Why do I have to take the Jurisprudence Exam?
The Jurisprudence Exam insures that licensees are familiar with the law and the rules that govern the practice of speech-language pathology and audiology in Texas. Even though licensees must certify that they have read the law and the rules prior to receiving their license, it has become obvious that a refresher on the law and the rules would be a valuable learning experience. Currently nine professions regulated by the Texas Department of State Health Services, Professional Licensing and Certification Unit require completion of the Jurisprudence Exam. This number is likely to increase in future years.
How was the exam developed?
The Jurisprudence Exam questions for speech-language pathology were written by speech-language pathologists who are professional members of the State Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. The Jurisprudence Exam questions for audiology were written by audiologists who are professional members of the State Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Many more questions than the 50 questions on each individual exam were written for each area of practice. The 50 questions that any individual must answer are randomly generated by the computer program which generates the exam that you take.
Why do I have to pay extra for the exam?
The vendor that implemented the online exam charges the State Board a fee for each individual who takes the exam. The amount that licensees are charged for the exam is equal to the fee charged by the vendor that implemented the exam.
Will I have to take this exam every time I renew my license?
No. Unless the rules are changed by the State Board at some point in the future, the Jurisprudence Exam must be taken by 1) initial applicants for a license; and 2) individuals who renew their license after January 1, 2010 and who have never previously taken the exam.
Why do I have to answer questions that are not relevant to my current practice?
There are thousands of audiologists, speech-language pathologists, interns and assistants in Texas. The cost of customizing an exam for each individual group would have unnecessarily raised the cost of the exam to all licensees. Also, because currently licensees only must take the exam one time, it is important to cover the entire law and rules. A licensee who currently does not supervise interns or assistants may someday work in a setting where it is necessary to supervise interns and/or assistants. Assistants and interns may one day be fully licensed.
Why does the exam only cover the law and the rules? Shouldn’t licensees be asked questions about ethics?
There are questions about ethics included in the Jurisprudence Exam, because Subchapter D of the rules covers the professional code of ethics. The Jurisprudence Exam is not however, an “ethics exam.” Its purpose is to make sure that licensees are familiar with the law and the rules that govern the practice of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.
If the Jurisprudence Exam is not an “ethics exam,” then why do we get ethics continuing education credit for taking it?
The State Board considers the study of the law and the rules to be important in the ethical conduct of a licensee. The State Board felt that the process was a valuable educational experience worth one (1) hour of credit toward a licensee’s two (2) hours ethical education requirement.
Many of the questions on the Jurisprudence Exam were covered in the ethics course that I took at the TSHA convention. Why do I have to do this again?
The State Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology is a regulatory board that functions within the Texas Department of State Health Services, and is responsible for protecting consumers of speech-language pathology and audiology services. The State Board has no relationship to the Texas Speech-Language Hearing Association (TSHA) or the Texas Academy of Audiology (TAA). Those organizations may give presentations that are suitable for obtaining continuing education under the rules that govern the licensing of speech-language pathologists and audiologists, but the State Board is required to make sure that every speech-language pathologist and audiologist is familiar with the law and the rules that govern their practice. The Jurisprudence Exam is the way that the State Board has chosen to ensure that the speech-language pathologists and audiologists are familiar with the rules.
For more information, see: State Board of Examiners Rule Title 22 TAC, Chapter 741.162. http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/speech/sp_rules.shtm
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