Over the last three years, the ANCDS Certification Board has engaged in a range of activities to encourage SLPs to apply for board certification. These activities have included poster sessions and talks at state and national conventions, podcasts, and various forms of personal outreach.  One of the things that became evident from these different attempts was that many SLPs were aware that ANCDS offered board certification and aspired to such recognition of their clinical expertise, but they lacked the confidence that they could complete the process successfully. Most SLPs have never submitted a written or oral case study that would be subjected to peer review. 

Based on the observations of the Certification Board and the feedback we received from prospective candidates, we decided to create a mentoring program. The purpose of this program is to support the motivation of persons interested in board certification and to help them develop the confidence that they can complete the process successfully. Since late April 2020, we have been hosting biweekly, online video chat mentoring sessions. During these sessions we answer participants questions about the board certification process, and we review past cases that ANCDS members have graciously allowed us to share. Our conversations cover a range of topics, from those that are specific to the process, such as the kinds of cases that are easier to write about, to broader issues related to evidence-based practice. A common concern amongst potential candidates is whether the limitations of their clinical setting (e.g. time to conduct a thorough assessment) will place them at a disadvantage. Through reviewing successful cases that come out of busy clinical practices, we aim to show clinicians that the task is very doable and that the Certification Board understands the various pressures working SLPs face.

Currently, we have 10 SLPs who have signed up for our mentoring program. We recently surveyed our members and the responses have been very positive. Members find the meetings to be very productive and all of the respondents reported that it has helped them become more confident that they can complete the board certification process successfully.  Suggestions on how to improve the process included practice writing up cases, or portions of cases, to review in the group, more guidance on how to manage the word limit, and guidance on preparing for the oral defense. Below are some quotes from our questions about whether the mentoring has improved their confidence and increased the chance that they will apply: 

“I am much more confident that I will apply for board certification as a result of participating in the mentoring. I was on the fence about it before, but now think that I can and will do it.”

 “Very confident - planning on taking the plunge by the end of the year. The mentoring has unequivocally increased my confidence in going in with greater knowledge of the broad expectations and pitfalls. Even if I fail, I am confident it will nonetheless be a valuable exercise.”

“Yes, I am very confident that I will apply. I wanted to do this for a long time and the mentoring has shed a lot of light on the requirements and content. We all truly appreciate your help!”

If you are interested in board certification, we encourage you to consider attending our mentoring sessions! No commitment is required, and participants are free to attend as many, or as few, sessions as they would like. For more information, contact Michael Biel at [email protected]