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CSHBC approves Praxis Exams for audiology and speech-language pathology applicants

Canadian- and internationally-educated applicants seeking to become Registered Audiologists (RAUDs) and Registered Speech-Language Pathologists (RSLPs) in BC must provide proof of passing an approved entry-to-practice examination before the College can grant Full registration. On September 22, 2020, the CSHBC Registration Committee approved the Praxis Exams for audiology and speech-language pathology as entry-to-practice exams. The College’s Examination Advisory Committee and CSHBC Board also recommended approval of the Praxis Exams.

The CSHBC Registration Committee approved the Praxis Exams, administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS), after a comprehensive suitability assessment process. See FAQs below for more information about the suitability assessment process.

On September 11, 2020, the Alberta College of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (ACSLPA) approved the Praxis Exams as entry-to-practice exams for audiology and speech-language pathology in Alberta.

CSHBC previously required successful completion of the Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC) Clinical Certification Examination (SAC Exam) as a condition of Full registration for the audiology and speech-language pathology professions. In 2019, SAC announced that it would retire the SAC Exam and instead administer the new Canadian Entry to Practice Examination (CETP Exam) for audiology and speech-language pathology in collaboration with the Canadian Alliance of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Regulators (CAASPR).

Effective immediately, the Praxis Exams replace the now retired SAC Exam as approved entry-to-practice exams for audiology and speech-language pathology applicants in BC. CSHBC will review the decision to approve the Praxis Exams in one year.

In addition to approving the Praxis Exams, the CSHBC Registration Committee also approved an option for audiology and speech-language pathology applicants to submit SAC exam results obtained up to March 2020.

For more information about the process by which the Registration Committee assesses and approves entry-to-practice exams required under CSHBC Bylaws as conditions of registration, see the CSHBC Entry-to-Practice Examination Approval policy (PDF).

For more information about CSHBC’s entry-to-practice examination requirement, including examination accommodations, re-takes and appeals, please see the CSHBC Entry to Practice Examination Requirements policy.

Information for applicants about the Praxis Exams

CSHBC will post information for applicants about how to register, exam fees, where to access practice exams, and other details about the Praxis Exams in October 2020. Please do not register for the Praxis Exams until CSHBC has posted registration information.

FAQs about entry-to-practice exams

Who is ETS?

Educational Testing Service (ETS), is an experienced global leader in developing, administering, and scoring high-stakes entry-to-practice examinations, including the Praxis Exams for audiology and speech-language pathology that are written by thousands of applicants worldwide each year.

ETS is an American organization – will it be a problem for BC applicants to become RAUDs and RSLPs to write the Praxis Exams, in terms of suitability?

No, this is not an issue for BC applicants. CSHBC has conducted extensive due diligence to ensure suitability and fairness of the Praxis Exams. The process included assessing suitability with support from a psychometrician, cross referencing competency profiles that CSHBC has accepted as core standards of practice with standards the Praxis Exams are based on, conducting score setting exercises with subject matter experts from each profession to determine appropriate Praxis passing scores for Canadian candidates, and other elements.

What other advantages are there to writing the Praxis Exams?

  • Praxis Exam results are recognized internationally
  • Praxis Exams are widely available, including the ability to take them at home with live monitoring from an online proctor (Canada and US only), and ETS has implemented special measures during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Fees for Praxis Exams are low cost – approximately $195 CDN
  • ETS offers ample preparation materials and practice exams

Does the exam include any questions specific to the US context?

During the course of the exam, you will encounter a very small number of questions that touch on specific pieces of American legislation and/or professional practice concepts that are not relevant in the Canadian practice context. For example, questions might mention “Medicaid”, “Medicare”, or specific health insurance billing codes. While you are encouraged to do your best on all questions, the passing score for the exam has been adjusted by a panel of Canadian subject matter experts to ensure that you are not penalized for incorrect answers on the questions that do not reflect Canadian legislation and/or professional practice concepts. Your knowledge of Canadian legislation and professional practice concepts will be demonstrated separately when you complete the College’s online learning courses for jurisprudence and client consent.

What if I was previously unsuccessful in passing the SAC Exam – how does this change in approved entry-to-practice exams affect me?

If you were unsuccessful in passing the SAC Exam, in the decision letter you received, you were advised that you could make up to three attempts at passing the SAC exam. The same rule applies to the Praxis Exams. As outlined in CSHBC Bylaws, Section 87, the Registration Committee may grant conditional registration to applicants for registration who have not successfully completed required examinations. This also applies to Praxis Exams. Within two years of being granted conditional registration, applicants may make three attempts to pass a Praxis Exam.  In accordance with ETS policy, applicants may also attempt to successfully complete a Praxis Exam 35 days after the previous attempt. 

How will writing a Praxis Exam affect my future ability to work in other provinces? 

Writing a Praxis Exam should not affect your future ability to work in other provinces. While some provinces require the CETP Exam at this time, all provinces and territories are signatories to the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA). The CFTA requires that workers registered in a regulated occupation in one jurisdiction be able to work anywhere in Canada without significant additional training, experience, examinations, or assessment.

Why didn’t CSHBC approve the new CETP Exam as an entry-to-practice exam?

The CSHBC committees and Board considered the CETP Exam, but the College has ongoing concerns about the launch of a new onsite only exam during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other administrative concerns. The Registration Committee will continue to monitor development of the CETP Exam and reconsider approval of the exam within one year.

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College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of British Columbia

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900 – 200 Granville St
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Phone: 604.742.6380
Toll-free: 1.888.742.6380
Email: enquiries@cshbc.ca