What is a CCC-SLP and why it’s important

A Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) demonstrates your knowledge and expertise to employers and patients. The credential can also help you satisfy licensure requirements for many states.

What is a CCC-SLP and why should you consider earning one? Learn more about this speech pathology credential to determine whether it’s the right option to help you meet your goals.

What does CCC-SLP stand for?

A CCC-SLP, or Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Language Pathology, is a nationally recognized professional credential from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). As the premier certification for speech therapists, the CCC-SLP signifies a strong commitment to professionalism and adherence to the standards set forth by ASHA.

If you’re a speech therapist that has completed at least a master’s program in speech-language pathology, a CCC-SLP may be the next step on your professional path.


ASHA offers two certificates of clinical competence (CCC): The CCC-SLP is for speech-language professionals, while the CCC-A — Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology — is for audiology professionals.

What is the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Language Pathology?

The CCC-SLP certification demonstrates a speech pathologist’s ability to provide high quality clinical services and commitment to ongoing professional development in maintaining their certification. It also shows that they have voluntarily met ASHA’s rigorous professional and academic standards, which are based on skills validation studies and in-depth analyses.

In order to qualify for certification, applicants must have earned at least a master’s degree in speech pathology from a program accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.

Certification Standards for the CCC-SLP

The CCC-SLP standards are outlined in ASHA’s 2020 Standards and Implementation Procedures. To apply for your certification, you must meet the following requirements at the time of application submission:

  1. Degree: Applicants must have a master’s, doctoral, or other recognized post-baccalaureate degree.
  2. Education Program: Applicants must have completed graduate coursework and clinical experience in a CAA-accredited program or a program with CAA candidacy status.
  3. Program of Study: Applicants must have completed a minimum of 36 graduate credit hours through their program of study.
  4. Knowledge Outcomes: Applicants must have demonstrated knowledge of biological sciences, chemistry or physics, social and behavioral sciences, and statistics; basic human communication and swallowing processes; communication and swallowing disorders; standards of ethical conduct; and other knowledge-based outcomes.
  5. Skills Outcomes: Applicants must demonstrate communication skills and sufficient experience in various scenarios, and complete 400 hours of supervised clinical work.

The above list is not exhaustive. Read through the application carefully to ensure that you are qualified to take the CCC-SLP exam. ASHA recommends that applicants take the exam after completing graduate coursework and clinical practicum, or during the first week of a postgraduate clinical fellowship. You do not have to complete your fellowship before applying for certification.

Benefits of obtaining a CCC-SLP

A CCC-SLP assures patients, employers, and colleagues that you’ve proven your knowledge, skills, and experience to provide high-quality clinical services in different settings. ASHA lists the following additional benefits of a CCC-SLP:

  • Career Advancement: Having a CCC-SLP credential can help your career and expand your employment opportunities as a speech therapist.
  • Mentorship: A CCC-SLP qualifies you to mentor and supervise clinical fellows.
  • Salary and Funding: A CCC-SLP can bring salary supplements, federal reimbursement, and research funding.
  • Credibility: A CCC-SLP demonstrates your commitment to the speech-language profession and your drive for continuous improvement as a speech pathologist.
  • Licensure: A CCC-SLP can ease the process of state licensure if you move to a new state. ASHA makes it easy for state agencies to verify your license online.

CCC-SLP practicum and advanced coursework 

Many speech language pathology programs include opportunities for hands-on clinical experience. This is especially helpful for CCC-SLP candidates, who must complete a practicum consisting of 400 hours of supervised experience during their degree program: 25 hours in clinical observation and 375 hours in direct client contact. 

Supervision is required for 25% of the time that you work with each client. Your clinical work must be supervised by an experienced clinical educator or supervisor who holds a CCC-SLP. The supervisor will provide guidance and feedback as you develop clinical competence as a speech pathologist.

All practicum hours must be spent working with clients from a variety of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. While the ASHA certification does not require a specific number of coursework hours in different disorder categories, some state licensing boards may have their own requirements. Check the requirements for the states in which you’d like to seek licensure.

ASHA Praxis exam in Speech-Language Pathology

In addition to meeting the requirements outlined above, you will need to pass the Praxis Examination in Speech-Language Pathology to earn your CCC-SLP. ASHA uses this exam to assess a new practitioner’s understanding of industry practices and content. Applicants must receive a score of 162 or higher to qualify for certification.

The Praxis exam consists of 132 questions in three categories: 44 questions on foundations and professional practice; 44 questions on screening, assessment, evaluation, and diagnosis; and 44 questions on planning, implementation, and evaluation of treatment. It is administered by the Praxis Educational Testing Service (ETS), which offers the Speech-Language Pathology Study Companion (PDF, 1.6 MB) for students to become familiar with the test content.

Some state licensing boards also use the Praxis exam for SLP licensure. Your state’s passing score for licensure may be different from the passing score required to gain CCC-SLP certification as a speech therapist.

Speech Language Pathology Clinical Fellowship

The Clinical Fellowship (CF) is a program that transitions a student from a communication sciences and disorders (CSD) program to a provider of speech-language pathology clinical services. You can begin this mentored experience once you’ve completed the necessary academic coursework and clinical practicum. Completing your fellowship is a requirement for applying for the CCC-SLP.

According to ASHA, Clinical Fellowship experience requires a minimum of 36 weeks and 1,260 hours of experience. As a fellow, 80% of your work is spent in direct client contact. You’ll gain experience screening, assessing, and treating clients. You’ll also write reports and lead individual or family counseling sessions. As a clinical fellow, you must complete your fellowship within four years.

The program cards/tables featured on this page were last updated in May 2022. For the most current program information, please refer to the official website of the respective school. 

Last updated: November 2023

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