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RULE PROPOSALS
VOLUME 45, ISSUE 4
ISSUE DATE:FEBRUARY 19, 2013
LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY
DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
AUDIOLOGY AND SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY ADVISORY COMMITTEE

 

Proposed Amendments: N.J.A.C. 13:44C-6.1 and 6.4

Proposed Repeal: N.J.A.C. 13:44C-6.6

Proposed Repeals and New Rules: N.J.A.C. 13:44C-6.2, 6.3, and 6.5

License Renewal

Allocation of Credit

Documentation of Continuing Education Credits

Excess Hours Credited to Subsequent Renewal Period

Waiver of Requirements; Appearance

Additional Continuing Education Requirements

Subjects; Sponsors

Authorized By: Eric T. Kanefsky, Acting Director, Division of Consumer Affairs.

Authority: N.J.S.A. 45:3B-24.

Calendar Reference: See Summary below for explanation of exception to calendar requirement.

Proposal Number: PRN 2013-031.

Submit written comments by April 20, 2013 to:

Renee Clark, Executive Director
Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Committee
Division of Consumer Affairs
124 Halsey Street
PO Box 45002
Newark, New Jersey 07101

The agency proposal follows:

Summary

The Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs (Division) proposes changes to continuing education requirements for licensed audiologists and speech-language pathologists in N.J.A.C. 13:44C-6. The changes clarify existing requirements and provide for new opportunities for licensees to complete the required continuing education credit hours.

Proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:44C-6.1 clarify language and delete a redundant statement that continuing education is mandatory. The existing rule requires that continuing education be "Committee-approved." The Acting Director proposes to delete this phrase to clarify that every continuing education course does not have to be reviewed and approved by the Committee.

N.J.A.C. 13:44C-6.2 sets forth the methods by which licensees may obtain continuing education credit hours. The Acting Director proposes to repeal and replace this rule to clarify that continuing education must be related to the practice of audiology or speech-language pathology. The proposed new rule establishes new sources from which licensees may obtain continuing education credit hours. Licensees may now obtain continuing education credit hours by: giving webinars and teleconferences; teaching undergraduate courses; attending in-service workshops; completing undergraduate coursework; and completing continuing education courses approved by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association or the American Academy of Audiology. The new rule imposes new accreditation or approval standards to ensure the validity of the continuing education completed by licensees.

Existing N.J.A.C. 13:44C-6.2 permits licensees to obtain continuing education credit hours by completing self-assessment home study courses but the rule does not establish how many continuing education credit hours a licensee may obtain for each course. The new rule establishes that licensees will obtain one continuing education credit for each credit of the course. The existing rule establishes that a licensee will earn 15 continuing education credit hours for each credit in a graduate course up to a limit of 15 continuing education credit hours per biennial period. The Acting Director believes that the existing rule provides too many continuing education credit hours per course credit and proposes to decrease the number of continuing education credit hours from 15 per course credit to five per course credit. The Acting Director points out that the majority of graduate courses are at least three credits, so the decrease in continuing education course credits from 15 to five will have little effect on licensees, as the majority of the licensees completing graduate courses will still obtain the maximum allowed 15 continuing education course credits per biennial period by completing one graduate course.

N.J.A.C. 13:44C-6.3 establishes standards for documenting completion of continuing education courses. The existing rule is proposed for repeal and replacement to clarify the existing rule and restructure it so that licensees who are members of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) or American Academy of Audiology (AAA) continuing education registries are permitted to document completion of continuing education credits through those registries. The new rule requires that licensees document attendance at courses, seminars, webinars, teleconferences, lectures, and in-service workshops the same way they are required to document completion of continuing education programs under the existing rule.

N.J.A.C. 13:44C-6.4 permits licensees to apply some excess credits completed in a biennial renewal period to the succeeding renewal period. The Acting Director proposes to amend this rule to clarify language and to add that a licensee who applies excess credits to a succeeding renewal period must document that he or she completed more than the required credit hours during the current renewal period.

N.J.A.C. 13:44C-6.5 establishes waiver provisions for continuing education requirements. The Acting Director proposes to repeal the existing rule and proposes a new rule that provides clearer guidance as to the circumstances warranting a waiver and the process for applying for a waiver. The proposed new rule also sets forth the conditions under which the Committee could order a licensee to complete additional continuing education credit hours.

N.J.A.C. 13:44C-6.6 establishes the entities that must accredit continuing education hours. These provisions have been incorporated into [page=250] N.J.A.C. 13:44C-6.2 and the Acting Director proposes to repeal this rule as it is no longer relevant.

