will not be allowed to show the videotape. The patient’s name or other identifying information must be deleted from any written, videotaped, or audio taped materials that are submitted or presented.

Discussion: The formal oral presentation will be followed by an interactive question-and-answer and discussion period between the Candidate and the Review Team. The intent of this is to provide the Candidate with an opportunity to demonstrate clinical competence within a discussion setting. It is hoped that this experience represents an interactive learning opportunity that permits the Candidate to focus on and demonstrate his or her clinical strengths and achievements. The interactive discussion session should be no longer than forty-five (45) minutes.

The Candidate should be aware that the content of discussion could potentially relate to any area of the fundamentals of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and the neuropathologies that underlie neurologic communication disorders as well as issues surrounding evidence based clinical practice. The following areas of discussion should be considered:

Neuropathological Areas

  • Normal speech, language, and cognitive performance as a function of age
  • Neurolinguistics
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Neurophysiology
  • Sensory physiology
  • Speech motor control
  • Cognition
  • Neuropathology
  • Neurologic disease
  • Neurodiagnostic methods

Aspects of Evidence Based Clinical Practice

  • Etiology
  • Assessment
  • Differential diagnosis
  • Prognosis
  • Intervention
  • Interdisciplinary issues (e.g., medical, pharmacological, psychological)
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What does the final evaluation include?

The Written Case Studies and the Oral Presentation & Discussion are judged as a whole, and will be evaluated as “Pass” or “Does not meet standards” immediately following the Oral Presentation & Discussion.

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How is certification maintained?

A re-certification fee is due yearly (see cost) to maintain ANCDS Board Certification. Individuals who hold Board Certification are expected to engage in 60 hours of continuing education activities every three years. This keeps Certified members’ knowledge and skills up to date and further enhances their ability to serve people with neurologic communication disorders. For this reason, applicants for Board Certification are asked to demonstrate their continuing education activities as a representation of their involvement in the field.

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