Understanding Continuing Education for SLPs: CEUs and PDHs Explained for Their National & State Licenses

Welcome to your go-to guide for navigating the world of professional development and maintaining your licensure as a school-based Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP). There’s often confusion about the need for ASHA CEUs and what counts towards your license renewal, so let’s clear that up!

What Are ASHA CEUs?

ASHA CEUs (Continuing Education Units) are specifically for maintaining your national certification—those CCC-SLP letters that signify your qualified status. To keep this certification up to date, you need to accumulate 30 hours of professional development every three years, starting the January after you’re awarded your CCC-SLP. This means if you’re a recent grad, you can start tracking your continuing education about a year after you earn your master’s degree.

You also have to get professional development hours to maintain your state license. The good news is, the requirements are flexible. For example, in California, SLPs need 24 hours every 2 years; SLPAs must complete 12 hours. This flexibility allows you to plan your professional development in a way that suits your schedule and needs. ASHA makes it easy to find more information about your state license so you can see the requirements for where you live.

What are CMHs?

Clinical maintenance hours are a convenient professional development activity that is NOT already pre-approved by ASHA. The positive of using CMHs is that the professional development hours you attend don’t have to be ASHA-approved. You also don’t have to personally reach out to ASHA, which will count, you just need to make sure to follow their guidelines and keep your certificate of completion. We provide a FREE CMH tracker Google Sheet to help you stay organized and have peace of mind you are getting all your hours. So, when we use the CMH term, it really means professional development hours (PDH) that count towards your state and ASHA CEU requirements.

Can I Use Other Professional Development Courses Besides ASHA CEUs?

Absolutely! While ASHA CEUs are pre-approved courses that automatically count towards your certification, there are many other types of professional development activities that can fulfill your requirements. These are known as Professional Development Hours (PDHs). Here’s what you need to know:

  • PDHs vs. ASHA CEUs: PDHs can include a wide range of activities that fall within our professional scope and are related to any area of clinical practice. The good news is that many activities you’re already engaged in can count as PDHs.
  • Consider any professional development hours you attend at your school. If you can get a certificate of completion, it counts towards your CCCs and possibly your state license hours, too.
  • All the webinars in the ChattED PD membership count for professional development, including those that relate to your ethics and culture competency requirements. 

How To Calculate Your CMH:

1 CMH = one hour = .1 ASHA CEUS

10 CMH = ten hours = 1.0 ASHA CEUS

You need 30 professional development hours in three years, or you’d need 3.0 ASHA CEUS.

What Counts as a PDH?

To count as PDHs, activities must:

  • Be related to the scope of practice in audiology or speech-language pathology.
  • Relate to any area of clinical practice.
  • Be completed during your 3-year maintenance interval or to reinstate ASHA certification.

Examples of Accepted Activities:

  • Continuing education activities
  • State association workshops
  • Seminars from other professional associations
  • Employer-sponsored in-service activities
  • College or university coursework in relevant fields
  • Specialized workshops (e.g., on autism, literacy, or ethics)