FAQs About Credentials

Published in the March 2024 issue of the ISHA Voice.

By Karen Kockler

Karen is co-ASHA SEAL for ASHA. 

Here’s a list of FAQs to help Illinois professionals navigate the ever-so-confusing world of credentials!

What credential(s) do audiologists, SLPs, and SLPAs need to work in the state of Illinois?

In order to work in any setting in Illinois, audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech-language pathology assistants must hold a license from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).  Additionally, in order to work in schools, a Professional Educator License (PEL) is also required for educational audiologists and SLPs.  SLPAs are not credentialed by ISBE and, therefore, are not required to hold PELs.  There are two types of PELs—one for SLPs who wish to be teachers in classrooms, and one for those who do not wish to be teachers in classrooms.  SLPs who wish to teach, for example in a Communicative Disorders Classroom, would be credentialed with the PEL Teaching/Special Education.  The majority of SLPs in the school setting hold PEL Non-Teaching/School Support Personnel (SSP).

Why do I need an IDFPR license?

IDFPR is the governing agency in Illinois that ensures we have had the training and learning experiences necessary for and maintaining licensure.  The Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Practice Act is enacted through IDFPR.  Being the bearer of a professional license informs the public that you are recognized as someone who has been well-trained, that you have committed to being a responsible provider by upholding high quality standards, codes of ethics, and continuing education.

What is this “Practice Act” I hear about?

The Illinois Speech Language Pathology and Audiology Practice Act is its name, and it is housed in Illinois Compiled Statutes which is a collection of statutes or acts organized by topic.  The entire Illinois Speech Language Pathology and Audiology Practice Act can be reviewed here.  

Where can I find the licensure requirement in the Practice Act?

The licensure requirement for audiologists, SLPs, and SLPAs can be found in Section 7 of our Practice Act:

(225 ILCS 110/7) (from Ch. 111, par. 7907) (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2028) Sec. 7. Licensure requirement. 

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), on or after June 1, 1989, no person shall practice speech-language pathology or audiology without first applying for and obtaining a license for such purpose from the Department. Except as provided in this Section, on or after January 1, 2002, no person shall perform the functions and duties of a speech-language pathology assistant without first applying for and obtaining a license for that purpose from the Department.

Am I required to hold an IDFPR license to bill Medicaid?

Medicaid policy requires that licenses/certificates of practitioners must be kept on file, so the answer is yes.  File requirements can be found in the following handbooks:  

Handbook for Providers of Medical Services Chapter 100:  101.3 Participant Requirements, Professional Certifications or Licensures, page 3

Handbook for LEAs Chapter U-200:  205.5 Practitioner Credential Records, page 13

Is the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCCs) required in Illinois?

Some work settings in Illinois, including some schools, do require ASHA CCCs, though CCCs are not required by our Practice Act.  ASHA, however, does require that any supervisor of a Clinical Fellow must hold CCCs.