What is the Mutual Recognition Agreement?
The mutual recognization agreement is a pact that was signed by ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) and the below organizations:
- Speech-Language and Audiology Canada (SAC)
- Royal College of Speech Therapists in the United Kingdom
- Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists
- New Zealand Speech-Language Therapists’ Association (Incorporated)
- Speech Pathology Association of Australia Limited
The pact provides a pathway for speech-language pathologists who hold the CCC (Certificate of Clinical Competence) to have their credentials reviewed and possibly authorized for certified, legal, paid work in those countries. The pact also goes both ways so that professionals from those countries can have their credentials reviewed by ASHA.
Approval is not automatic. It does not guarantee that an individual will be approved to work in a foreign country. But it offers a pathway to make it easier for that to occur for qualifies individuals.
Why Does the Mutual Recognition Agreement Exist?
I believe the mutual recognition agreement was set up to assist individuals from majority English-speaking countries to find work across countries. There are worldwide shortages in speech pathologists or speech therapists depending on the countries preferred nomenclature. Getting competent professionals to fill those roles across countries is valuable to all.
How Long Does the Mutual Recognition Take?
The application is lengthy and you need to provide a lot of documentation. The year I applied, it was June when I started the process to have my ASHA credentials reviewed by SPA Speech Pathology Australia. I also returned some emails answering their further questions and then the SPA Certified Practicing Member came through in September. In total, it was three months just from lodging the application. Additionally, it will take time to gather the documents and then to go through the process.
How I Used the Mutual Recognition Agreement
Last year during lockdown I applied for and got recognition of my ASHA credentials in Australia through the organization Speech Pathology Australia. In the video above I define exactly what the Mutual Recognition Agreement is (and what it isn’t), how I got my Speech Pathology Australia credentials, how long it takes, and how to go through the entire process to get certified in one of the partner countries. Actually, I see a lot of posts on Facebook regarding working in another country as a speech pathologist. I put this video out there because there is very little information online about it. Would you go abroad as an SLP?