Code Section Group

Business and Professions Code - BPC

DIVISION 2. HEALING ARTS [500 - 4999.129]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 399. )

CHAPTER 5.3. Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists [2530 - 2539.14]

  ( Heading of Chapter 5.3 amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 427, Sec. 2. )

ARTICLE 1. General Provisions [2530 - 2530.6]
  ( Article 1 added by Stats. 1972, Ch. 1355. )

2530.
  

This act may be cited as the “Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists and Hearing Aid Dispensers Licensure Act.”

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 449, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2012.)

2530.1.
  

The Legislature finds and declares that the practice of speech-language pathology and audiology and hearing aid dispensing in California affects the public health, safety, and welfare and there is a necessity for those professions to be subject to regulation and control.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 449, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2012.)

2530.2.
  

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) “Board” means the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board.

(b) “Person” means any individual, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, or other organization or combination thereof, except that only individuals can be licensed under this chapter.

(c) A “speech-language pathologist” is a person who practices speech-language pathology.

(d) The practice of speech-language pathology means all of the following:

(1) The application of principles, methods, instrumental procedures, and noninstrumental procedures for measurement, testing, screening, evaluation, identification, prediction, and counseling related to the development and disorders of speech, voice, language, or swallowing.

(2) The application of principles and methods for preventing, planning, directing, conducting, and supervising programs for habilitating, rehabilitating, ameliorating, managing, or modifying disorders of speech, voice, language, or swallowing in individuals or groups of individuals.

(3) Conducting hearing screenings.

(4) Performing suctioning in connection with the scope of practice described in paragraphs (1) and (2), after compliance with a medical facility’s training protocols on suctioning procedures.

(e) (1) Instrumental procedures referred to in subdivision (d) are the use of rigid and flexible endoscopes to observe the pharyngeal and laryngeal areas of the throat in order to observe, collect data, and measure the parameters of communication and swallowing as well as to guide communication and swallowing assessment and therapy.

(2) Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed as a diagnosis. Any observation of an abnormality shall be referred to a physician and surgeon.

(f) A licensed speech-language pathologist shall not perform a flexible fiber optic nasendoscopic procedure unless he or she has received written verification from an otolaryngologist certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology that the speech-language pathologist has performed a minimum of 25 flexible fiber optic nasendoscopic procedures and is competent to perform these procedures. The speech-language pathologist shall have this written verification on file and readily available for inspection upon request by the board. A speech-language pathologist shall pass a flexible fiber optic nasendoscopic instrument only under the direct authorization of an otolaryngologist certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology and the supervision of a physician and surgeon.

(g) A licensed speech-language pathologist shall only perform flexible endoscopic procedures described in subdivision (e) in a setting that requires the facility to have protocols for emergency medical backup procedures, including a physician and surgeon or other appropriate medical professionals being readily available.

(h) “Speech-language pathology aide” means any person meeting the minimum requirements established by the board, who works directly under the supervision of a speech-language pathologist.

(i) (1) “Speech-language pathology assistant” means a person who meets the academic and supervised training requirements set forth by the board and who is approved by the board to assist in the provision of speech-language pathology under the direction and supervision of a speech-language pathologist who shall be responsible for the extent, kind, and quality of the services provided by the speech-language pathology assistant.

(2) The supervising speech-language pathologist employed or contracted for by a public school may hold a valid and current license issued by the board, a valid, current, and professional clear clinical or rehabilitative services credential in language, speech, and hearing issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, or other credential authorizing service in language, speech, and hearing issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing that is not issued on the basis of an emergency permit or waiver of requirements. For purposes of this paragraph, a “clear” credential is a credential that is not issued pursuant to a waiver or emergency permit and is as otherwise defined by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Nothing in this section referring to credentialed supervising speech-language pathologists expands existing exemptions from licensing pursuant to Section 2530.5.

(j) An “audiologist” is one who practices audiology.

(k) “The practice of audiology” means the application of principles, methods, and procedures of measurement, testing, appraisal, prediction, consultation, counseling, and instruction related to auditory, vestibular, and related functions and the modification of communicative disorders involving speech, language, auditory behavior, or other aberrant behavior resulting from auditory dysfunction; and the planning, directing, conducting, supervising, or participating in programs of identification of auditory disorders, hearing conservation, cerumen removal, aural habilitation, and rehabilitation, including hearing aid recommendation and evaluation procedures, including, but not limited to, specifying amplification requirements and evaluation of the results thereof, auditory training, and speech reading, and the selling of hearing aids.

(l) A “dispensing audiologist” is a person who is authorized to sell hearing aids pursuant to his or her audiology license.

(m) “Audiology aide” means any person meeting the minimum requirements established by the board. An audiology aid may not perform any function that constitutes the practice of audiology unless he or she is under the supervision of an audiologist. The board may by regulation exempt certain functions performed by an industrial audiology aide from supervision provided that his or her employer has established a set of procedures or protocols that the aide shall follow in performing these functions.

(n) “Medical board” means the Medical Board of California.

(o) A “hearing screening” performed by a speech-language pathologist means a binary puretone screening at a preset intensity level for the purpose of determining if the screened individuals are in need of further medical or audiological evaluation.

