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Chapter 609-6 SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY AIDE AND AUDIOLOGY ASSISTANTS

Rule 609-6-.01 Speech-Language Pathology Aides

Registration as a Speech-Language Pathology Aide. A person who seeks to assist in the practice of speech-language pathology must apply to the Board for registration as a speech-language pathology aide. The Board may approve registration as a speech-language pathology aide upon receipt of applicable fees and approval of the education and training of the applicant, the specific duties to be assigned, the amount and nature of the supervision available, and other factors as deemed relevant by the Board. Training shall not begin until the application for registration has been approved by the Board.

(a) Application for Registration. The person seeking registration as a speech-language pathology aide and the supervising speech-language pathologist shall submit an appropriate application to the Board on forms available on the website or the Board office.
1. Each application shall be accompanied by the appropriate fee (see Fee Schedule). Registration fees are not prorated during the biennial licensure period.
2. If the application is approved, the applicant will be notified in writing that practice as an aide may begin following completion of the approved training program.
3. An application file will become void, without notification to the applicant, if it has not been completed within six months of the date the application is received by the Board.
4. All speech language pathology aides are required to register by March 31 of odd numbered years.
5. Registration identification cards will be issued by the Board within three months following approval of the registration application and the training program.
6. Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 43-1-19, the Board has the authority to refuse to grant a registration as a speech-language pathology aide if it is in receipt of information that applicant has practiced without a valid registration.
(b) Minimum Requirements.
1. Education. The minimum education requirement is graduation from high school or receipt of a GED certificate. The speech-language pathology aide applicant shall provide documentation of a high school diploma, GED certificate, or college transcript to the Board.
2. Training.
(i) Training shall not begin until the application for registration has been approved by the Board.
(ii) Description. On a form provided by the Board, the supervisor shall submit a description of a minimum of 40 hours of proposed instruction in the specific duties that the aide will perform. This description shall include the ages and diagnoses of the clients for whom the services are intended, the specific duties trained, and the type and duration of training. Instruction must be provided by a Georgia licensed speech-language pathologist or through an accredited educational institution.
(iii) Scope. Training for aides shall be defined by and shall be specific to the approved application and the assigned tasks. The Georgia licensed speech-language pathologist supervisor shall ensure that the scope and intensity of training will encompass all of the activities assigned to the aide. Training shall be competency based and provided through a variety of formal and informal instructional methods. Licensed supervisors shall inform the aides of their roles, functions, and of any related laws. The licensed supervisor shall maintain written documentation of training activities.
(iv) Verification. The supervisor shall submit to the Board verification that the training was completed satisfactorily within thirty (30) working days of the applicant's employment as a speech-language pathology aide.
(c) Supervision.
1. The supervisor of an aide shall be a Board-approved Georgia licensed speech-language pathologist who will be known as the supervisor of record. The aide may provide services only under the known supervisor(s) of record. If more than one supervisor is to be involved with the aide, an application shall be submitted by each supervisor.
2. The supervisor of record shall:
(i) accept full and complete responsibility for the duties performed by the aide;
(ii) maintain the legal and ethical responsibilities for all assigned activities provided by the aide;
(iii) make all decisions relating to the diagnosis, treatment, management and future disposition of the patient/client(s) served;
(iv) have the responsibility for the health, safety and welfare of the patient/client(s) served by the aide;
(v) be responsible for the aide's competence to perform Board approved activities;
(vi) be responsible for the aide's adherence to the Principles and Standards of Conduct as defined in Board Rule; and
(vii) not supervise an immediate family member.
3. The supervisor of record who works full time (more than 34 hours per week) shall supervise no more than two (2) aides under the provisions of this rule. A supervisor of record who works part-time (less than 35 hours per week) shall supervise no more than one (1) aide under the provisions of this rule.
4. The supervisor shall submit a plan of supervision which will specify the frequency, duration, and type of supervision he/she will provide to the aide.
5. Supervision shall be a culmination of direct and indirect involvement that will permit verification of adequate performance that include, but are not limited to, a variety of techniques such as audio-and/or videotape recordings, telephone communications, conferences, e-mails, charts, logs and review of numerical data.
