What is Specialty Certification? Speech–language pathologists (SLPs) who have advanced knowledge, skills and experience are recognized by the designation of BCS-S or Board-Certified Specialist in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders. This certificate is akin to Board Certification that qualified physicians hold. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, that grants basic certification to all SLPs as an entry level requirement for practice, began this program of Specialty Recognition in 1995. While BCS-S is voluntary, it is becoming the standard for identifying an SLP who is an expert in dysphagia, or swallowing disorders.