Clinical Fellowship Year

The Clinical Fellowship Year (CFY) required for the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence provides the same evidence of practice competency that portfolio review does for the National Board Certification. The objectives of the CFY and of the NBPTS portfolio review are the same: a performance-based assessment of actual work experience that demonstrates accomplished practice.

In order to earn the Certificate of Clinical Competence from ASHA, the Clinical Fellow must successfully complete graduate level training, practicum experience, the national examination in speech-language pathology or audiology, and finally the CFY. The CFY is an important transition phase between supervised graduate-level practicum and the independent delivery of quality services.

The supervisor of a Clinical Fellow must be a nationally certified SLP or AUD in the area for which the certification is sought. CFY supervision requires direct observation of and feedback on diagnostic and therapeutic skills, monitoring of clinical records, conferencing on treatment strategies, and evaluating the Clinical Fellow’s consultation with colleagues, employers, students and their families. Finally, ASHA’s Code of Ethics is discussed and applied to student treatment plans and the Clinical Fellow’s participation in professional growth opportunities is monitored.

The Clinical Fellow supervisor must complete no less than 36 supervisory activities spaced uniformly throughout the CFY, with a minimum of 18 on-site observations of at least one hour. Six on-site observations and six monitoring activities must be accrued during each third of the CFY.

The Clinical Fellowship Skills Inventory (CFSI) was developed by Professional Educational Services. The CFSI is administered at least once during each of the three segments of the CFY. This is a rubric-based scale with anchored rating scores for 18 skills. This exam has national validity, with the skills on which the exam was designed to test being accurately measured, reflecting a national standard.

The Performance Areas rated on the CFSI are as follows:

1. Evaluation (5 skills) selection, adaptation, administration of an assessment battery and interpretation of results;

2. Treatment (5 skills): selection, development, adaptation, and implementation of treatment plans and intervention strategies;

3. Management (3 skills): service activities and compliance with administrative and policy requirements;

4. Interaction (5 skills): communication skills and collaboration with other professionals;

During each of the three time segments of the CFY, the supervisor and Clinical Fellow discuss the CFSI ratings and work on a plan to improve weak areas. At the end of the CFY, a final CFSI is completed and signed by the Clinical Fellow and supervisor. ASHA’s Clinical Certification Board reviews the CFY Report and CFSI before granting final approval of the Certificate of Clinical Competence.