WSR 98-07-083



[Filed March 17, 1998, 4:32 p.m.]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 97-08-024

Title of Rule: WAC 246-828-025 Definitions. Definition of education requirements for voluntary certification

Purpose: Rules are needed to provide definition of education requirements for certification. Individuals applying for certification must have a degree from a board-approved institution and complete clinical practicum experience defined by the board. Rules providing definitions for these institutions and the practicum will clarify the requirements necessary for certification

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 18.35.040 (2)(b) and 18.35.161

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 18.35.040 (2)(b)

Summary: Certification applicants are required to have a degree from a board-approved institution of higher learning, which includes completion of a supervised clinical practicum experience as defined by rules adopted by the board

Reasons Supporting Proposal: There is currently no board definition of approved institution of higher learning or supervised clinical practicum experience

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Diane Young, 1300 Quince Street S.E., Olympia, (360) 586-0205

Name of Proponent: Department of Health, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: The rule clearly defines board-approved institution of higher learning, which includes completion of a supervised clinical practicum experience as required by RCW 18.35.040 (2)(b). The rule is anticipated to protect the public from incompetent and inadequately trained individuals, who chose to become certified, from providing hearing and speech health care services

Proposal does not change existing rules.

A small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW.

Small Business Economic Impact Statement


Economic Impact Analysis

This report contains, the economic impact analysis used by health professions quality assurance in determining program costs associated with education requirements.

Background: The state of Washington recognizes speech-language pathology as a profession that provides services related to the development and disorders that impede oral, pharyngeal, or laryngeal sensorimotor competencies and the normal process of communication. These services are provided in a number of professional health care and educational settings to infants, children, adults and elderly.

The state of Washington recognizes audiology as a profession that provides services related to hearing and the disorders of hearing and to related language and speech disorders, that impede the normal process of communication. It is also acknowledged that this profession fits and dispenses hearing instruments and provides cerumen management. These services are provided in a number of professional health care and education settings to infants, children, adults and elderly.

The proposed regulation of speech-language pathologists and audiologists is intended to protect the public from being misled by incompetent, unethical and unauthorized persons; and to assure the availability of hearing and speech services of high quality to citizens of Washington state.

The potential for physical, economical and mental harm compelled the industry to seek regulation. Some examples of harm that could and have resulted from incompetent practice include: Defrauding individuals of thousands of dollars; failure to recognize early signs of chronic disease and misuse of hearing instrumentation causing infections or lacerations of the ear or perforation of the ear drum.

Pursuant to RCW 18.35.040(2), applicants for certification as a speech-language pathologist or audiologist must have a master's degree from a program at a board-approved institution of higher learning, which includes completion of a supervised clinical practicum experience as defined by rules adopted by the board and must complete postgraduate professional work experience approved by the board.

ESHB 2309 expanded the professionals regulated under chapter 18.35 RCW to include not only hearing instrument fitter/dispensers as it did previously but also audiologists and speech-language pathologists. The new regulation creates a voluntary certification for speech-language pathologists and audiologists. The proposed rules will clarify the education requirements necessary for certification.

Economic Impact Analysis

Costs to a Business: Due to the voluntary nature of certification of speech-language pathologists there is no imposed impact on business. Those individuals who were practicing in the profession on June 6, 1996, will experience no impact by the rules defining commonly accepted standards as all individuals with current certification from the national organization or from the state of Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction or the equivalent will be granted a certificate without obtaining further education, training or testing. Research demonstrates that the majority of professionals currently practicing meet these requirements. As the proposed education requirements are a reflection of the requirements of the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association.

There would be no disproportionate affect on small and large entities. The regulated entities are all small businesses. These businesses have been involved in work groups to develop the rules defining the education requirements for the profession and suggestions submitted by individuals in writing have been incorporated into the proposed rule.

Department of Health Costs to Administer the Regulation: Audiology and speech-language pathology are newly regulated health professions; therefore, there is no program history on cost. Estimated expenditures are based on the Department of Health standard cost factors for budgeting. These include phase-in costs support staffing, purchase of workstation furniture and other equipment, purchase of attorney general services, the Department of Health investigation services and agency indirect costs.

This revenue must be collected from fees assessed on the regulated entities.

The required program revenue includes funds to support both start-up costs as well as recurring expenses for program administration.

The following table illustrates overall administration cost and estimated revenue.

Fees Cert. Initial
App. Cert.
$ 125.00 $ 100.00
Annual 76.5 76.5
revenue $9,562.50 $7,650.00 Total revenue from certificates issued $17,212.50
DOH time Program staff time for Clerk typist 3 at $12.40hr and Program Manager at $19.10hr
review 20 minutes x $12.40hr = $4.09
processing 20 minutes x $12.40hr = $4.09
certification 15 minutes x $12.40hr = $3.10
review 30 minutes x $19.10hr = $9.55
cost of application review and processing time multiplied by expected annual volume
$11.28 $9.55
76.5 15
$862.92 $143.25 $1,006.17
Equipment Start-up of new program
workstation/desk $3,000.00
computer $4,500.00
printer $5,000.00
software $475.00
calculators $225.00
$13,200.00 $13,200.00
Subtotal $14,206.17
Agency Indirect (20.5%) $2,912.26
Total cost of administering program $17,118.43

A copy of the statement may be obtained by writing to Department of Health, Hearing and Speech Program, P.O. Box 47869, Olympia, WA 98504-7869, phone (360) 586-0205, or FAX (360) 586-7840

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. This rule does not subject a person to a penalty sanction; does not establish, alter or revoke a qualification or standard for licensure (speech-language pathology and audiology certification is voluntary); and does not make significant amendment to a policy or regulatory program. This rule adopts the definition of an institution of higher learning and supervised clinical practicum that has been established by the professions national association.

Hearing Location: WSU-Spokane, 601 West First Avenue, Spokane, WA 99204, on May 5, 1998, at 9:00 a.m

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Betty Bird by April 28, 1998, TDD (800) 525-0127, or (360) 586-8577

Submit Written Comments to: Department of Health, Diane Young, P.O. Box 47869, Olympia, WA 98504-7869, FAX (360) 586-7840, by May 1, 1998

Date of Intended Adoption: May 21, 1998

February 24, 1998

Delores E. Spice

Executive Director



WAC 246-828-025  Definitions. (1) "Board-approved institution of higher education" means an institution offering a Washington higher education coordinating board-accredited program in audiology or speech-language pathology leading to a master's degree, or an equivalent program as determined by the board.

(2) "Postgraduate professional work experience" means a full-time professional experience, or the part-time equivalent, involving direct patient/client contact, consultations, recordkeeping, and administrative duties relevant to a bona fide program of clinical work.

(a) "Full-time professional experience" means a minimum of 30 hours per week over 36 weeks. Postgraduate professional work experience cannot be obtained in fewer than 36 weeks.

(b) "Part-time equivalent" means any of the following:

(i) 15-19 hours per week over 72 weeks;

(ii) 20-24 hours per week over 60 weeks;

(iii) 25-29 hours per week over 48 weeks.

(c) Professional experience of fewer than 15 hours per week cannot be counted toward postgraduate professional work experience.


Legislature Code Reviser 


Washington State Code Reviser's Office