3 By Senator Coleman-Madison
4 RFD: Veterans and Military Affairs
5 First Read: 02-FEB-21
6 PFD: 02/01/2021
1 209220-1:n:01/20/2021:PMG/bm LSA2021-129
8 SYNOPSIS: This bill would establish the Audiology and
9 Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact.
10 This bill would allow interstate practice by
11 licensed audiologists and speech-language
12 therapists among party states.
13 This bill would authorize regulatory
14 authorities in party states to legally recognize,
15 in a manner consistent with terms of the compact,
16 audiologists and speech-language therapists
17 licensed within those states.
18 This bill would allow a remote state to hold
19 an audiologist or speech-language therapist with
20 compact privilege to provide services in that state
21 accountable under that state's practice standards.
22 This bill would provide eligibility
23 requirements for licensed audiologists and
24 speech-language therapists to practice pursuant to
25 the compact.
26 This bill would provide for a coordinated
27 database and reporting system containing licensure,
1 adverse action, and investigative information on
3 This bill would provide for investigations
4 and disciplinary actions.
5 This bill would establish the Audiology and
6 Speech-Language Pathology Compact Commission and
7 would provide for membership, powers, and duties.
8 This bill would also provide for rulemaking
9 authority of the commission, enforcement of the
10 compact, dispute resolution, and withdrawal of
11 party states.
13 A BILL
14 TO BE ENTITLED
15 AN ACT
17 Relating to the practice of audiology and
18 speech-language pathology; to provide and adopt the Audiology
19 and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact to allow
20 interstate practice by licensed audiologists and
21 speech-language therapists among party states; to authorize
22 regulatory authorities in party states to legally recognize,
23 in a manner consistent with terms of the compact, audiologists
24 and speech-language therapists licensed within those states;
25 to authorize regulatory authorities in party states to legally
26 recognize, in a manner consistent with terms of the compact,
27 audiologists and speech-language therapists licensed within
1 those states; to provide eligibility requirements for licensed
2 audiologists and speech-language therapists to practice
3 pursuant to the compact; to provide for a coordinated database
4 and reporting system; to provide for investigations and
5 disciplinary actions; to establish the Audiology and
6 Speech-Language Pathology Compact Commission and provide for
7 membership, powers, and duties, including rulemaking
8 authority; and to provide for enforcement of the compact,
9 dispute resolution, and withdrawal of party states.
10 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA:
11 Section 1. PURPOSE.
12 The purpose of this compact is to facilitate
13 interstate practice of audiology and speech-language pathology
14 with the goal of improving public access to audiology and
15 speech-language pathology services. The practice of audiology
16 and speech-language pathology occurs in the state where the
17 patient, client, or student is located at the time of the
18 patient, client, or student encounter. This compact preserves
19 the regulatory authority of states to protect public health
20 and safety through the current system of state licensure. This
21 compact is designed to achieve the following objectives:
22 (1) Increase public access to audiology and
23 speech-language pathology services by providing for the mutual
24 recognition of other member state licenses.
25 (2) Enhance the states' ability to protect the
26 public's health and safety.
1 (3) Encourage the cooperation of member states in
2 regulating multistate audiology and speech-language pathology
4 (4) Support spouses of relocating active duty
5 military personnel.
6 (5) Enhance the exchange of licensure,
7 investigative, and disciplinary information between member
9 (6) Allow a remote state to hold a provider of
10 services with a compact privilege in that state accountable to
11 that state's practice standards.
12 (7) Allow for the use of telehealth technology to
13 facilitate increased access to audiology and speech-language
14 pathology services.
15 Section 2. DEFINITIONS.
16 As used in this compact, and except as otherwise
17 provided, the following terms have the following meanings:
18 (1) ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY. Full-time duty status in
19 the active uniformed service of the United States, including
20 members of the National Guard and Reserve on active duty
21 orders pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 1209 and 1211.
22 (2) ADVERSE ACTION. Any administrative, civil,
23 equitable, or criminal action permitted by a state's laws
24 which is imposed by a licensing board or other authority
25 against an audiologist or speech-language pathologist,
26 including actions against an individual's license or privilege
27 to practice such as revocation, suspension, probation,
1 monitoring of the licensee, or restriction on the licensee's
3 (3) ALTERNATIVE PROGRAM. A non-disciplinary
4 monitoring process approved by an audiology or speech-language
5 pathology licensing board to address impaired practitioners.
