Qualification Transfer: Mutual Recognition Agreement

In 2008, a Mutual Recognition Agreement was created to support internationally trained Speech-Language Pathologists in pursuing a career abroad. The MRA was signed between the professional bodies in the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.

In a nutshell, the MRA states that if full membership or certification in speech-language pathology has been awarded through one professional body, then all other professional bodies affiliated with the MRA recognize the certified individual as being qualified to work in their country.

So what qualifications are required in one country in order to be recognized by another?

1. United States of America
Professional Body: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
Qualification: Certificate of Clinical Competence – Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP)
2. Canada
Professional Body: Speech-Language and Audiology Canada (SAC) (recently renamed)
Qualification: Certified Speech-Language Pathologist (S-LP(C))
3. United Kingdom
Professional Body: Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT)
Qualification: Certified Member (Cert MRCSLT)
4. Ireland
Professional Body: Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists (IASLT)
Qualification: Full Member
5. Australia
Professional Body: Speech Pathology Association of Australia Limited (Speech Pathology Australia)
Qualification: Certified Practising Speech Pathologist (CPSP)
6. New Zealand
Professional Body: New Zealand Speech-Language Therapists Association (Incorporated) (NZSTA)
Qualification: Full Member (unless clinician graduated before 1993)

What the MRA does not guarantee:

Though the professional bodies of these 6 countries recognize the certification or full membership qualifications as equivalent, the clinician wishing to move abroad must possess or obtain:

  • The appropriate visa or citizenship to legally work in the country
  • Licensure or registration required by the country, state, or territories.

So how do you apply and what additional requirements are needed in these 6 countries?

Those clinicians wishing to apply for full membership or certification must do so through the New Association’s national office. So for example, if you are an US citizen who is ASHA certified and you are applying for certification in Australia, apply through Speech Pathology Australia.

Application materials include:

  • An application form and fees of the New Association
  • A letter of good standing from your Home Association which shows you are fully certified
  • A signed declaration of disclosure regarding legal matters (i.e.- convictions, misconduct, etc.)
  • A signed statement of consent allowing disciplinary boards to share legal information if necessary.

Additional requirements specific to each professional body can be found on pages 6-9 of the Mutual Recognition Agreement.

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