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Important BCS-S Changes
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Name Changes

As you may have already noticed, effective January 2014, ASHA approved changes from specialty recognition to specialty certification in various fields, and the official credential of current members changed from Board Recognized (BRS-S) to Board Certified Specialist in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (BCS-S). The Recognition Board has also changed its name to the American Board of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (AB-SSD) to better reflect the change to certification status.

Your name has changed as well! To better capture your relationship with your mentors and in remaining consistent with ASHA verbage we will be transitioning to using the term “protégé” rather than “mentee”. Once your application is officially submitted and accepted, you will become referred to as an applicant. In order to differentiate newsletters for current and prospective certified specialists the name of our newsletter (Easy to Digest or E2D for Mentees) is in need of a name change as well. Protégés are encouraged to propose new names for the newsletter (i.e. Protégé Platform, Protégé Happenings, Protégé) to be voted on by the Board. The winner will be recognized in an upcoming newsletter.

Application Changes/Application Packet Reminders

Please make note of the following tips and changes to ensure your application is complete and accepted by the Applications Committee:

  • In addition to your CV, please remember that your application must include a statement of intent/rationale for pursuing board certification.

  • There is now a verification of hours form available on the website:

It will be required from one of your references in order to attest to the number of clinical hours you spend providing dysphagia services.

  • Should questions arise regarding your application once it is submitted, please expect a contact from the Applications Committee.

Other changes

  • There are two separate certification exams offered based on your preferred specialty population (adults versus pediatrics).

  • We’ve launched a new website and are currently working to update it to reflect our recent changes. We are working on making the information and links more readily available and accessible. If you haven’t visited, take a look and see what’s new!

  • Guidelines for re-taking the exam: A candidate may take the examination a maximum of three times during 12 months if more than one exam attempt is needed in order to receive a passing score. A second exam should be taken at least six weeks after the first exam attempt. A third and final exam attempt must take place at least six months after the second attempt. There is no fee associated with the first retake of the examination. A fee of $75.00 will be applied to a third attempt. If the candidate is not successful in passing the examination during the initial one-year period, he/she must wait three years from the third exam attempt prior to initiating the BCS-S application process again.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions from past Applicants

QUESTION: If I request an ASHA transcript, how do I reflect the courses I took at state and national conventions since the ASHA transcript bundles the courses together and reflects a total number of hours but does not list specific titles to indicate if the courses were dysphagia related?

  1. The website information shares that: “Proof of attendance and completion of 7.5 continuing education units (75 hours) in swallowing and swallowing disorders in the past three years”. Therefore, it would be important to list out the swallowing and swallowing disorders courses on the application for them to be included in documentation of acquired continuing education credits.

QUESTION: Once I submit my application, how long do I have to take the examination?

  1. The Mentorship Committee has created a flow chart for your convenience and quick reference.


View Flow Chart


We’ve given you what we think you need to know; now we’d like to hear from you. What topics will be helpful for you as you plan for board certification in swallowing and swallowing disorders? Feel free to share them with your mentor, Donna Edwards at