Membership » Thinking of going overseas - what you need to know

NZ trained and registered members need to plan for overseas travel

All registered NZSTA members wishing to apply for membership in another association under the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) must satisfy the additional specific requirements for each association.

To apply under the MRA, New Zealand-trained speech-language therapists must be current and registered members and be eligible to receive a 'letter of good standing,' from the NZSTA, which means continued membership for the previous 12 months. 

For travel to countries that are not part of the MRA, check their regulations for different associations, countries and states early in your planning to avoid confusion or problems.

What is the Mutual Recognition Agreement?

This video provides speech-language therapists and students in New Zealand with information about the MRA and what they need to do if they consider going overseas.

View the FAQs below.

Frequently asked questions

The updated 2022 Mutual Recognition of Professional Association Credentials Agreement (MRA) is an agreement between NZSTA and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC), the Irish Association for Speech and Language Therapists (IASLT), the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) and the Speech Pathology Association of Australia Limited (Speech Pathology Australia). 

This agreement allows eligible members of each association to apply for mutual recognition of their credentials with another signatory association.  The premise of substantial equivalence underlies the agreement, i.e. under specific terms and conditions, an individual's credentials are deemed substantially equivalent.  This is not equality or reciprocity as each signatory association has specific requirements for applicants, e.g., AHSA requires evidence of passing the ASHA-approved national certification examination for members of IASLT, NZSTA, RCSLT, and Speech Pathology Australia.

Registered members of NZSTA (except those who graduated before 1993), who trained at an NZSTA accreditated programme, are eligible to apply for either certification or membership with any signatory associations.

To attain full membership or certification of a signatory association, NZSTA members must meet several additional requirements specified by each association.  Visit each association's website for more detail.  For example, individuals considering applying for certification with SAC are advised to keep a record of direct audiology contact hours as this association requires 'Evidence of education and supervised practicum experience in assessment and treatment in audiology/hearing science.'

The MRA intends to improve the mobility of individuals with approved credentials and to provide an expedited process for applying to become a certified or full member of a signatory association. 

It will also facilitate ongoing knowledge in terms of research, professional development, emerging technologies, and other aspects of professional practice, thus benefiting the wider international community.

NZSTA members who wish to apply for mutual recognition of their credentials with another of the signatory associations must apply to the association's national office with whom they want to attain certification or membership.

Applicants must also request NZSTA to send a letter of good standing to the new association attesting that the applicant is a registered member of the NZSTA.  To demonstrate that you are in 'good standing’ with the NZSTA, you must:

  • be a current registered member
  • have been a registered member for the last 12 consecutive months
  • have no outstanding fees with NZSTA
  • have no conviction for a criminal offence or any conviction for an offence related to the practice of speech-language therapy
  • not have been the subject of a finding of professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity by your employer or any other body
  • have never been disciplined or sanctioned, or have any disciplinary proceedings pending against you before any professional association, professional licensing authority or board, or other professional regulatory body
  • have an up-to-date and sufficient CPD record
  • have received supervision at least four times in the previous 12 months
  • have more than 1000 hours of practice in the last five years
  • have read and understood the NZSTA Code of Ethics (2008) and agree to abide by this Code, and any subsequent amendments. Should you cease to be a member, NZSTA may direct any complaint against you to the Health and Disability Commissioner for investigation.

If a new graduate joined in January 2020, works through their new graduate programme and signs the declarations in January 2021 … they NOW meet all the criteria.

A registered member – Return to Practice is not eligible for a letter of good standing.

Only by making the annual membership declaration (working hours, abiding by the code of ethics, continuation of professional development/meeting requirements of registered membership) can the association attest to your good standing.

Applicants for whom English is not their first language also need to include documentation or evidence of English language proficiency necessary for competent clinical practice within the country of the new association.

An NZSTA letter of good standing declares that an NZSTA member:

  • meets all the requirements for membership recognition.
  • has agreed to abide by the NZSTA Code of Ethics.
  • meets the NZSTA requirements for continuing professional development.
  • is not subject to any disciplinary investigation or sanction.

Make an application for your letter


A letter of good standing will be issued only to current Registered Members who have held NZSTA Full membership for a minimum of 12 months.

NZSTA Registered membership applies to practising speech-language therapists who fulfil the NZSTA requirements for continuing professional development and have agreed to abide by the NZSTA Code of Ethics.

Letters will be issued only to apply for membership in an MRA signatory professional association. The letter of good standing will be sent (via email) directly to the relevant professional association and copied to the applicant.

Letters will be valid only for the membership year they are issued.

Applicants who have been NZSTA Full members for less than one year will not be issued with a letter
of good standing but may be issued with a letter indicating the dates of their membership period.

Applicants with a period of lapsed membership and whose current membership is less than one year will not be
issued with a letter of good standing but may be issued with a letter indicating the dates of previous
membership and, if appropriate, a statement that they had not been subject to any disciplinary proceedings in
that period of membership. The letter will also indicate that they have recently renewed their membership.

Applicants who have in the past been subject to a disciplinary investigation will have their request considered on an
individual basis.

No.  However, individuals wishing to renew their NZSTA membership are responsible for maintaining affiliation and compliance with the NZSTA standards, including annual payment of fees and participation in and reporting of continuing education and professional development activities.

Should an individual's membership lapse, they will be required to reapply for membership (as opposed to renewing membership) under NZSTA's policies and procedures at the time of the new application. 

The signatory associations' websites are as follows:

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC)

The Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists (IASLT)

Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT)

Speech Pathology Association of Australia Limited (Speech Pathology Australia)

Not necessarily. 

The signatory associations recognise that the Agreement does not supersede national, state, or provincial licensing or registration requirements. 

Applicants are advised to visit each association's website to identify the necessary agencies to contact and their requirements before pursuing certification or membership with the new association.


To attain certification or membership with any other signatory associations, you must submit the required application form and demonstrate that you meet any specified conditions.