The Acting Director has determined that the comment period for this notice of proposal shall be 60 days; therefore, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5, this notice is excepted from the rulemaking calendar requirement.

Social Impact

The Acting Director anticipates that the proposed amendments, new rules, and repeals will have a beneficial impact on licensees. Changes to continuing education requirements provide new routes for obtaining continuing education credit hours. This will make it easier for licensees to complete the continuing education requirement and should result in licensees who have a more varied educational experience and a corresponding increased competence. This increased competence will benefit the consumers who receive audiology and speech-language pathology services from licensees.

Economic Impact

The Acting Director does not anticipate that the proposed amendments, new rules, and repeals will have any economic impact.

Federal Standards Statement

A Federal standards statement is not required because there are no Federal standards or requirements applicable to the subject matter of the proposed amendments, new rules, and repeals.

Jobs Impact

The proposed amendments, new rules, and repeals will not increase or decrease the number of jobs in New Jersey.

Agriculture Industry Impact

The Acting Director does not believe that the proposed amendments, new rules, and repeals will have any impact on the agriculture industry of this State.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

Since the holders of audiology and speech-language pathology licenses are individually licensed by the Committee, under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (the Act), N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq., they may be considered "small businesses" for the purposes of the Act.

The proposed amendments, new rules, and repeals will not have an economic impact. The Acting Director does not believe that licensees will need to employ professional services in order to comply with the proposed amendments, new rules, and repeals. The proposed amendments, new rules, and repeals do not impose any reporting requirements, but do impose compliance and recordkeeping requirements as detailed in the Summary above.

The Acting Director believes that the proposed amendments, new rules, and repeals protect the health, safety, and welfare of individuals receiving audiology and speech-language pathology services from licensees by contributing to the competency of licensees through completion of continuing education credit hours. As the proposed amendments, new rules, and repeals protect the health, safety, and welfare of such individuals, it should be applied uniformly to all licensees regardless of the size of the business.

Housing Affordability Impact Analysis

The proposed amendments, new rules, and repeals will have an insignificant impact on affordable housing in New Jersey and there is an extreme unlikelihood that the rules would evoke a change in the average costs associated with housing because the proposed amendments, new rules, and repeals concern continuing education requirements for licensees.

Smart Growth Development Impact Analysis

The proposed amendments, new rules, and repeals will have an insignificant impact on smart growth and there is an extreme unlikelihood that the rules would evoke a change in housing production in Planning Areas 1 or 2, or within designated centers, under the State Development and Redevelopment Plan in New Jersey because the proposed amendments, new rules, and repeals concern continuing education requirements for licensees.

Full text of the rules proposed for repeal may be found in the New Jersey Administrative Code at N.J.A.C. 13:44C-6.2, 6.3, 6.5, and 6.6.

Full text of the proposed amendments and new rules follows (additions indicated in boldface thus; deletions indicated in brackets [thus]):

SUBCHAPTER 6. CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

13:44C-6.1 License renewal

No license renewal shall be issued by the Director until the applicant confirms on the renewal application that the applicant has completed [Committee-approved] continuing education pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:44C-6.2 during the [two calendar years] preceding [application for] biennial renewal period. [Such continuing education is a mandatory requirement for license renewal.]

13:44C-6.2 Allocation of credit

(a) Applicants for biennial license renewal shall complete 20 credit hours of continuing education related to the practice of audiology or speech-language pathology in the preceding biennial renewal period.

(b) A licensee may obtain continuing education credit hours from the following sources:

1. Giving a new seminar, webinar, teleconference, lecture, or in-service workshop related to the practice of audiology or speech-language pathology: one credit hour per each hour of actual presentation of the seminar, lecture, or workshop, up to a maximum of 10 credit hours.

i. As used in (b)1 above, "new" means that the licensee has never presented the seminar, lecture, or in-service workshop before in any setting;

2. Teaching a new undergraduate course related to the practice of audiology or speech-language pathology at a college or university accredited by a regional accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, or new graduate course accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: six credit hours for each new course up to a maximum of 12 credit hours.

i. As used in (b)2 above, "new" means that the licensee has never taught the course before in any educational setting;

3. Publication in a refereed national journal of an article in audiology or speech-language pathology: three credit hours per publication up to a maximum of six credit hours;

