Let’s talk about CF paperwork. If you’re anything like me, this is not your favorite way to spend time. However, if you can think of this as a tool to get you one step closer to becoming a licensed SLP, it’ll be no big deal!
1. You can register for membership/certification to ASHA at any time before or during your CF
Get ahead by sending in your documents before you start! Don’t forget to make copies of everything to keep in your files. You’ll thank yourself later! ASHA runs a special price as a “gift to the grad” if you apply for membership within their specified time range after graduating. Use this!
You can find the ASHA application here.
Additional required documents include proof of passing the PRAXIS (sent from ETS), official graduate transcript and the SLPCF report and rating form (completed at the end of your CF experience).
2. You might need to obtain a temporary license or be fingerprinted
Some states require you get a temporary license and/or fingerprinted prior to beginning work. Basically if you don’t have this, you can’t work. For example, in California you are required to obtain a “Required Professional Experience” license by the board of California, which is necessary to start in any setting as a clinical fellow. This takes time to process, so plan ahead!
Check here to see what the requirements are in your state!
3. The funds
A different kind of CF paperwork. More money?! Yes, that’s right! Everything from applying for an ASHA membership to fingerprinting to getting vaccinations costs money. This can add up quickly! Help yourself by making a budget or fund for these expenses. On a happy note, your company may reimburse you for licensing dues, however you’ll need to pay first and wait for the reimbursement check. Keep those receipts!!
4. Time to meet with your CF mentor
ASHA requires the SLPCF report and rating form to be completed at each segment of your CF. The CF experience is divided into 3 segments. If you know your start date and are full-time, plan out when your first meeting to go over the form will be, 12 weeks down the road.
Your mentor will observe both direct (e.g. time with clients/students/patients) and indirect (e.g. paperwork, consultation) hours during your CF. Learn from my mistake and make it a point to have them come in to observe a tricky session! Their feedback and ideas are invaluable!
The CF paperwork can be confusing and overwhelming. Just remember, everyone has to do this! If you get ahead now, you'll have more time to spend helping other people. Your homework is to get your ASHA application started, research your state requirements and budget for the dues to come. You are well on your way to launching the biggest learning experience of your SLP career!
You've got this!