Board Exam Unnecessary As members of the Specialty Board on Fluency Disorders, we’d like to respond to Jane Fraser (“Readers Respond,” Aug. 31, 2010) and clarify the reasons why the written examination for board recognition was dropped. Examinations assess knowledge and screen out the unqualified. At the specialty program’s inception, everyone assumed we ... Inbox
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Inbox  |   October 01, 2010
Board Exam Unnecessary
Author Notes
  • Dale F. WilliamsChair
  • Dale F. Williams, Chair, Kevin A. Eldridge, Elise S. Kaufman, James A. McClure and Nancy Ribbler, Chamonix Olsen Sikora
    Dale F. Williams, Chair, Kevin A. Eldridge, Elise S. Kaufman, James A. McClure and Nancy Ribbler, Chamonix Olsen Sikora×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Professional Issues & Training / Inbox
Inbox   |   October 01, 2010
Board Exam Unnecessary
The ASHA Leader, October 2010, Vol. 15, 2. doi:10.1044/leader.IN2.15122010.2
The ASHA Leader, October 2010, Vol. 15, 2. doi:10.1044/leader.IN2.15122010.2
As members of the Specialty Board on Fluency Disorders, we’d like to respond to Jane Fraser (“Readers Respond,” Aug. 31, 2010) and clarify the reasons why the written examination for board recognition was dropped.
Examinations assess knowledge and screen out the unqualified. At the specialty program’s inception, everyone assumed we needed a test as the final step in the recognition process.
However, a decade of experience has shown that the challenge of achieving specialty recognition is not the examination, but the exacting process of observation, supervised practice, and rigorous peer review that precedes it.
Before they apply, candidates must have at least two years of clinical experience with people who stutter. Completing requirements for specialty recognition under the supervision of a mentor takes another two to five years.
The result is a clinician with four or more years of experience who has mastered multiple approaches to stuttering treatment. Some candidates do not complete the process, but everyone who has been approved by the board has gone on to pass the written test.
Examinations inevitably become outdated. When our specialty examination approached the end of its lifecycle, the board had two options: spend more than $20,000 to update the exam or eliminate it completely.
We concluded that clinicians who complete the specialty recognition process and are approved by the board are fully qualified, and a test that everybody passes is unnecessary.
The board agrees wholeheartedly that fluency training needs to be strengthened for all clinicians. The lack of such education makes board-recognized specialists in fluency disorders a critical resource.
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October 2010
Volume 15, Issue 12