4. Attendance at seminars, webinars, teleconferences, or lectures related to the practice of audiology or speech-language pathology accredited by the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education, or accredited or sponsored by a local, state, or national audiology and speech-language pathology professional organization, local, state, or Federal education or health agency, or a local, state or national medical, psychological, dental, or similar professional organization: one credit hour per hour of attendance;

5. Attendance at an in-service workshop related to the practice of audiology or speech-language pathology provided by an organization licensed by the Department of Health or the Department of Education: one credit hour per each hour of attendance up to a maximum of 10 credit hours;

6. Successful completion of self-assessment home study courses accompanied by examination and sponsored by a nationally-recognized professional organization in audiology or speech-language pathology: one credit hour per course credit up to a maximum of 10 credit hours;

7. Successful completion of either undergraduate course work at a college or university accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association or graduate course work accredited by a regional accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, related to audiology and speech-language pathology taken beyond that required for professional license that the licensee has never taken before: five credit hours per course credit, up to a maximum of 15 credit hours;

[page=251] 8. Reading articles for which the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association or the American Academy of Audiology issues verification of completion: one credit hour per article, up to a maximum of six credit hours; and

9. Successful completion of continuing education courses approved by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the American Academy of Audiology; one credit hour for each course hour.

13:44C-6.3 Documentation of continuing education credits

(a) Except as set forth in (b) below, a licensee shall maintain the following documentation for a period of five years after completion of credit hours:

1. For attendance at programs, courses, seminars, webinars, teleconference, lectures, or in-services workshops, a certificate of completion from the sponsor, which includes:

i. The name of the licensee;

ii. The name of the sponsor;

iii. The title, location, and date of the program, course, seminar, lecture, or in-service workshop; and

iv. The number of continuing education credit hours;

2. For publication of a refereed article, a copy of the article;

3. For presentation of a new seminar, webinar, teleconference, or lecture, copies of the program, syllabus, course outlines, course objectives, and bibliographies;

4. For teaching a new undergraduate or graduate course, copies of the syllabus, bibliography, course outline, and verification from the academic institution that the course was not previously taught by the licensee;

5. For reading articles, certificates of completion from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association or the American Academy of Audiology;

6. For completion of undergraduate or graduate course work, an official transcript from the education institution; and

7. For completion of a self-assessment home study course, verification of completion from the audiology or speech-language pathology professional organization that sponsored the course.

(b) A licensee who is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association continuing education registry or the American Academy of Audiology continuing education registry shall not be required to maintain the documentation required by (a) above.

(c) A licensee shall submit the documentation required by (a) above or a transcript from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association continuing education registry or the American Academy of Audiology continuing education registry to the Committee upon request.

13:44C-6.4 Excess hours credited to subsequent renewal period

(a) In the event that a candidate for license renewal [shall] completes [in two years] a number of credit hours in excess of the number required in N.J.A.C. 13:44C-[6.1]6.2, [a maximum of] up to five of those excess credit hours [in excess of those required] shall be credited toward license renewal requirements for [subsequent years] the succeeding biennial renewal period; provided, however, that the [five] excess credit hours were [earned] completed within the six months immediately prior to license renewal.

(b) A licensee who wishes to apply excess credit hours to a succeeding biennial renewal period must maintain records indicating that he or she completed more than the required 20 credit hours for the current biennial renewal period.

13:44C-6.5 Waiver of requirements; additional continuing education requirements

(a) The Committee may waive the continuing education requirements of N.J.A.C. 13:44C-6.1 on an individual basis for reasons of hardship, such as, but not limited to, severe illness, disability, or military service.

1. A licensee seeking a waiver of the continuing education requirements shall apply to the Committee in writing at least 90 days prior to license renewal and set forth in specific detail the reasons for requesting the waiver. The licensee shall provide the Committee with such supplemental materials as will support the request for waiver and the licensee may be requested to appear before the Committee; and

2. A waiver of continuing education requirements granted pursuant to this section shall be effective only for the biennial period in which such waiver is granted. If the condition(s) which necessitated the waiver persist(s) into the next biennial period, a licensee shall apply to the Committee for approval of such waiver for the new biennial period.

(b) The Committee may direct or order a licensee to complete continuing education credit hours:

1. As part of a disciplinary or remedial measure in addition to the required 20 credit hours of continuing education; or

2. To correct a deficiency in the licensee's continuing education requirements.

(c) Any continuing education credit hours completed by the licensee in compliance with an order or directive from the Committee as set forth in (b)1 above shall not be used to satisfy the minimum continuing education requirements.

13:44C-6.6 (Reserved)






 

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