SAC Clinical Certification

Jump to: What is Clinical Certification? | Reasons to Get Certified | Becoming Clinically Certified | Maintaining Clinical Certification | FAQs


What Does it Mean to be Clinically Certified?

Clinically certified SAC members are speech-language pathologists and audiologists who have demonstrated a commitment to achieving and maintaining a high level of professional excellence through continuing education. Established in 1987, clinical certification has long been recognized as a respected national professional credential by employers, the public and your peers.

Clinical certification is a voluntary process. Those who have attained clinical certification have met rigorous academic and professional standards, typically going beyond the minimum requirements to practice. They have the knowledge, skills, and expertise to provide high quality clinical services, and they actively engage in ongoing professional development to keep their certification current.

To become clinically certified, candidates must pass the clinical certification exam to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in audiology or speech-language pathology. Clinically certified members must complete continuing education activities on a regular basis, maintain their SAC membership and abide by SAC's Code of Ethics.

Clinical certification is exclusively available to SAC members. At present, more than 5,000 SAC members are clinically certified, indicated by the credentials S-LP(C) or Aud(C).



Top 5 Reasons to Get Certified

1. Strive for Excellence

The SAC clinical certification credential shows that you have achieved a high standard of excellence and are committed to staying current in your profession.

2. Stand Out

Include your clinical certification credentials, S-LP(C) or Aud(C), after your name to show the world your commitment to excellence.

3. Employment Opportunities and Advancement

Employers and the public value professionals who have gone beyond the minimum requirements in their training. In fact, some employers exclusively hire clinically certified speech-language pathologists and audiologists. 

4.  Private Practice Opportunities

When visiting a private practice, consumers are more likely to select a professional who is clinically certified over one who is not. In addition, some insurance companies only offer reimbursement for services that have been provided by a clinically certified S-LP or audiologist.

 5.  Recognized in Canada and Abroad

Many international employers and associations recognize clinical certification as evidence that you meet the requirements for recognition in another country. Learn more.



Becoming Clinically Certified

There are three steps to becoming clinically certified:

Step # 1: Apply to write the SAC Clinical Certification Exam

Step # 2: Write and pass the SAC Clinical Certification Exam

Step # 3: Submit the following documentation to SAC:

  1. Your university transcript, indicating the degree you have earned.
  2. Completed and signed clinical hours form:

    Audiology Clinical Hours Form (click here for a description of clinical hours requirements)

    Speech-Language Pathology Clinical Hours Form (click here for a description of clinical hours requirements) 

Document submission deadlines:

Canadian-educated candidates must submit these documents by the end of the calendar year in which they passed the exam.

Internationally-educated candidates who have written the exam at the request of a regulatory body must submit these documents within 12 months of passing the exam.


Once we have processed your documentation, you will receive a clinical certification certificate and can begin using your certification credentials — S-LP(C) or Aud(C) — in your professional signature.



Maintaining Clinical Certification

In order to maintain clinical certification, you must:

  1. Remain an SAC member in good standing by paying your annual membership fees.
  2. Meet the continuing education requirements. You may begin collecting continuing education equivalents (CEEs) in the January following your certification date. Certified members must accumulate 45 CEEs over each three year cycle. Learn more.




Q: Is clinical certification the same as being licensed to practice?

A: No. Clinical certification is not a license to practice. Provincial colleges, who protect the public, offer licenses or registrations to individuals who meet entry-to-practice requirements.

If you work in a regulated province, you will need to apply for registration with the college even if you are clinically certified.

In unregulated provinces, employers may require SAC clinical certification. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with provincial and employer requirements.

Q: Is SAC clinical certification mandatory to work in Canada?

A: No. SAC clinical certification is a voluntary credential that indicates professional excellence. It is not required for registration with provincial regulatory bodies.

Q: Will I be decertified if I don’t pay my SAC membership fees?

A: Yes. One of the requirements of maintaining clinical certification is that you renew your membership annually. There is no additional cost for clinical certification — certified members pay the same membership fee as non-certified members.

Q: Can I be a member of SAC without being certified?

A: Yes. You can still enjoy the benefits of SAC membership if you do not wish to become certified or keep your clinical certification.

Q: I used to be clinically certified. How can I get my certification back?

A: You must complete the clinical certification process again, which includes writing and passing the clinical certification exam.




Bev Bonnell
Continuing Education and Certification Officer
1.800.259.8519 ext. 231

Carla Di Gironimo
Director of Speech-Language Pathology and Standards
1.800.259.8519 ext. 232