Pre-Professional Guidelines


Academic institutions exist for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the personal and professional development of students, and the general well-being of society. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals. As members of the academic community, students should be encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and engage in a sustained and independent search for truth, while conducting themselves in a professional manner.

Freedom to teach and learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus, in clinical facilities, and in the larger community. Students should exercise their freedom with responsibility.

The responsibility to secure and respect general conditions conducive to the freedom to learn is shared by all members of the academic community. Each college and university has a duty to develop policies and procedures that provide and safeguard this freedom. Such policies and procedures should be developed at each institution within the framework of general guidelines and with the broadest possible participation of the members of the academic community. The purpose of this statement is to enumerate the pre-professional guidelines by which students being educated in communication sciences and disorders (CSD) programs should abide.

Guideline I

Students shall hold paramount the welfare of persons served during clinical practicum.

  1. Students shall adhere to the clinical guidelines established by the clinical supervisor and/or education program, consistent with the standards of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
  2. Students shall seek approval from their clinical supervisor before implementing any aspect of client management/service.
  3. Students shall identify themselves as "student clinicians" or "student interns" throughout their clinical practicum experience.
  4. Students shall use every resource available to provide the best possible learning experience/service.
  5. Students shall fully inform subjects participating in research or teaching activities of the nature and possible effects of these activities.
  6. Students shall take all reasonable precautions to avoid injury to persons in the delivery of professional services.
  7. Students shall evaluate services rendered to determine effectiveness.
  8. Students shall abide by local/state regulations to accept or refuse remuneration for speech-language and hearing clinical services consistent with the policies of ASHA.


  1. Students must not exploit persons in the delivery of clinical services and must not hesitate to recommend the dismissal of persons from treatment where benefit cannot reasonably be expected or where continuing treatment would be unnecessary.
  2. Students must not guarantee the results of any therapeutic procedures, directly or by implication. A reasonable statement of prognosis may be made but only if such information is approved by the supervisor. Caution must be exercised not to mislead persons served to expect results that cannot be predicted from sound evidence.
  3. Students must not use persons for learning experiences in a manner that constitutes invasion of privacy or fails to afford informed free choice to participate.
  4. Students must not evaluate or treat communicative disorders or administer diagnostic clinical services except under "direct" supervision of a qualified person as explained in the documents entitled "Requirements for the Certificates of Clinical Competence" published by ASHA.
  5. Students must not reveal to unauthorized persons any clinical or personal information obtained from individuals served by student clinicians.
  6. Students must not discriminate in the delivery of clinical services on the basis of age; citizenship; disability; ethnicity; gender; gender expression; gender identity; genetic information; national origin, including culture, language, dialect, and accent; race; religion; sex; sexual orientation; or veteran status.

Guideline II

Students shall maintain high standards of professional competence.

  1. Students participating in a clinical practicum experience shall possess requisite academic and/or clinical qualifications specified by the education program.
  2. Students shall continue their professional development throughout their careers by maintaining a state-of-the-art knowledge of professional published material and attendance at professional continuing education courses.
  3. Students shall maintain adequate records of clinical services rendered.
  4. Students shall make decisions concerning persons receiving clinical services on the basis of objective data.
  5. Students shall present products they have developed to their professional colleagues in a manner consistent with highest professional standards.


  1. Students must not refer any persons in need of clinical services to persons or professionals who are not qualified.
  2. Students must not participate in activities that might initiate disparaging comments about speech-language-hearing services, personnel, and/or colleagues.

Guideline III

Students' statements to persons served and to the public shall provide accurate information about the nature and management of speech-language and hearing disorders, and about the professions and services rendered by its practitioners.


  1. Students must not misrepresent their education or competence.
  2. Students' public statements providing information about professional services and products must not contain representations or claims that are false, deceptive, or misleading.
  3. Students must not use professional or commercial affiliations in any way that would mislead or limit services to persons served.

Guideline IV

Students shall honor their responsibilities to their professions and their relationships with colleagues and members of allied professions.


  1. Students shall strive to assist in maintaining and expanding high professional standards for their educational program.
  2. Students shall strive to increase knowledge within the profession by conducting research.
  3. Students shall seek credit for professional publications when their contributions warrant it.
  4. Students shall establish professional relations with student colleagues and members of related professions.

Guideline V

Students shall uphold the dignity of the professions and accept the professions' self-imposed standards.


  1. Students shall inform education program directors of violations of these professional guidelines within 90 days.
  2. Students shall cooperate with a program director's or other educational committees' inquiries into matters of professional conduct related to these professional guidelines and shall follow established university/college grievance procedures, including due process processes if necessary, to alleviate the grievance.
  3. By paying your NSSLHA dues, you agree and abide by the applicable provisions of the  ASHA Code of Ethics, in addition to the academic integrity rules/regulations related to honesty, trustworthiness, fairness, and respect at your academic institution and/or in your specific program(s).
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