6. Direct on-site observation of the aide shall be provided according to the following:
(i) The supervisor of record shall be with the aide during the first ten (10) hours of direct client contact following training; and
(ii) Then shall be with the aide one hour per week after the first ten (10) hours of direct client contact. These one hour observations must, over a period of time, include a sampling of all assigned activities;
(iii) The direct observation must be documented. This documentation should include quality of interaction, performance, accuracy in implementation of assignments, accuracy in recording data, and the aide's ability to interact effectively with the client.
(iv) Information obtained during direct observations shall include response data that is ninety percent (90%) accurate between the aide and the supervisor of record, on correct-incorrect judgment of target behavior.
(v) Whenever response data falls below the 90% reliability level between the supervisor of record and the aide, the supervisor of record shall retrain the aide in those skills. Direct observation shall be increased until the reliability level returns to 90%.
7. The supervisor of record shall retain documentation of all direct and indirect supervisory activities for two (2) years.
8. Prior to services, the patient or family must be informed in writing, by the supervisor of record, that services will be rendered by a speech language pathology aide.
9. The supervisor shall notify the Board within ten (10) working days of terminating a supervisor/aide agreement. Upon termination of a supervisor/aide agreement that particular aide registration would become void.
(d) Duties and Authorizations.
1. The aide is authorized to perform only those duties described on the application as approved by the Board.
2. The aide is authorized to perform speech-language pathology activities only when the supervisor of record is in the same.
3. The speech language pathology aide shall:
(i) not perform standardized or non-standardized diagnostic tests, formal or informal evaluations, nor shall they provide clinical interpretation of test results;
(ii) not screen patients/clients;
(iii) not participate in conferences or counseling sessions regarding the patient/client without the presence of the supervisor of record or another speech language pathologist designated by the supervisor of record;
(iv) not write, develop, or modify a patient/client's individual treatment plan.
(v) not treat patients/clients without following the individualized treatment plan prepared by the supervision of record and or the designated speech-language pathologist;
(vi) not sign any formal documents related to speech language pathology;
(vii) not select patients/clients for services;
(viii) not discharge patients/clients from services;
(ix) not disclose clinical or confidential information either orally or in writing to anyone not designated by the supervisor of record;
(x) not make referrals for additional services;
(xi) not perform any task without the express knowledge and approval of the supervisor of record;
(xii) not counsel or consult with the patient/client, family, or others regarding the patient/client status or service;
(xiii) not assist the supervisor of record by completing a checklist or by tabulating results of a feeding or swallowing evaluation;
(xiv) not demonstrate swallowing strategies or precautions to patients, family, or staff;
(xv) not make advertisement or public announcement of services independent of the supervisor of record;
(xvi) not represent herself/himself as a practitioner of speech-language pathology;
4. The speech language pathology aide shall be clearly identified as a speech language pathology aide by a badge that is to be worn whenever working as a speech-language pathology aide.
5. The aide registration shall become void when the authorized supervisor(s) is no longer available for supervision.
(e) Change of Plan. If the duties and/or authorizations approved by the board change, a new application, fee and all required documents must be submitted to the board for consideration before such change can be made.
(f) Re-registration of speech-language pathology aides.
1. All aide registration shall expire on March 31 of odd numbered years.
2. Application and biennial renewal fee (see Fee Schedule) must be received in the Board Office by March 31 of odd numbered years.
3. An audit shall be conducted to determine compliance with the direct observation guidelines enumerated above. A percent of renewal applicants, to be determined by the Board, shall be requested to submit the documentation of supervision to the Board by March 31 of odd numbered years. Failure to document the direct observation and/or to demonstrate compliance with the guidelines shall have the same effect as a revocation of said aide registration and may subject the supervisor to disciplinary action.
4. Biennial renewal identification cards will be issued by the Board office within three months following receipt of acceptable renewal application and renewal fee.
5. The failure to renew an aide registration by March 31 of odd numbered years shall have the same effect as a revocation of said registration; however, an aide registration may be restored, reissued, or reinstated at the discretion of the Board. If in its discretion, the Board denies such a request, such person may submit an application and supportive documentation to obtain a new registration. At all times, the applicant must meet the current standards for aide registration.