6 (4) AUDIOLOGIST. An individual who is licensed by a
7 state to practice audiology.
8 (5) AUDIOLOGY. The care and services provided by a
9 licensed audiologist as set forth in the member state's laws
10 and rules.
11 (6) AUDIOLOGY AND SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY COMPACT
12 COMMISSION or COMMISSION. The national administrative body
13 whose membership consists of all states that have enacted this
15 (7) AUDIOLOGY AND SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY
16 LICENSING BOARD, AUDIOLOGY LICENSING BOARD, SPEECH-LANGUAGE
17 PATHOLOGY LICENSING BOARD, or LICENSING BOARD. The agency of a
18 state that is responsible for the licensing and regulation of
19 audiologists or speech-language pathologists, or both, which
20 in Alabama is the Alabama Board of Examiners for
21 Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.
22 (8) COMPACT PRIVILEGE. The authorization granted by
23 a remote state to allow a licensee from another member state
24 to practice as an audiologist or speech-language pathologist
25 in the remote state under its laws and rules. The practice of
26 audiology or speech-language pathology occurs in the member
1 state where the patient, client, or student is located at the
2 time of the patient, client, or student encounter.
3 (9) CURRENT SIGNIFICANT INVESTIGATIVE INFORMATION.
4 Investigative information that a licensing board, after an
5 inquiry or investigation that includes notification and an
6 opportunity for the audiologist or speech-language pathologist
7 to respond, if required by state law, has reason to believe is
8 not groundless and, if proved true, would indicate more than a
9 minor infraction.
10 (10) DATA SYSTEM. A repository of information about
11 licensees, including, but not limited to, continuing
12 education, examination, licensure, investigative, compact
13 privilege, and adverse action.
14 (11) ENCUMBERED LICENSE. A license in which an
15 adverse action restricts the practice of audiology or
16 speech-language pathology by the licensee and the adverse
17 action has been reported to the National Practitioners Data
18 Bank (NPDB).
19 (12) EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE. A group of directors
20 elected or appointed to act on behalf of, and within the
21 powers granted to them by, the commission.
22 (13) HOME STATE. The member state that is the
23 licensee's primary state of residence.
24 (14) IMPAIRED PRACTITIONER. An individual whose
25 professional practice is adversely affected by substance
26 abuse, addiction, or other health-related conditions.
1 (15) LICENSEE. An individual who currently holds an
2 authorization from a state licensing board to practice as an
3 audiologist or speech-language pathologist.
4 (16) MEMBER STATE. A state that has enacted this
6 (17) PRIVILEGE TO PRACTICE. A legal authorization
7 permitting the practice of audiology or speech-language
8 pathology in a remote state.
9 (18) REMOTE STATE. A member state other than the
10 home state where a licensee is exercising or seeking to
11 exercise the compact privilege.
12 (19) RULE. A regulation, principle, or directive
13 adopted by the commission that has the force of law.
14 (20) SINGLE-STATE LICENSE. An audiology or
15 speech-language pathology license issued by a member state
16 that authorizes practice only within the issuing state and
17 does not include a privilege to practice in any other member
19 (21) SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST. An individual who
20 is licensed by a state to practice speech-language pathology.
21 (22) SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY. The care and
22 services provided by a licensed speech-language pathologist as
23 set forth in the member state's laws and rules.
24 (23) STATE. Any state, commonwealth, district, or
25 territory of the United States of America that regulates the
26 practice of audiology and speech-language pathology.
1 (24) STATE PRACTICE LAWS. A member state's laws,
2 rules and regulations that govern the practice of audiology or
3 speech-language pathology, define the scope of audiology or
4 speech-language pathology practice, and create the methods and
5 grounds for imposing discipline.
6 (25) TELEHEALTH. The application of
7 telecommunication, audio-visual, or other technologies that
8 meets the applicable standard of care to deliver audiology or
9 speech-language pathology services at a distance for
10 assessment, intervention, or consultation.
