1 Frequently Asked Questions for 2014 Renewal for AUD, SLP, and SLP-A December 6, 2013 What are the Continuing Education (CE) requirements for the 2014 renewal? For the 2014 renewal an individual holding an audiology license must complete a minimum of 30.0 CE hours between June 1, 2012 and May 31, 2014 not more than 10.0 CE hours can be completed in related areas. For the 2014 renewal an individual holding a speech-language pathology license must complete a minimum of 30.0 CE hours between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2013 not more than 10.0 CE hours can be completed in related areas. Dual license holders with both an audiology license and a speech-language pathology license must complete a minimum of 40.0 CE hours not more than 10.0 CE hours in related areas. For the 2014 renewal licensed speech-language pathology assistants must complete a minimum of 10 CE hours between June 1, 2012 and May 31, What should I do prior to the opening of the online renewal website? Licensees are advised to ensure that the mailing address and address on file with the Board are current and up-to-date no later than January 31, If a licensee has recently experienced a name change the name change information should be submitted to the Board no later than February 15, 2014 to complete a name change with the Board the licensee must submit a copy of a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or other court order regarding a name change. What is the link to the online renewal site? The online renewal site will be available beginning in March The Board will send a paper renewal notice and an to all licensees eligible for renewal when the online renewal system is open for business. Is there anything special that needs to be done before starting the online renewal process? All licensees are expected to input basic information into the online database that captures continuing education information such as course title, course sponsor, course starting date, course ending date, number of hours and course type (licensure or related). Accordingly, licensees utilizing the online renewal system
2 should have their continuing education documentation readily available when beginning the online renewal process. What should I know about the continuing education audit process for a license that expires on May 31, 2014? The Board is required by law to audit ten percent of all eligible renewal candidates. Renewal candidates should review their continuing education records immediately to ensure that they have met or exceeded the minimum 30.0 continuing education hours to renew a license that expires on May 31, Renewal candidates should not send copies of their continuing education completion certificates and related documentation to the Board unless instructed to do as part of the continuing education audit. What should I do if I haven t completed the continuing education requirements? The Board strongly suggests that all licensees make every effort to complete the continuing education requirements by the appropriate deadline. Speech-language pathologists that do not complete the continuing education requirements prior to December 31, 2013 may petition the Board for an extension. The petition must be in writing and clearly state the number of hours completed and the number of hours outstanding. If extenuating circumstances are involved in the failure to complete the continuing education requirements the Board requires documentation to support the extenuating circumstances. Please be advised that pursuant to COMAR C(6) a licensee that has not completed the continuing education requirements by the required date may be subject to a penalty not to exceed twice the missing number of continuing education hours. For example, a licensee that is required to complete at least 30.0 continuing education hours but only completes 26 of those hours may be subject to 12.0 hours of continuing education hours to qualify for renewal (the balance of 4.0 hours and 8.0 hours as a penalty). How long will the online renewal site be available during the 2014 renewal process? The online renewal site for audiologists, speech-language pathologists and speech-language pathology assistants will be available without the imposition of a late fee from March 2014 through May 31, The online renewal site is available 24 hours during that time. Please note that the late fee is automatically assessed from June 1, 2014 through midnight on June 30, 2014.
3 The online renewal process will close at midnight at the conclusion of June 30, Individuals wishing to renew their license after that time would be required to utilize the reinstatement process and pay the appropriate fees. What should I do if I experience technical difficulties during the online renewal process? Board staff have taken every necessary step to ensure that every eligible renewal candidate is able to use the online renewal system without experiencing any difficulty. However, some issues may result that are outside the Board s control. A renewal candidate should call the Board offices during regular business hours to resolve technical issues related to the online renewal process. Why doesn t the Board accept Discover or American Express? Collectively, all the Boards and Commission opted to use a vendor that has worked closely with other State agencies in online matters. This vendor only accepts Visa and MasterCard credit cards and debit cards. The paper-based renewal process is an alternative way to complete the renewal process with the renewal applicant sending a check to pay for the renewal. Why doesn t the Board accept credit cards over the phone? To ensure security and integrity of the transaction the credit card payment must be completed online. How should I document the CE hours in the online renewal system? The online renewal system tracks CE hours on a one-to-one ratio. Some CE providers put the number of CE hours in tenths rather than whole numbers. For example, if you completed an 8 hour program and your completion certificate shows 0.8 hours then you should enter 8.0 hours into the online renewal system for that program. What is the difference between Category A and Category B continuing education hours? Category A hours are CEUs earned that are in the area of licensure. Category B hours are CEUs earned that are related to the licensee s area of professional licensure. I ve been audited for continuing education compliance in consecutive renewals. How is this possible? I thought a licensee was exempt from a CE audit for the next renewal once it s been demonstrated to the Board that the licensee can meet or exceed the continuing education requirements. The audit is completely random and is handled by non-board employees using a computer algorithm to ensure randomness. There is no provision of law or
4 regulation that exempts a licensee from future audits once they ve demonstrated successful completion of the continuing education requirements in any previous continuing education audit. Should I mail copies of my continuing education completion certificates to the Board if I have not been selected for an audit? A renewal candidate that has not been selected for an audit of their continuing education activities should not send CE documentation to the Board. However, all renewal candidates must submit basic information regarding continuing education activities into the online renewal system. Why doesn t the online verification system update my license expiration date right after I paid by credit card? While the online renewal process is automated the printing of renewal licenses remains a manual process. Furthermore, strict guidelines imposed upon all of the health occupational licensing boards require the Board to ensure that a deposit of all appropriate fees for the renewal license has occurred before Board staff reviews the renewal application and prints the renewal license. Once the renewal license has been printed the online verification system is updated with the new expiration date. How long should it take for my renewal license to arrive in the mail? The online verification process indicates that the renewal license has been printed, but this in and of itself is not an indicator of when the renewal license was placed in the mail. The Board is required to follow additional administrative steps once a renewal license has been printed. Accordingly, please allow up to two weeks between completion of the online renewal process and receipt of the renewal license. My employer is insisting that I have a physical copy of my license after May 31, 2014 before I can return to work. What should I do to ensure that I have my renewal license in my possession before May 31, 2014? It is the renewal applicant s responsibility to check with their employer regarding polices for working on or after June 1, 2014 during the renewal process. The Board strongly encourages all renewal applicants to complete the online renewal process no later than April 30, 2014 to ensure reasonable delivery of the renewal license prior to May 31, I heard that the Board amended its regulations so that licenses do not have to expire in even numbered years. Does this mean my current license expired on May 31, 2013? What does this mean for the expiration dates for renewed licenses?
