Business and Professions Code - BPC

Published: 2015-07-08

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Business and Professions Code - BPC

DIVISION 2. HEALING ARTS [500 - 4999.129]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 399. )

CHAPTER 5.3. Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists [2530 - 2539.14]

  ( Heading of Chapter 5.3 amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 427, Sec. 2. )
ARTICLE 7.5. Speech-Language Pathology Assistant [2538 - 2538.7]
  ( Article 7.5 added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 1058, Sec. 6. )


A person seeking approval as a speech-language pathology assistant shall make application to the board for that approval.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 1058, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 1999.)


(a) The board shall adopt regulations, in collaboration with the State Department of Education, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, and the Advisory Commission on Special Education, that set forth standards and requirements for the adequate supervision of speech-language pathology assistants.

(b) The board shall adopt regulations as reasonably necessary to carry out the purposes of this article, that shall include, but need not be limited to, the following:

(1) Procedures and requirements for application, registration, renewal, suspension, and revocation.

(2) Standards for approval of Associate Degree Speech-Language Pathology Assistant training programs based upon standards and curriculum guidelines established by the National Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, or the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, or equivalent formal training programs consisting of two years of technical education, including supervised field placements. The board may impanel site review committees to conduct onsite evaluations, inspections, and investigations of a speech-language pathology assistant training program and to assess the training program’s compliance with the board’s laws and regulations. The members of the site review committee shall receive no compensation but shall be reimbursed for their actual travel and per diem expenses by the institution that is the subject of the evaluation, inspection, or investigation.

(3) Standards for accreditation of a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant training program’s institution by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges or the Senior College Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, or equivalent accreditation.

(4) The scope of responsibility, duties, and functions of speech-language pathology assistants, that shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:

(A) Conducting speech-language screening, without interpretation, and using screening protocols developed by the supervising speech-language pathologist.

(B) Providing direct treatment assistance to patients or clients under the supervision of a speech-language pathologist.

(C) Following and implementing documented treatment plans or protocols developed by a supervising speech-language pathologist.

(D) Documenting patient or client progress toward meeting established objectives, and reporting the information to a supervising speech-language pathologist.

(E) Assisting a speech-language pathologist during assessments, including, but not limited to, assisting with formal documentation, preparing materials, and performing clerical duties for a supervising speech-language pathologist.

(F) When competent to do so, as determined by the supervising speech-language pathologist, acting as an interpreter for non-English-speaking patients or clients and their family members.

(G) Scheduling activities and preparing charts, records, graphs, and data.

(H) Performing checks and maintenance of equipment, including, but not limited to, augmentative communication devices.

(I) Assisting with speech-language pathology research projects, in-service training, and family or community education.

The regulations shall provide that speech-language pathology assistants are not authorized to conduct evaluations, interpret data, alter treatment plans, or perform any task without the express knowledge and approval of a supervising speech-language pathologist.

(5) The requirements for the wearing of distinguishing name badges with the title of speech-language pathology assistant.

(6) Minimum continuing professional development requirements for the speech-language pathology assistant, not to exceed 12 hours in a two-year period. The speech-language pathology assistant’s supervisor shall act as a professional development advisor. The speech-language pathology assistant’s professional growth may be satisfied with successful completion of state or regional conferences, workshops, formal in-service presentations, independent study programs, or any combination of these concerning communication and related disorders.

(7) Minimum continuing professional development requirements for the supervisor of a speech-language pathology assistant.

(8) The type and amount of direct and indirect supervision required for speech-language pathology assistants.

(9) The maximum number of assistants permitted per supervisor.

(10) A requirement that the supervising speech-language pathologist shall remain responsible and accountable for clinical judgments and decisions and the maintenance of the highest quality and standards of practice when a speech-language pathology assistant is utilized.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 485, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2003.)


(a) A person applying for approval as a speech-language pathology assistant shall have graduated from a speech-language pathology assistant associate of arts degree program, or equivalent course of study, approved by the board. A person who has successfully graduated from a board-approved bachelor’s degree program in speech-language pathology or communication disorders shall be deemed to have satisfied an equivalent course of study.

(b) On or before June 1, 2003, a person who has in the last five years performed the functions of a speech-language pathology aide on a full-time basis for a minimum of one year, or on a part-time basis equivalent to a minimum of one year of full-time work, may make application for registration as a speech-language pathology assistant based upon the board’s recognition of that aide’s job training and experience and the performance of functions and tasks similar to the speech-language pathology assistant category. For purposes of this subdivision, “full time” means a minimum of 30 hours per week.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 173, Sec. 2. Effective August 13, 2001.)


This article shall not be construed to limit the utilization of a speech aide or other personnel employed by a public school working under the direct supervision of a credentialed speech-language pathologist as set forth in subdivision (c) of Section 3051.1 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 1058, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 1999.)


(a) No person who is not registered as a speech-language pathology assistant shall utilize the title speech-language pathology assistant or a similar title that includes the words speech or language when combined with the term assistant.

(b) No person who is not registered as a speech-language pathology assistant shall perform the duties or functions of a speech-language pathology assistant, except as provided by this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 1058, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 1999.)