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Top 12 questions about ASHA CEUs—Answered

There are some tenacious CEU myths out there, and we're busting them all. Newly updated to reflect the most recent developments for speech-language pathologists in the CE-sphere! 

September 1, 2023

This review was originally published in September 2020 and updated in September 2023.


Ah, continuing ed.
Thought you were done with classes after your master's degree? Haha! No, my friend.
Nobody wants extra things on their To Do list, but you simply can not be an effective speech–language pathologist if you don’t continue to learn throughout your career. ASHA knows that; which is why they require it for those of us with our CCC-SLP designation! And at its best, continuing ed can help shake you out of an SLP slump, increase your confidence, and give you the satisfaction of knowing you're doing your job well. Since we gotta do it (and deep down, want to), let’s get the rules and requirements straight.


Read on for our most Frequently Asked Questions about ASHA CEUs:


1. What are ASHA CEUs for? (the “newb” question)

​To maintain your national certification as an SLP—those CCC-SLP letters after your name—you must do continuing education.
You’ll need 30 hours every three years, starting the January after you’re awarded the CCC-SLP.
For grad students, that means you can start taking and tracking your continuing education hours approximately one year after you get your master's degree, and then you’ll have three more years before you have to report those courses to ASHA. Yes, it sucks that CEUs you might do during your clinical fellowship year don’t count.


2. Do I have to take ASHA CEUs to count toward renewing my CCCs? Or do other professional development courses count?

Actually, lots of things count! Your hours can be either CMHs or ASHA CEUs. Here’s the difference:
CMH = Certification Maintenance Hour. This is any professional development activity listed here that’s NOT already pre-approved by ASHA. The pro of CMHs is that they don’t have to be ASHA-approved. And no need to ask ASHA what will count; simply adhere to that list. The con of CMHs is that you have to track them yourself, digitally and/or with paper records.
ASHA CEUs = These are a type of CMH that's pre-approved by ASHA. The pro of ASHA CEUs is that, instead of you keeping track of them yourself, they automatically populate into your registry (if you pay for that; see below), which is really convenient. Also, no wondering about what will “count.” There aren't many cons, except that it's harder to find free ASHA CEUs, whereas you might have lots of free opportunities to earn CMHs through your job (especially if you work in education). Plus the fact that the way they’re calculated is super confusing.

​Way back when, for who-knows-what-reason, somebody decided to go all imperial system on the way they calculate these. The calculation is:
1 CMH = one hour = 0.1 ASHA CEUs
10 CMH = ten hours = 1.0 ASHA CEU

So to get 30 hours in three years, you’d need 3.0 ASHA CEUs.


3. If I have my CCC-SLP, do I also need a state license?


4. If I have my state license, do I also need my CCC-SLP?

​Not necessarily. Some SLP jobs don’t require it. However, not having your CCCs is like playing roulette on the job market, plus it’s a HUGE pain if you let your CCCs lapse. MOST jobs either require or prefer CCCs.


5. For continuing education, what’s the difference between what my state requires and what ASHA requires?

Beats me! What state do you live in?
No seriously—it varies entirely by where you live. Each state makes up their own rules. (FUN!)
ASHA does have a page where you can look up state requirements. However, that comes with a disclaimer—while ASHA does a good job of keeping their website up to date, the official rules must be obtained from your own state’s licensing website and documents, not ASHA.
Ways in which some states differ from ASHA’s “30 hours in 3 years” requirements:

  • Some states require more than 30 hours; some less.
  • Some states require you to report every 2 years instead of 3. So don’t assume the reporting calendar is the same!
  • Some states have requirements about which proportion of your continuing ed needs to be in-person vs online. That’s perhaps the MOST annoying difference.
  • Some states require that you get CE hours in certain topics. 
  • Some states have additional requirements to work in certain settings (like schools). Click the link above to go to your state’s licensing site and read carefully!

6. What’s the deal with the Ethics, DEI, and Supervision requirements I’m hearing about? Do I need them? If so, when?

Yes, this was new as of 2020 for Ethics and Supervision and as of 2023 for DEI. From ASHA:

Who? Every CCC-SLP.

What? Out of the 30 professional development hours required for certification maintenance, at least 1 hour has to focus on ethics.

When? The January 1 – December 31, 2022 certification maintenance interval, beginning with certificate holders.

How often? During each 3-year maintenance interval.



Who? Every CCC-SLP.

What? Out of the 30 professional development hours required for certification maintenance, at least 2 hour has to focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

When? Beginning with the January 1,  2023 – December 31, 2025 certification maintenance interval.

How often? During each 3-year maintenance interval.

Who? All clinical supervisors and Clinical Fellowship (CF) mentors providing supervision or clinical instruction to students and/or Clinical Fellows for ASHA certification.

