President's Message - Summer 2017

Dear Members, I hope you all have been enjoying this fine summer. But for any of you who have been affected by the severe floods, fires, tornadoes, or heat that we’ve witnessed this summer, please accept my best wishes that you’ve found the help and support you may have needed to get through the challenges these events have created.

In the last newsletter, I mentioned that ANCDS provides the only opportunity for advanced clinical certification for management of individuals with neurologic communication disorders. In this President’s Message, I’d like to provide some additional information about the Academy’s program for board certification.

The program for board certification was proposed by ANCDS as a means for fulfilling its mission to promote “the provision of quality services” to individuals with neurologic communication disorders and “to promote leadership in the development of clinical expertise in neurologic communication disorders.” The plan for board certification by the Academy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and Sciences was approved by the Executive Board in 1993. According to the plan, board certification was “intended for speech-language pathologists who specialize in the clinical management of neurologic communication disorders” and “have achieved peer-recognition for their expertise in providing high quality, effective, and efficient service to persons with neurologic communication disorders.” Efforts related to the full implementation of the program were well underway by 1994 with the identification and grandfathering of a group of experienced individuals who demonstrated the requisite knowledge and clinical skills to sit on the first Certification Board and to develop the first board certification exam. That exam was completed, analyzed, and administered to the first group of applicants in 1996. The program has been in constant operation since that time but with a few modifications including written case summaries in lieu of the certification exam.

According to the original plan for board certification, “being ‘board-certified in neurologic communication disorders/ANCDS’ indicates that the practitioner is highly qualified by both clinical expertise and attainment of scientific knowledge to attend appropriately and efficiently to the needs of either children or adults with neurologic communication disorders.” Board certification then gives recognition to high quality in clinical practice which, among other benefits, may facilitate patient referrals. For some, it may represent a career goal in and of itself. For others, it may provide a step in their clinical ladders toward professional advancement and perhaps increased salaries. As Joe Duffy stated in a previous newsletter, “ANCDS Board Certification is tangible evidence that I’ve achieved a degree of professional expertise that an organization I trust has seen fit to acknowledge."

Do you have board-certification from ANCDS? By joining the Academy, you’ve already demonstrated your keen interest in specialized clinical practice for neurologic communication disorders. The next step then, both personally and professionally, is to show your peers that you meet the standards for quality practice in this clinical specialty.

For further information about board certification, please visit the ANCDS web page. There you’ll find abundant information about requirements, the application process, and other frequently-asked questions. While you’re there, don’t forget to listen to the podcast covering board certification that can be found in the public resources section of the website. And please feel free to contact the Academy if you have specific questions that you’d like addressed.

As the public discussion regarding health care continues to focus more and more on quality and value, ANCDS board certification provides an excellent means to demonstrate advanced clinical practice. You owe it to yourself to give it a look!

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