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California SLP Scope of Practice

How does California define the practice of speech-language pathology?

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

    • The application of principles, methods, instrumental procedures, and non-instrumental procedures for measurement, testing, screening, evaluation, identification, prediction, and counseling related to the development and disorders of speech, voice, language, or swallowing.
    • 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.
    • Conducting hearing screenings.
    • Performing suctioning in connection with the scope of practice, after compliance with a medical facility’s training protocols on suctioning procedures.

Any observation of an abnormality shall be referred to a physician and surgeon.

What is specifically excluded from the practice?


Flexible Fiber Optic Nasendoscopic Procedure

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 twenty-five (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.

A licensed speech-language pathologist shall only perform flexible endoscopic procedures 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.


Cal. Bus. and Prof. Code ยง 2530.2

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