What? In addition to having 9 months of full-time clinical experience working in the profession, you must complete a minimum of 2 hours of professional development in the area of supervision/clinical instruction.

When? After receiving the CCC-SLP.

How Often? This is a one-time deal.
So one hour of Ethics courses and two hours of DEI is now required every three years. Supervision hours are required once, and only if you’re supervising (our tip would be for EVERYONE to take supervision hours because it’s highly likely you’ll need to do that at some point in your career). More info on the new requirements here, here, and here.
You can search ASHA's CE Find to find options for Ethics , DEI, and Supervision courses. You can also meet your Ethics and DEI requirements here at The Informed SLP! 


7. Where should I take my courses?

Oh my goodness, where do we start? There are so many courses to choose from. And unless you’re lucky enough to have continuing ed provided by your workplace, these are the places to start your search:

  • First, you can search ALL ASHA-approved courses here. Yes, all. ASHA keeps an active database of everything that’s offered!
  • Then, courses will (for the most part) be either:
    • Online. From places like ASHA,, MedBridge, NorthernSpeech, The Informed SLP, or other online ASHA CE providers. Most SLPs do at least some courses online simply because it’s so convenient, andd they’re often very high-quality.
    • In-person. This will include your state association’s conferences, the ASHA Convention, and ASHA Connect. There are also in-person trainings, like PROMPT, Hanen, or LSVT.

Beyond that, there’s not much else we can advise you on here, because what you choose will be entirely dependent on your own personal and professional needs! Though we can advise you on how to ensure your courses are evidence-based (below).


8. Are all ASHA CEUs evidence-based?

This may break your heart a little, but…

No, not all ASHA-approved courses are evidence-based.

Seriously. And here’s why—ASHA states in their CE provider requirements that courses must be evidence-aligned and based on appropriate research. However, they don’t verify that. So the quality assurance ends up falling entirely on the shoulders of whoever is offering the course.
While most ASHA CE providers care a lot about helping SLPs truly improve their practice, some do fall short of that. Unfortunately, there is some absolute wackadoodle nonsense that slips through the cracks.
We also see a lot of courses that say “evidence-based” but really aren’t. Ultimately, whether or not something is evidence-based is the responsibility of the CE provider (the company or organization that approved the course), not ASHA. And all providers should be very clear about their methods of ensuring that.
"I don’t get it; why doesn't ASHA just verify everything?"

Because it would be outrageously labor-intensive. For example, in order to vet a dysphagia course, it’d have to be looked at very carefully by a dysphagia expert— ideally several experts. 

​The hours and expense of that would get steep, quickly. ASHA would have to charge the businesses more, businesses would have to charge SLPs more (for the courses), and so on.
Also, all of this gets extremely gray and tricky the deeper you attempt to problem-solve it--what is “evidence-based”? What level of evidence would you expect in order for something to pass? What would we do with topics we simply don’t have a lot of evidence for yet, but that are still in our scope? It’s tough.
So then, how is a consumer supposed to know if something’s evidence-aligned? I truly wish we lived in a world where, when a company says their course or product is “evidence-based”, you could know that was true. But we don’t.
There are companies out there that put profit over quality and are happy to slap “evidence-based” on something without doing the work to verify and ensure it. So, unfortunately, it lands on the consumer.
The only real way to know is:

  1. Make sure you know the evidence in the first place, so you can much more easily spot nonsense and ineffective therapy recommendations.
  2. Consult with colleagues you trust regarding the course content, but only after/alongside (A).

Not sure of the easiest path to knowing our field’s research? That’s what The Informed SLP was created for. Here are other options, too.


9. How do I track and report my hours to ASHA?

​​You simply click a button at the end of every three years to say you did it! (I know—the first time I did it I was shocked it was only a 30-second process.) You don’t need to send ASHA anything.
However! If you’re audited, you need to be able to produce the information proving your hours. So you must keep your paperwork well-organized along the way and triple-check your math. Or, use the registry (below).


10. What is the ASHA CEU Registry? Is it required?

​You don’t have to use the ASHA CE registry if you don’t want to, but it can be convenient. Here are the pros and cons:
Pros: You don’t have to track all your own hours. ASHA CEUs automatically get reported to your online registry, no matter which ASHA CE provider you take them from. It’s just easy. Learn more here.
If you get audited (yes, SLPs get audited for their hours all the time by ASHA…) you automatically “pass” if your hours are in the registry, because ASHA can see them. Otherwise, ASHA would contact you to tell you you’re being audited, then you’d have to submit documentation to prove your hours for the past three years.
Cons: It’s $28 every year ($38 if you're not an ASHA member; added on to your annual CCC renewal fee). So you can save money by just saving all your course certificates, dates, hours, etc. on your own. Also, CMHs don’t auto-populate there. Only ASHA CEUs are tracked.