Rule 609-6-.02 Audiology Assistant

Registration as an Audiology Assistant. An Audiology Assistant means any person who assists in the providing of those audiology services authorized by the Board, who meets the minimum requirements established by the Board and who works under the supervision of a licensed audiologist.

A person who seeks to assist in the practice of audiology must apply to the Board for registration as an audiology assistant. The Board may approve registration as an audiology assistant upon receipt of applicable fees and approval of the education and training of the applicant, the specific duties to be assigned, the amount and nature of the supervision available, and other factors as deemed relevant by the Board. Training shall not begin until the application for registration has been approved by the Board.

(a) Application for Registration. The person seeking registration as an audiologist assistant and the supervising audiologist shall submit an appropriate application to the Board on forms available on the website or in the Board office.
1. Each application shall be accompanied by the appropriate fee (see Fee Schedule). Registration fees are not prorated during the biennial licensure period.
2. The Audiology assistant application shall be filed with the Board for approval and the application shall include, but need not be limited to:
(i) The location(s) (name and address) where the assistant will work;
(ii) The business name and address of the employer of the assistant;
(iii) A description of the activities to be performed by the assistant;
(iv) A description of the training the assistant will receive that will enable the assistant to perform the planned activities;
(v) A description of the supervision that the assistant will receive in the performance of the assistant's duties;
(vi) An agreement to abide by the Georgia State Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Licensing Act.
3. If the application is approved, the applicant will be notified in writing and practice as an audiologist assistant may begin following completion of the approved training program.
4. An application file will become void without notification to the applicant if it has not been completed within six months of the date the application is received by the Board.
5. Registration identification cards will be issued by the Board office within three months following approval of the registration application.
(b) Minimum Requirements. Qualifications for Audiology Assistants shall be:
1. Education. Documentation by official transcript of the minimum education requirement of two years of college education (60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours) and/or an associate's degree from an accredited college, or completion of a technical school certification program in health care approved by the Board or completion of an audiology assistant program approved by the Board.
2. Training.
(i) Description. On a form provided by the Board, the Georgia licensed audiologist supervising the Audiology assistant shall submit a description of a minimum of forty (40) hours of proposed instruction in the specific duties that the assistant will perform. This description shall include the ages and diagnoses of the clients/patients for whom the services are intended, the specific duties trained, and the duration of training. Instruction must be provided by a Georgia licensed audiologist or through an accredited educational institution approved by the Board. Training for assistants shall be well-defined and specific to the approved application and the assigned tasks. The Georgia licensed audiology supervisor shall ensure that the scope and intensity of training encompass all of the activities assigned to the assistant. Training shall be competency based and provided through a variety of formal and informal instructional methods. Georgia licensed supervisors shall provide assistants with information on roles, functions, and any related laws. Continuing education opportunities shall be provided to ensure that practices are current and that skills are maintained. The Georgia licensed supervisor shall maintain written documentation of training activities.
(ii) Verification. The supervisor shall submit to the Board within thirty (30) days verification that the training was completed satisfactorily. An audiologist assistant shall not begin practice until approved by the Board.
(c) Supervision.
1. The supervisor of an audiology assistant shall be a Georgia licensed audiologist who is approved as the supervisor of that assistant. The assistant may provide services only under the supervision of the licensed audiologist supervisor of record for that applicant. If more than one supervisor is to be involved with the assistant, an application shall be submitted by each supervisor.
