Kentucky Speech-Language Pathology Assistant Licensure Guide - 2024

AKA: Kentucky SLPA Licensure

Speech Pathologist Programs

by Speech Pathologist Programs Staff

Updated: March 18th, 2024

If you’re considering a career in speech-language pathology, then it may be a good idea to start off as an assistant to gauge whether or not it’s a profession you’d like to stick with. The role is a particularly important one on the road to becoming a fully licensed Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP).

Speech-Language Pathologist Assistants (SLPA) help SLPs with patient assessments and treatment plans. They collaborate with clients experiencing speech, language, fluency, and voice impediments. The research they perform is essential to developing a long-term care plan for patients.

Under the SLP’s supervision, SLPAs can implement programs and gather data to analyze and assess the program’s effectiveness.

As an SLPA, you will work with infants, young children, teenagers, adults, and older adults. It’s the perfect time to decide if you want to continue working with a broad range of patients or narrow your choice to work with a specific population of individuals. You’ll gain a real understanding of the practice, and with the guidance of a skillful SLP, you can find a specialty area just right for you.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the job market for SLPs to grow 24.7% from 2020 to 2030 in Kentucky and to grow 28.7% from 2020 to 2030 nationally. This is promising for SLPAs since the work they do allows SLPs to assist more patients. So, if you start the path to licensure now, you’ll be a licensed assistant ready to help fill the projected gap in healthcare service.

If you’re unsure about where to start, this article will provide you with everything you need to know. That includes educational, experience, and testing requirements. You’ll also learn what to expect during the application process and what supplemental documentation needs to be provided. Continue reading to find out how you can make a real difference in someone’s life.

Initial Speech Pathology Licensure Process

The Kentucky Board of Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology grants Speech-Language Pathology Assistant licenses. Review the state statutes for SLPAs online here.

Education Requirements

Licensure eligibility requires you to attain a bachelor’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. If you don’t have this certification, an acceptable alternative is a bachelor’s degree in communication disorders. An equivalent education, as determined by the Board, can also make you eligible for licensure. Applicants also need 27 hours in the discipline’s core areas, as listed below:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Speech and Language Development
  • Phonetics and Speech Science
  • Communication Disorders in Children
  • Audiology
  • Intervention for Children with Communication Disorders
  • Audiology
  • Aural rehabilitation

Experience Requirements

The clinical component of your education assesses your skills when working with patients. This portion of your education provides the hands-on experience you’ll need as you work with clients. A licensed SLP will supervise your interactions with patients to be sure you are applying the correct techniques for successful treatment.

Licensed SLPAs in Kentucky may only work in public schools while supervised by a qualified SLP. Speech-Language Pathologists who hold an Education Professional Standards Board certification on a master’s level are also allowed to supervise SLPAs.

All assistants need to finish nine months of postgraduate supervised work experience in a professional environment. SPLAs need to apply for an interim license to perform this supervised experience. During this time, you’ll work with patients directly and indirectly while under supervision.

SPLAs must work a minimum of three hours which must be under direct supervision for the full-time professional experience. The same amount of time is required for full-time indirect supervision.

Direct supervision is defined as on-site guidance through interviews and observation by the SLP. Indirect supervision consists of demonstrations, record reviews, and reviews and evaluations of video and audio sessions. Supervisory conferences also count as indirect supervision.

When you get your interim license, you are expected to take and pass the national exam. Should you fail, you need to submit documentation that you’ll continue to prepare for the exam as you continue to practice under an SLP’s supervision.

Testing Requirements

ASHA has created a national exam for SLPAs in states that require a license to perform this role. The test is designed to assess your understanding add the scope of practice, the mandatory supervision you must work under, and the tasks you are allowed to perform as an assistant.

To be eligible to sit for the exam, your application needs to be approved, and a certification fee of $249 must be paid. The fee includes the exam certification and two full years of ASHA affiliation. The yearly renewal fee is $125, which is due on December 31st of every year.

The test is administered by Prometric, with testing facilities located throughout the United States. The exam comprises 100 multiple-choice questions and tests your knowledge in three areas:

  • Providing Services
  • Providing Administrative Support
  • Participating in Prevention and Advocacy

The passing score for an SLPA is 162 on a scale of 100-200. In the event that you must retake the test, the fee will be $99. One of the eligibility requirements to take the exam is to have the institution you graduated from submit your official transcripts directly to

If you’re mailing in the documents, they must be sent to:

2200 Research Blvd. #313
Rockville, MD 20850

The transcripts should clearly show which degree you’ve earned, and if a transcript cannot be sent, a letter from the registrar stating degree requirements were met and the date the degree was awarded is acceptable. You’ll also need to submit a form showing your supervised clinical hours work completed. Reviewing the application can take up to six weeks, so plan accordingly.

After signing up online, you’ll be emailed an Exam Eligibility ID number to use for registration. You’ll then have one year from that date to register and pass the examination. After taking the exam, your scores are automatically sent to ASHA, which will notify you of your certification once it has been awarded.

Please note that you can only retake the test twice if you fail to pass the first time around. Once you pass the exam, you may begin using the C-SLPA title when signing any paperwork.

Fortunately, you can access the SLPA Exam Blueprint, a practice exam, and other educational resources to help you study for the big day.

Background Checks

Criminal Background Checks (CBCs) are required for all SLPA applicants. These checks are conducted through the Kentucky Applicant Registry and Employment Screening system (KARES). It includes a digital fingerprint-based background check against state and FBI registries.

An enhancement to the system is the automatic and ongoing checks against abuse registries once an applicant’s information is entered. The feature is known as continuous assessment and sends update notifications when active employees are arrested.

IDentoGO is the third-party vendor that sends you a UE ID to schedule an appointment to submit your fingerprints. You’ll first need to create an account and submit an application through the KARES system.

While the results from the state registry checks are typically instantly returned, it can take 3-5 days to receive the FBI’s results. Once the Board has all of the approved documents, your application for licensure will be processed.

Application Process

The application process for SLPAs is fairly simple. Make sure you send in all the appropriate supporting documentation for your information to be processed on time. You’ll need to apply for the interim license first, and you can complete the forms online or print them out and send them to this address:

Kentucky Board of Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology
P.O. Box 1360
Frankfort, KY 40602

The following items should be included with your application:

  • U.S. citizenship or declaration of intentions to become a citizen
  • Undergraduate and postgraduate transcripts
  • Plan of activities for Postgraduate Professional Experience (completed by your supervisor)
  • $50 license fee

Make all checks or money orders payable to the Kentucky State Treasurer. Keep in mind that interim licenses are only valid for 24 months, and any extensions must be approved by the Board.

After your postgraduate work is over, you have 30 days to apply for the SLPA license. Once again, visit the online portal or send the paper application to the address listed above for interim licensure. Include these items:

Check the status of the application online or call the Board Administrator at (502) 564-3296. Keep your personal information (email and address) updated so you can receive the notification once the license is issued.

The Board meets on a monthly basis, so check their schedule to have an idea of when your information will be processed. It’s recommended that your application reach the Board 10 working days before the meeting to ensure it’s included in the agenda. It will be processed during the next meeting if the Board does not receive your application in time to add the month’s agenda.