11 Section 3. STATE PARTICIPATION IN THE COMPACT.
12 (a) Upon the grant of the compact privilege, a
13 license issued to an audiologist or speech-language
14 pathologist by a home state to a resident in that state shall
15 be recognized by each member state as authorizing an
16 audiologist or speech-language pathologist to practice
17 audiology or speech-language pathology, under a privilege to
18 practice, in the member state where the licensee obtains this
20 (b)(1) A state shall implement or use procedures for
21 considering the criminal history records of applicants for
22 initial privilege to practice. These procedures shall include
23 the submission of fingerprints or other biometric-based
24 information by applicants for the purpose of obtaining an
25 applicant's criminal history record information from the
26 Federal Bureau of Investigation and the agency responsible for
27 retaining that state's criminal records.
1 (2) A member state shall fully implement a criminal
2 background check requirement, within a time frame established
3 by rule, by receiving the results of the Federal Bureau of
4 Investigation record search on criminal background checks and
5 using the results in making licensure decisions.
6 (3) Communication between a member state, the
7 commission, and among member states regarding the verification
8 of eligibility for licensure through this compact may not
9 include any information received from the Federal Bureau of
10 Investigation relating to a federal criminal records check
11 performed by a member state under Public Law 92-544.
12 (c) Upon application for a privilege to practice,
13 the licensing board in the issuing remote state shall
14 ascertain, through the data system, whether the applicant has
15 ever held, or is the holder of, a license issued by any other
16 state, whether there are any encumbrances on any license or
17 privilege to practice held by the applicant, and whether any
18 adverse action has been taken against any license or privilege
19 to practice held by the applicant.
20 (d) Each member state shall require an applicant to
21 obtain or retain a license in the home state and meet the home
22 state's qualifications for licensure or renewal of licensure,
23 as well as, all other applicable state laws.
24 (e) An audiologist must meet all of the following
26 (1) One of the following educational requirements:
1 a. On or before, December 31, 2007, the applicant
2 graduated with a master's degree or doctorate in audiology, or
3 equivalent degree regardless of degree name, from a program
4 that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the
5 Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or its successor,
6 or by the United States Department of Education and operated
7 by a college or university accredited by a regional or
8 national accrediting organization recognized by the board.
9 b. On or after, January 1, 2008, the applicant
10 graduated with a Doctoral degree in audiology, or equivalent
11 degree, regardless of degree name, from a program that is
12 accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Council
13 for Higher Education Accreditation, or its successor, or by
14 the United States Department of Education and operated by a
15 college or university accredited by a regional or national
16 accrediting organization recognized by the board.
17 c. The applicant graduated from an audiology program
18 that is housed in an institution of higher education outside
19 of the United States: 1. for which the program and institution
20 have been approved by the authorized accrediting body in the
21 applicable country; and 2. the degree program has been
22 verified by an independent credentials review agency to be
23 comparable to a state licensing board-approved program.
24 (2) Completed a supervised clinical practicum
25 experience from an accredited educational institution or its
26 cooperating programs as required by the commission.
1 (3) Successfully passed a national examination
2 approved by the commission.
3 (4) Holds an active, unencumbered license.
4 (5) Has not been convicted or found guilty, and has
5 not entered into an agreed disposition, of a felony related to
6 the practice of audiology under applicable state or federal
7 criminal law.
8 (6) Has a valid United States Social Security or
9 National Practitioner Identification number.
10 (f) A speech-language pathologist must meet all of
11 the following qualifications:
12 (1) One of the following educational requirements:
13 a. The applicant graduated with a master's degree
14 from a speech-language pathology program that is accredited by
15 an organization recognized by the United States Department of
16 Education and operated by a college or university accredited
17 by a regional or national accrediting organization recognized
18 by the board.
19 b. The applicant graduated from a speech-language
20 pathology program that is housed in an institution of higher
21 education outside of the United States: 1. for which the
22 program and institution have been approved by the authorized
23 accrediting body in the applicable country; and 2. the degree
24 program has been verified by an independent credentials review
25 agency to be comparable to a state licensing board-approved
1 (2) Completed a supervised clinical practicum
2 experience from an educational institution or its cooperating
3 programs as required by the commission.
4 (3) Completed a supervised postgraduate professional
5 experience as required by the commission.
6 (4) Successfully passed a national examination
7 approved by the commission.
8 (5) Holds an active, unencumbered license.
9 (6) Has not been convicted or found guilty, and has
10 not entered into an agreed disposition, of a felony related to
11 the practice of speech-language pathology under applicable
12 state or federal criminal law.
13 (7) Has a valid United States Social Security or