11. What about the ACE Award? Should I care about that?


The ACE Award (or ASHA's Award for Continuing Education), is achieved when you go above and beyond the 30 hours of continuing ed and accumulate 70+ hours (7.0 ASHA CEUs) in three years. And that's any 36-month period, not necessarily your 3-year certificate maintenance interval. 


The good news: If you use the ASHA CE Registry for all your courses, you'll get the ACE automatically as soon as you qualify for it. These days they send you a print-it-yourself certificate, but you still have to pay to get a fancy paper one sent to you. 


The bad news: If you don't use the Registry, you're out of luck. That's the only way to an ACE.

Should I bother? That depends on your goals. At the end of the day, it’s just a certificate. Some people love getting their ACE, others don't care. It can look good on your resume, and you can get discounted professional liability insurance if you've earned one. Overall, though, the perks are pretty limited.

12. Why pay for courses when you can just do them for free?

Haha, touché! You’re our kind of people.
There are some free courses that count toward ASHA CEUs out there, which is pretty cool. Usually, this happens when companies who offer paid courses offer some free options to let people try out their product. Some continuing ed sites currently offering free courses include:

You can also Google “Free ASHA CEUs” for more, but—warning--we just did that and also found a handful that are junk or just glorified advertisements. Again—go back up to the question, “Are all ASHA CEUs evidence-based?” 


In other unfortunate news, there just aren’t enough free CEUs to get you through the next however-many years of your career. And if you’re trying to grow as a clinician, you’re going to need to identify courses based on areas of expertise you’re lacking, not just which ones are free. Nonetheless, free is awesome. 

13. Can I use courses advertised as ASHA CEUs to meet my CPD requirements in other countries?

​In Australia: 

We reckon! Anything marked as an ASHA CEU should be fair dinkum for Speech Pathology Australia’s Certification Program that allows you to use the CPSP letters after your name.


Use SPA’s Continuing Professional Education Record (hard copy here, or in your Speech Pathology Australia account online) to keep track of what you’re doing, and the Certification Program Guide to tee-up codes according to the activity. For example, most of The Informed SLP’s content would be classified as “Other” (code O), except if we cover research of relevance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples which would come under “Cultural Learning” (code C). An important caveat is that you can only count time when “you have learnt something new, or your current skills or knowledge have been strengthened or enhanced through these activities.” This may mean that our reading time estimates are not relevant to your CPD needs if some of the information in a review is familiar to you—you need to keep your own record of how much time you spend learning something new with us!


Mates, we know you’re flat out, but you need at least 20 hours per year, including at least two hours of Cultural Learning. Get amongst it!

From Katherine Sanchez, PhD, CPSP (Updated 6/14/23)

In Canada:

Canada, eh: The short answer is yes. But specific nuances will depend on the province you’re registered in! For example, if you’re registered in British Columbia, then only a maximum of 5 hours (over a 3-year cycle) can be considered “self-study”—which would be the category for reading TISLP reviews and their respective journal articles.
In Alberta and Ontario, any independent or group learning activity that relates to a learning goal, and I mean ANY activity, can count as a continuing education credit. No cap.
So, my Canadian colleagues, refer to your regulatory body’s requirements to make sure there are no restrictions or limitations to using ASHA-approved CEUs!

From Cassandra Kerr, M.Cl.Sc., SLP

In the UK: 

You sure can! In the UK we use an hourly total for continuing professional development (CPD; currently 30 hours minimum), as opposed to a points-based system like in other countries, so you just need to be sure that you are achieving the required amount of CPD hours.
The RCSLT advises that you objectively review a resource/course and decide if it meets your CPD requirements. You should be able to reflect on what you learned, and how you are going to use it within your current practice. This means that CPD resources and courses from outside of the UK can still be used so long as they are relevant.
The RCSLT also advises that while reviewing the resource/course you should assess the evidence base behind it, so that you are delivering quality, evidence-based practice. If you are an RCSLT member and are wanting more information on CPD and what can be used, visit here.
From Becky at The SLT Scrapbook


14. Did you notice we said 12 questions and made it to 14?

Can't stop, won't stop.

If you have more burning continuing education questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section, below! Any we can answer, we will. And if they're super common, we'll move them up into this blog post, and continue on with 15, 16, 17, etc...

​Finally, if you need ASHA CEUs, The Informed SLP is an ASHA-approved provider. We now offer options for Ethics and DEI credit, too! Hop over to our FAQ to learn more about our affordable, efficient, dare-we-say game-changing courses. 


Want to try it out first? Register to earn up to two hours of free credit with us each year—Ethics or DEI credit included. You can even earn credit for this article you're reading right now!

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