2. The supervisor shall accept full and complete responsibility for the duties performed by the assistant. The supervisor of an audiology assistant shall maintain the legal and ethical responsibilities for all assigned activities provided by the assistant; shall make all decisions relating to the diagnosis, treatment, management and future disposition of the patient/client(s) served; and shall have the responsibility for the health, safety and welfare of the patient/client(s) served by the assistant. The supervisor shall be responsible for the assistant's competence to perform board approved activities and adherence to the Principles and Standards of Conduct as defined by Chapter 609-4.
3. The supervisor who works full time or more than 35 hours per week shall supervise no more than two (2) assistants under the provisions of this rule. A supervisor who works part-time or less than 35 hours per week shall supervise no more than one (1) assistant under the provisions of this rule.
4. The supervisor shall submit a plan of supervision which shall specify the frequency, duration, and type of supervision he/she will provide the assistant.
5. Supervision shall include the personal and direct involvement of the supervisor in any and all ways that will permit verification of the adequacy of the assistant's performance.
6. Indirect supervision or observation shall be provided through daily contacts and may include a variety of techniques such as audio-and/or videotape recordings, telephone communications, conferences, and review of numerical data.
7. Direct on-site observation of the assistant shall be provided according to the following:
(i) The supervisor shall be with the assistant during the first ten (10) hours of direct client contact following training; and
(ii) The supervisor shall provide no less than two (2) hours per week of documented direct supervision, after the first ten (10) hours of direct client contact, to include a sampling of all assigned activities. Direct supervision means on-site and in-view supervision as an activity is performed; the direct observation must be documented and include information on the quality of the aide's performance.
(iii) The supervisor shall provide no less than two (2) hours per week of documented indirect supervision, to include a sampling of all assigned activities.
(iv) Information obtained during direct observations shall include data relative to
(1) agreement (reliability) between the assistant and the supervisor on correct-incorrect judgment of target behavior,
(2) accuracy in implementation of assessment and management procedures,
(3) accuracy in recording data, and
(4) ability to interact effectively with the client;
(v) Whenever the assistant's performance is judged to be unsatisfactory over two consecutive observations, the assistant shall be retrained in the necessary skills and direct observation shall be increased 100% of all sessions until the assistant's performance is judged to be satisfactory over two consecutive sessions.
8. The supervisor shall retain documentation of all direct and indirect supervisory activities for two (2) years, and shall include information on the quality of the assistant's performance;
9. The supervisor shall notify the Board of any changes in the approved application required in Board Rules as a condition of registration, including termination of employment for either party. The supervisor shall notify the Board within ten (10) working days of terminating a supervisor/assistant agreement. Failure to notify the Board of a change or termination of an approved registration application shall be grounds for discipline in accordance with Board Rules. Supervision of an unregistered assistant shall be aiding and abetting unlicensed practice and shall be grounds for discipline in accordance with Board Rules.
(d) Duties and Authorizations.
1. The audiology assistant is authorized to perform only those duties described on the application and approved by the Board.
2. After appropriate training and demonstration of competency, the types of services an Audiology assistant can perform include, but are not limited to:
(i) equipment maintenance,
(ii) hearing aid repair,
(iii) electroacoustic analysis, real ear measurements, other verification methods of hearing aids,
(iv) hearing screening on a pass/fail basis,
(v) preparation of patient for electrophysiologic and balance testing,
(vi) hearing conservation and assisting the audiologist in testing,
(vii) record-keeping,
(viii) assisting in clinical research,
(ix) clerical duties and other administrative support functions
3. Authorized duties of an audiology assistant shall NOT include:
(i) Performing diagnostic testing;
(ii) Dispensing hearing aids;
(iii) Selection of a hearing aid;
(iv) Making ear mold impressions;
(v) Fitting a hearing aid (i.e. including but not limited to initial programming or changes to prescribed programming;
