BY: Glenn Waguespack
The NCSB Board of Directors, under the direction of Program Chair Sherry Sancibrian, has been busy planning the program for the Fall Conference to be held October 10-12, 2013, at the historic Menger Hotel in San Antonio. Detailed information regarding the conference, as well as a registration form, are included elsewhere in this publication. The following paragraphs provide some of the conference highlights.
The Pre-Conference workshop, “Training for Board Members”, will be presented all day on Thursday, October 10. In addition to legal information regarding laws and rules, the conference will feature a mock disciplinary hearing followed by ethical situations and dilemmas presented for an exercise in ethical decision making. The interactive workshop has become a popular introduction to the conference itself and furnishes attendees with flash drives containing information they can share with their respective regulatory boards.
In response to suggestions from the conference last year, the 2013 conference will highlight a number of issues currently facing regulatory boards. Among the most popular, and sometimes controversial, is the issue of telepractice and whether to implement statutory regulations governing this method of service delivery. The pros and cons of telepractice regulations will be discussed, as well as how the regulations have impacted regulatory boards and the professions as a whole. There will be an update on the audiology Praxis exam, and information will be presented regarding the standard setting study that will precede the development of a new SLP Praxis exam.
Sherry has planned a series of hot topics that will be discussed as part of a session entitled “Timed Timely Topics”. Topics such as encroachment, sexual misconduct, deregulation threats, social networking, and inactive status will be presented in a format that will present information briefly and then allow for audience discussion on each topic. The traditional state information exchange will provide participants an opportunity to discuss successes and challenges in their states, and it is likely that some of those challenges will involve the topics covered in the short presentation format.
Other topics of interest include specifics regarding continuing education, hearing aid issues (including internet sales), and board management processes. The conference ends with a discussion of support personnel and will cover who is regulated in various states and how those individuals contribute to service delivery in terms of scope of practice issues and preferred practice patterns.
It is hoped that all state boards send at least one representative to the NCSB Conference. One of the mission statements of NCSB is to facilitate communication among licensure boards. This conference provides an excellent opportunity for networking and also brings to the forefront issues that face regulatory boards. One such issue is the implementation of regulation for unlicensed practice, and although no one session is devoted to this topic, it is a topic that will be brought up during the state information exchange.
NCSB encourages state boards to share information and issues facing their state. Even if you are unable to attend the conference, please take the time to forward your issues and concerns to one of the members of the Board of Directors. The issue(s) will be discussed in a future edition of the newsletter and may also serve as a topic for discussion at the 2014 conference. During the initial stages of legislation regulating the practice of speech-language pathology and audiology, states were primarily concerned with the scope of practice and preferred practice patterns. Since that time, issues have arisen that directly impact consumers of our services, and now states are being faced with re-examining what heretofore seemed like the “perfect” law. One such example is the inclusion of regulations for continuing education. Now all but four states mandate continuing education as a condition of licensure renewal, and states have moved on to regulations regarding universal licensure, unlicensed practice, scope of practice issues, the doctoral level for audiology, telepractice, and support personnel.
It is unfortunate that there is no one model licensure law that is applicable to all states; however, NCSB hopes to serve as a vehicle for gathering regulatory information and sharing it with state licensing boards. For more information about NCSB and the upcoming conference, log onto http://www.ncsb.info, or contact any member of the NCSB Board of Directors. We hope to see you in San Antonio in October.
2013 NCSB President
26TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE SAN ANTONIO
San Antonio, Texas
October 10, 2013