(p) “Cerumen removal” means the nonroutine removal of cerumen within the cartilaginous ear canal necessary for access in performance of audiological procedures that shall occur under physician and surgeon supervision. Cerumen removal, as provided by this section, shall only be performed by a licensed audiologist. Physician and surgeon supervision shall not be construed to require the physical presence of the physician, but shall include all of the following:

(1) Collaboration on the development of written standardized protocols. The protocols shall include a requirement that the supervised audiologist immediately refer to an appropriate physician any trauma, including skin tears, bleeding, or other pathology of the ear discovered in the process of cerumen removal as defined in this subdivision.

(2) Approval by the supervising physician of the written standardized protocol.

(3) The supervising physician shall be within the general vicinity, as provided by the physician-audiologist protocol, of the supervised audiologist and available by telephone contact at the time of cerumen removal.

(4) A licensed physician and surgeon may not simultaneously supervise more than two audiologists for purposes of cerumen removal.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 71, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2015.)

2530.3.
  

(a) A person represents himself or herself to be a speech-language pathologist when he or she holds himself or herself out to the public by any title or description of services incorporating the words “speech pathologist,” “speech pathology,” “speech therapy,” “speech correction,” “speech correctionist,” “speech therapist,” “speech clinic,” “speech clinician,” “language pathologist,” “language pathology,” “logopedics,” “logopedist,” “communicology,” “communicologist,” “aphasiologist,” “voice therapy,” “voice therapist,” “voice pathology,” or “voice pathologist,” “language therapist,” or “phoniatrist,” or any similar titles; or when he or she purports to treat stuttering, stammering, or other disorders of speech.

(b) A person represents himself or herself to be an audiologist when he or she holds himself or herself out to the public by any title or description of services incorporating the terms “audiology,” “audiologist,” “audiological,” “hearing clinic,” “hearing clinician,” “hearing therapist,” or any similar titles.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 26, Sec. 32. Effective March 30, 1994.)

2530.4.
  

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as authorizing a speech-language pathologist or audiologist to practice medicine, surgery, or any other form of healing, except that authorized by Section 2530.2.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 26, Sec. 33. Effective March 30, 1994.)

2530.5.
  

(a) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as restricting hearing testing conducted by licensed physicians and surgeons or by persons conducting hearing tests under the direct supervision of a physician and surgeon.

(b) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent a licensed hearing aid dispenser from engaging in testing of hearing and other practices and procedures used solely for the fitting and selling of hearing aids nor does this chapter restrict persons practicing their licensed profession and operating within the scope of their licensed profession or employed by someone operating within the scope of their licensed professions, including persons fitting and selling hearing aids who are properly licensed or registered under the laws of the State of California.

(c) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as restricting or preventing the practice of speech-language pathology or audiology by personnel holding the appropriate credential from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing as long as the practice is conducted within the confines of or under the jurisdiction of a public preschool, elementary, or secondary school by which they are employed and those persons do not either offer to render or render speech-language pathology or audiology services to the public for compensation over and above the salary they receive from the public preschool, elementary, or secondary school by which they are employed for the performance of their official duties.

(d) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as restricting the activities and services of a student or speech-language pathology intern in speech-language pathology pursuing a course of study leading to a degree in speech-language pathology at an accredited or approved college or university or an approved clinical training facility, provided that these activities and services constitute a part of his or her supervised course of study and that those persons are designated by the title as “speech-language pathology intern,” “speech-language pathology trainee,” or other title clearly indicating the training status appropriate to his or her level of training.

(e) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as restricting the activities and services of a student or audiology intern in audiology pursuing a course of study leading to a degree in audiology at an accredited or approved college or university or an approved clinical training facility, provided that these activities and services constitute a part of his or her supervised course of study and that those persons are designated by the title as “audiology intern,” “audiology trainee,” or other title clearly indicating the training status appropriate to his or her level of training.

(f) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as restricting the practice of an applicant who is obtaining the required professional experience specified in subdivision (c) of Section 2532.2 and who has been issued a temporary license pursuant to Section 2532.7. The number of applicants who may be supervised by a licensed speech-language pathologist or a speech-language pathologist having qualifications deemed equivalent by the board shall be determined by the board. The supervising speech-language pathologist shall register with the board the name of each applicant working under his or her supervision, and shall submit to the board a description of the proposed professional responsibilities of the applicant working under his or her supervision. The number of applicants who may be supervised by a licensed audiologist or an audiologist having qualifications deemed equivalent by the board shall be determined by the board. The supervising audiologist shall register with the board the name of each applicant working under his or her supervision, and shall submit to the board a description of the proposed professional responsibilities of the applicant working under his or her supervision.

(g) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as restricting hearing screening services in public or private elementary or secondary schools so long as these screening services are provided by persons registered as qualified school audiometrists pursuant to Sections 1685 and 1686 of the Health and Safety Code or hearing screening services supported by the State Department of Health Care Services so long as these screening services are provided by appropriately trained or qualified personnel.

(h) Persons employed as speech-language pathologists or audiologists by a federal agency shall be exempt from this chapter.

(i) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as restricting consultation or the instructional or supervisory activities of a faculty member of an approved or accredited college or university for the first 60 days following appointment after the effective date of this subdivision.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 316, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2015.)

2530.6.
  

Speech-language pathologists and audiologists supervising speech-language pathology or audiology aides shall register with the board the name of each aide working under their supervision. The number of aides who may be supervised by a licensee shall be determined by the board. The supervising audiologist or speech-language pathologist shall be responsible for the extent, kind, and quality of services performed by the aide, consistent with the board’s designated standards and requirements.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 758, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 1998.)

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