(vi) Determining the suitability of hearing aids;
(vii) Interpreting observations or data into diagnostic statements of clinical management strategies or procedures;
(viii) Determining case selection;
(ix) Initiating, modifying, planning or developing therapy procedures;
(x) Implementing therapy procedures;
(xi) Functioning without supervision;
(xii) Transmitting clinical information; either verbally or in writing to anyone without the approval of the licensed supervisor of record;
(xiii) Composing clinical reports except for notes to be reviewed by the supervisor and help in the patient's/client's records;
(xiv) Referring a patient/client to other professionals or agencies;
(xv) Referring to himself or herself either orally or in writing with a title other than "audiology assistant";
(xvi) Signing any formal documents such as treatment plans, reimbursement forms or reports;
(xvii) Discharging a patient/client from services;
(xviii) Communicating with the patient/client, family, or others regarding any aspect of patient/client status or service without the specific consent of the supervisor and in accordance with the application approved by the Board;
(xix) Acting for the licensed person at treatment team meetings or in any matter related to direct care of patients/clients which requires judgment or decision-making;
(xx) Providing consultation, counseling, recommendation for assessment, assessment, treatment protocols, results/outcomes, recommendations, treatment/intervention plans, or patient/client referrals on any matter regarding care of patients/clients;
(xxi) Providing professional training of other staff;
(xxii) Providing program review for individualized habilitation plans or other forms of care planning for patients/clients;
(xxiii) Supervising or managing infant hearing screening programs or occupational hearing conservation/prevention programs. The supervision and management of infant hearing screening programs and occupational hearing conservation/prevention screening programs must be performed by a licensed audiologist;
(xiv) Performing any duties not prescribed in the approved registration application nor working for any other audiologist who is not specified as the supervisor on the approved registration application;
(xv) Performing any duties without proper training; and using influence in clinical matters, when the assistant is the owner of a practice/business providing services, while being supervised by an employee or consultant of their business/practice.
4. The audiology assistant shall not represent herself/himself as a practitioner of audiology, and shall be clearly identified as an audiology assistant by a badge worn during all contact with patients/clients.
5. When services are to be rendered by an audiology assistant, the patient or family must be informed in writing.
6. The audiology assistant shall not make advertisement or public announcement of services independent of the supervisor.
7. The audiology assistant registration shall become void when the authorized supervisor is no longer available for supervision.
8. Any experience obtained while acting as an audiology assistant shall not be creditable toward the supervised clinical experience required in Rule 609-3-.01(c) or the professional experience required in 609-3-.01(d).
(e) Renewal.
1. All Audiology assistant registration shall expire on March 31 of odd numbered years.
2. Application and biennial renewal fee (see Fee Schedule) must be received in the Board Office by March 31 of odd numbered years.
3. An audit shall be conducted to determine compliance with the direct observation guidelines enumerated above. A percent of renewal applicants, to be determined by the Board, shall be requested to submit the documentation of supervision to the Board by March 31 of odd numbered years. Failure to document the direct observation and/or to demonstrate compliance with the guidelines shall have the same effect as a revocation of said assistant registration and may subject the supervisor to disciplinary action.
4. Audiology assistants must complete ten (10) hours of continuing education per biennium.
5. Biennial renewal identification cards will be issued by the Board office within three months following receipt of acceptable renewal application and renewal fee.
6. The failure to renew an Audiology assistant registration by March 31 of odd numbered years shall have the same effect as a revocation of said registration; however, an assistant registration may be restored, reissued, or reinstated at the discretion of the Board. If in its discretion, the Board denies such a request, such person may submit an application and supportive documentation to obtain a new registration. If required to do so, the applicant must meet the current standards for aide registration.

Rule 609-6-.03 Repealed

Rule 609-6-.04 Repealed

Rule 609-6-.05 Repealed