5 The number of individuals holding a license issue by the Board has experienced tremendous growth in the last eight years. The licensure base has nearly doubled from 2,100 active licensees in fiscal 2006 to more than 4,400 active licensees in fiscal The growth of the licensee base has placed an increased administrative burden on Board staff during the renewal process. The removal of the restriction to make all audiology and speech-language pathology licenses to expire in even-numbered years allows the Board to allow licenses to expire in odd- and even-numbered years. The authority to split renewals into odd-numbered and even-numbered years will allow the Board to keep the renewal fee as low as possible and ensure equitable processing of new applications. Licensees whose last name begins with the letter A through K will be issued a renewal license that expires on May 31, Licensees whose last name begins with the letter L through Z will be issued renewal license that expires on May 31, I heard that the Board has proposed amendments to its regulations so that an inactive status is created and that the late and reinstatement fees are doubled. What does this mean for licensees? As of December 2013 the Board currently has a proposal to amend regulations that would accomplish the following: one, create an inactive status; two, set an inactive fee not to exceed $25 and set a reactivation fee of $100; three, double the late fee from $50.00 to $100.00; four, double the reinstatement fee from $ to $200.00; and five, create a reinstatement fee of $50.00 when an individual wishing to reinstate their license can prove to the Board that they have been licensed and working as an audiologist or speech-language pathologist in another state. Please note that these proposed regulations have not yet been published for official comment nor have the proposed regulations been finalized. However, the Board anticipates these proposed regulations to be finalized prior to the issuance of renewal notices in March Licensees who wish to keep their license in Maryland in an inactive status may choose the inactive status perpetually. However, a licensee in an inactive status may not practice their profession in Maryland and may only practice their
6 profession in Maryland after their inactive status has been reactivated to an active status. The doubling of the late fee and the reinstatement fee more closely approximates the effort Board staff must undertake to review documentation to ensure that the late candidates and reinstatement candidates are eligible for renewal of their license. Oops! I forgot to complete the online renewal process by May 31, What do I do now? The online renewal process will be open during the month of June However, the late fee will be automatically assessed during this time. The Board has no authority to waive the late fee for any reason. What happens when I don t renew my license? Is there anything that I have to do when I don t renew my license? An individual who does not renew their license will receive a non-renew notice dated the first business day in July 2014 after the grace/late period has ended. The non-renew notice simply advises the individual that the license has expired and the candidate is eligible for reinstatement for five years. A licensee is not required to notify the Board that there is no intent to renew a license. However, the Board appreciates any information regarding such intent an individual may simply the Board s Executive Director at to advise the Board of their intent to not renew a license. Any individual holding an audiology or speech-language pathology license that fails to renew their license by May 31, 2014 must cease from practicing beginning June 1, From June 1, 2014 through June 30, 2014 an individual may retroactively renew their license. However, beginning July 1, 2014 licensees that fail to renew their licenses will be in a non-renewed status and may not retroactively reinstate their license. Can the Board waive late fees or reinstatement fees? The Board has no authority to waive any fee. How does the reinstatement process work? What is the effective date of a reinstated license? A reinstatement candidate must request a reinstatement form from the Board reinstatement candidates must advise the Board of their current mailing address. Reinstatement candidates must submit all fees (renewal fee, HCC fee, and reinstatement fee) as well as all continuing education documentation. A
7 reinstated license is effective the day the license is printed. A reinstated license cannot be retroactively reinstated to any previous day. I completed the renewal process and my renewal license was issued to me. I have decided that I no longer need the renewal license. Can I request a refund if I return the license to the Board? The Board has no authority to issue refunds for renewal fees paid to the Board. I am using Google Chrome to complete the online renewal process. It doesn t seem to be working very well. What should I do? The online renewal process was designed for use with Microsoft Internet Explorer. Please use Microsoft Internet Explorer for the online renewal process. Am I required to fill out the racial data in the online renewal form? Filling out the racial data is strictly voluntary. If you do not wish to update the racial data simply check off the opt out / decline option to move forward with the online renewal process. The racial data in the online renewal form is incorrect. How did that happen? The Board s current licensure database contains information migrated from multiple sources. It is entirely likely that the incorrect data was created by the migration process. The online renewal process is an opportunity for each renewal applicant to review and correct, if necessary, the racial data in the licensee s record in the license database. An individual s racial data is not shared with anyone.
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